Listen up! Dig deep! Jesus had a lot to say.

And those who listened discovered a treasure in his words.

At first, Jesus’ parables seem simple. Of course we know that the type of soil in which seeds are sown is important for plants to grow, but what does that have to do with us? And if someone asked us for food, we wouldn’t be rude and give a stone instead! Or, what if we lost something important to us? Of course we would look high and low and celebrate when it was found.

It turns out, however, that the parables have a greater meaning beyond what we first see. So come along, listen, and dig deeper for the treasures of the kingdom of heaven!

Digging for Treasure is a Bible and activity-based learning experience with tracks for grades K-5 and preschoolers ages 4-5 (and added options for grades 6-8).

Daily Schedule

This theme provides content for five flexible sessions, from as short as one hour to over three hours each day. Scroll right to see all five days.


It’s a Secret


Listen Up


It’s Growing


Found It


Just Ask

Scripture Matthew 13:10-11a, 16 Mark 4:2-9, 13-20 Matthew 13:31-33 Luke 15:1-10 Luke 11:5-13
Description The disciples ask Jesus why he speaks in parables, and Jesus explains that it is so they can know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven. Jesus tells the story of the farmer who sowed seeds on different types of soil. Some of the seeds were unable to be fruitful, while others flourished. Jesus explains that the seeds are the Word, and the soil is how people hear and experience the Word. Mustard seeds and yeast are very small, but they produce big things. Jesus explains that they are like the kingdom of heaven. A shepherd looks everywhere for a lost sheep, and a woman searches diligently for a lost coin. They celebrate when they find what had been lost. Jesus explains that there is much rejoicing when a sinner repents. Those who ask will receive, thanks to their persistence. Jesus explains that the Holy Spirit is given to those who ask.
Purpose Statement God will help us understand. God’s Word can grow in us. Small things can become great with God. God loves us. When we seek and ask, God is with us.


Affordable & Flexible
  • Available in download-only or physical + download kits.
  • Reproducible (with exception of student booklets and music CDs).
  • Physical leader guides are in a binder with tabs to make them easy to rearrange or duplicate.
  • Bulk-priced CDs can easily be sent home with every family.
Enthusiastically Catholic
  • Daily reflections from Pope Francis.
  • Music from Oregon Catholic Press featuring Jesse Manibusan and other Catholic musicians.
  • A great all-around Scripture-based experience perfect for any parish!
Catchy, Meaningful Music
  • Hummable, top-notch, kid-friendly music that connects closely with the theme.
  • Easy to lead, with Powerpoints, sing-along music videos, and hand motions.
  • Songs by Jesse Manibusan, Chris Muglia, Steve Angrisano, Ken Canedo, Bryan Sirchio, and others.
Comprehensive, but Simple
  • All the core features you expect in a VBS, without overwhelming complexity.
  • Earth-friendly, without plastic trinkets that will litter our common home.
  • Early childhood leader guide makes it easy to include preschoolers.
  • Easy to adapt to your timeframe and preferences.
An Ideal Theme
  • A fun and effective way to help children experience Jesus and the kerygma.
  • Includes Scripture, prayer, drama, music, games, crafts, and activities, all nicely integrated to teach children meet and follow Jesus!
  • Bible stories with a good balance of men and women role models.
And More...
  • Thoughtful take-home pages to bring parents into the process and coach them on how to talk to their children.
  • Extra resources included to help you market and manage your VBS.
  • Optional gestures/motions are provided for prayers, memory verses, and songs.

Preview Components

Director Guide

Overview of the VBS and guidelines for orchestrating the process. Includes a planning chart, sample schedules, tips for working with staff/volunteers, forms, Bible backgrounds, snack ideas, a book list, a letter to parents, guidelines for inviting children to faith, and more.


Early Childhood Leader Guide

Full guide for all aspects of VBS for younger children (ages 4-5). Makes suggestions for full daily schedules, including snack ideas, Bible sessions, activities, crafts, books, song/motion suggestions, and more.


