Surprise! Stories of Discovering Jesus allows children to be surprised as they discover Jesus, too! Each of the five stories in this Bible-based vacation Bible school kit tells about someone surprised by Jesus. Surprise! invites children from preschool to grade 5 to come along on the journey, to open their eyes, and to see what Jesus has in store!
The stories come from the Gospels and tell of Jesus surprising leaders in the temple with his wisdom as a child, Jesus blessing children much to the surprise of the authorities, Jesus feeding a large crowd with only five loaves and two fish, Nicodemus seeking Jesus’ wisdom at night, and two travelers on the road surprised by Jesus after his death. With each surprise, children will discover more about Jesus.
Children in grades K–5 will see Bible stories come to life in the dramas during worship time, and will reflect on them during three response times: Bible Response, Active Response, and Creative Response.
Preschoolers ages 4–5 may participate in worship with the older children or have their own worship time. They too will share in the Bible story and engage in crafts, games, and other activities.
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.
Discovering Jesus in the Temple
Discovering Jesus with Children
Discovering Jesus in the Crowd
Discovering Jesus at Night
Discovering Jesus on the Road
|Scripture||Luke 2:41-52||Mark 10:13-16||John 6:1-14||John 3:1-21||Luke 24:13-35|
|Description||Jesus’ parents travel home to Nazareth after observing Passover in Jerusalem, and discover that 12-year-old Jesus is not with them. They return to Jerusalem and find Jesus in the temple, asking questions and talking with the teachers.||People bring their children to Jesus, but the disciples turn them away. Jesus sees this and insists that they let the children come to him. He takes the children in his arms and blesses them.||Hungry crowds travel to hear Jesus speak. There is no food except a young boy’s lunch of five loaves and two fish. Jesus takes the lunch, blesses it, and the food multiplies to feed everyone.||Nicodemus comes to see Jesus at night. He has seen Jesus’ miraculous signs and wants to know more about him. Jesus tells Nicodemus that he must be born from above and that God loves the world and wants to save it.||Two men walk on the road to Emmaus, talking about Jesus’ recent death and the empty tomb. Jesus joins them and enters the discussion, but the men do not recognize him. They invite Jesus to stay and eat with them. As he blesses the bread and breaks it, the men recognize him.|
|Faith Focus||We can ask questions and grow in wisdom.||We can receive the blessing of Jesus.||We can give to others and bless them.||We can choose to seek Jesus.||We can recognize Jesus with us.|
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.Preview
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.Preview
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)Preview
Full guide for leading interactive activities & games each day, including advance preparation, session plan, material list, step-by-step instructions, and debrief.Preview
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.Preview
Full guide for leading craft sessions for each day, including Biblical background, materials list, advance preparation, snack ideas, and debrief.Preview
Full-color 16-page activity booklet for grades K-5, including puzzles and other interactive activities.Preview
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!Preview
Customize and post around your parish or around town.
Make it easy for kids to learn the verses day-by-day.
Engaging letters to keep parents in the loop and coach them on how to follow up with their children each day.
Featuring the music of Jesse Manibusan & Oregon Catholic Press
Catholic composer, singer/songwriter, storyteller, humorist, catechist, evangelizer and encourager Jesse Manibusan leads our music and has written two new songs just for Surprise!
The eResource (downloadable) starter kit includes:
The physical starter kit includes:
In addition, purchase inexpensive bulk audio CDs to send home with families, so they can continue to sing the VBS songs!
$79Downloadable Starter Kit
$129Physical 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).