Worship & Drama Guide

Full guide for leading Worship & Drama sessions for each day, including gathering (introducing theme, opening prayer, etc.), worshiping (prayer, song, Bible verse, drama), responding (offering project), and sending (schedule review, blessing, and song)


Active Response Guide

Full guide for leading interactive activities & games each day, including advance preparation, session plan, material list, step-by-step instructions, and debrief.


Bible Response Guide

Full guide for leading Bible Response sessions for each day, including Biblical background information, materials list, advance preparation, session plan, and suggestions for teaching Bible memory verses.


Creative Response Guide

Full guide for leading craft sessions for each day, including Biblical background, materials list, advance preparation, snack ideas, and debrief.


Tales of Discovery - Child Booklet

Full-color 16-page activity booklet for grades K-5, including puzzles and other interactive activities.


My Book of Stories - Preschool Child Booklet

Full-color 16-page activity booklet for ages 4-5, including a retelling of the Bible story for each day, puzzles, and other interactive activities. Send this booklet home so parents can follow up with their children!


Invitation Poster

Customize and post around your parish or around town.

Bible Memory Verse Poster

Make it easy for kids to learn the verses day-by-day.

Send Home Parent Engagement Notes

Engaging letters to keep parents in the loop and coach them on how to follow up with their children each day.

Adaptations for COVID

  • Detailed Guidelines for planning and adapting your VBS approach with social distancing restrictions and concerns.
  • Games that can be played over Zoom or other video conferencing apps.
  • At Home Licensing is included, so you can share download links with all of your leaders and participants.


  • Logo artwork (use to create your own t-shirts or documents)
  • Music components (see below)
  • Simple adaptations for children in grades 6-8.
  • Adaptations for COVID-19
  • ...and much more!

Music Video Previews

Featuring the music of Jesse Manibusan, Bryan Sirchio, and Oregon Catholic Press

Catholic composer, singer/songwriter, storyteller, humorist, catechist, evangelizer and encourager Jesse Manibusan leads our music and shares three of his songs for this theme.

Book Jesse to perform live for your community!

Digging for Treasure
Bryan Sirchio
Our God Is Here
Chris Muglia
You Are the Way
Steve Angrisano
Sing Amen!
Jesse Manibusan
In the Beginning
Jesse Manibusan & Ken Canedo
Bless the Lord
Jesse Manibusan & Ken Canedo
Something Small
Bryan Sirchio

Music Components

The eResource (downloadable) starter kit includes:

  • MP3 audio files of all songs
  • Songbook with lead sheets (melody line scores, lyrics, and chords)
  • Hand/body motions for all songs
  • Simple sing-along videos, showing the motions
  • Simple sing-along lyric presentations (in Powerpoint and Keynote formats)

The physical starter kit includes:

  • Full access to the eResource (downloadable) starter kit
  • Audio CD
  • Simple sing-along lyric video DVD
  • Printed songbook

In addition, purchase inexpensive bulk audio CDs to send home with families, so they can continue to sing the VBS songs!

Pricing & Purchase

Starter Kits

Downloadable Starter Kit Physical Starter Kit + Downloadable



Leader guide with permission to reproduce Online access Physical binder
Child booklets (preschool & elementary) Online preview* Physical sample copies*
Posters (invitation & Bible memory) Online access 2 copies of each
Music audio Online access (MP3s)** Audio CD**
Music sing-along videos Online access Video DVD
Music files (lead sheets, motions, lyrics) Online access In physical binder

*Child booklets are not reproducible. If you choose to use these optional components, please buy one copy for each child from us (see below).

**Music from starter kits may not be reproduced and distributed to participants and their families. If you wish to do so, please buy the very affordable bulk-priced audio CDs or MP3 download cards from us (see below).

Physical Add-On Options

My Book of Stories
Booklet for Preschoolers
Treasure Map
Booklet for ages K-5
Invitation Poster
11" x 17"
Bible Memory Verse Poster
11" x 17"
Audio CDs
1-4: $8 • 5-9: $4 • 10+: $2.50
MP3 Download Cards
1-4: $8 • 5-9: $4 • 10+: $2.50
Music Videos DVD

This program is a collaboration between The Pastoral Center and MennoMedia. Adapted and reprinted with permission from Digging for Treasure. © 2020 MennoMedia, Inc., Harrisonburg, VA 22803. All rights reserved.