God's People and Me!
A Vacation Bible School Curriculum by Barry McWilliams
an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America
Overall Theme: As God's Child, I belong with God's People
DAILY SUB THEMES:
- God's people believe the Good News.
- God's people meet to praise Him.
- God's people help one another.
- God's people obey the Lord.
- God's people encourage each other.
Day One: Key Word: "BELIEVE" Sub-themes: "witnessing", "teaching"
Hearing and believing the Gospel- Becoming a part of the people of God - Devoted to the Apostle's teaching
Main Text: Acts 2
Story: The day three thousand joined the Church
Teaching method: Pictures in Sequence, stick Puppets
Day Two: Key word:"MEET" Sub-themes:"Prayer" "Worship"
Facing persecution and frightened - Still the Christians worshipped, praying and praising God
Main Text: Acts 3: 1- 4:31
(cf.Ch 5: 12-42 You can't fight God & Ch 12:1-17 Who's knocking on the door
Story: The Christians who wouldn't shut up.
Teaching Method: flannelgraph
Day Three: Key word:"SHARE" Sub-themes:"give" "fellowship"
God's people share both their needs and their bounty with one another.
Main Text: Acts 2:44,45; 4:32-5:11 (Cf Acts 6:1-7; 9:32-43; 11:27-30)
Story:The People who Shared Everything
Teaching Method: participation story
Day Four: Key word:"OBEY" Sub-themes:"Pastoring" "discipline"
God gives us pastors to shepherd His people. Sometimes they take action for the spiritual welfare of the flock, as in the case of the envious magician.
Main Text: Acts 8:1- 24 (Cf Acts 20:28-31; cf also 1 Tim 1:3-7; 18-20)
Story: Simon , the Jealous sorcerer
Teaching Method: Dramatic Storytelling
Day Five: Key word:"ENCOURAGE" Sub-themes:"growing" "discipling"
How did Saul the persecutor of the church become a great missionary - while some distrusted him, God's encouragers (Ananias and Barnabas) helped him along.
Main Text Acts 9:1-31; 11:19-30
Story: The courageous encouragers
Teaching Method: Puppets
Memory Passage: Acts 2:42-47
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
43 Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles.
44 All the believers were together and had everything in common.
45 Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.
46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,
47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
Suggested Memory Work: Method.
The Object Lessons illustrate aspects of these saying of Jesus and are to be given by the Pastor or VBS Team Leader during a Morning Assembly.
Our Object Lessions this year will use the daily "Key words" as their starting place.
The Object lessons have several objectives:
- To illustrate in an interesting and visual presentation an application of a Spiritual truth.
- To give a better understanding of a portion of the Memory Passage.
- To emphasize and tie together the daily themes, and the daily Bible lessons.
While specific Object lessons are not given here the following verses and suggested emphases should be kept in mind in developing them. Remember to keep the lessons visual, practical, and involve the participation of the Audience. Make them fun and interesting as well. You could draw from missionary stories, stunts, etc.
Day One: "Believe" Acts 2:42 "They devoted themselves to the Apostle's teaching" 2:47b "and the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved." cf Romans 10:8-14; 17.
Day Two: "Meet" Acts 2:42 "They devoted themselves to ... the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer." 2:44 "All the believers were together" 2:46 "Every day they contined to meet together in the temple courts They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts" Cf Hebrews 10:25.
- This Object lesson should emphasize the importance of learning and trusting God's Word as it is taught and proclaimed in our local churches, in particular the Gospel as it is preached.
- This object lesson should stress the importance of regularly attending worship and gathering together with other Christians. It might be an appropriate time to present the Lord's Supper.
Day Three:"Share" Acts 2:44 "all the believers... had everything in common. Selling all their possessions they gave to anyone as he had need." Cf 1 Cor 8:7,8, 11-14.
Day Four:"Obey" Acts 2:43 "Everyone was filled with awe, and many signs and wonders were done by the Apostles." cf. 2:40 "With many other words he warned them and he pleaded with them. 'Save yourselves from this corrupt generation'"
- This Object lesson should stress the importance of giving and sharing what we have with those who are in need. The concept ot tithes and offerings may be presented here. God's provision for the needs of some is often found in the bounty of others.
Day Five: "Encourage" Acts 2:44 "All the believers were together and had everything in common." 2:46 "meet together..." "Ate together" 2:47 "... enjoying the favor of all people." (Cf Rom 12:6-8; 2 Tim 2:2)
- This Object Lesson should stress the importance of a Christian's submission to the guidence and leadership and admontion of pastors and elders. The concept of Church discipline may be presented here.
- This Object lesson should stress how important it is for us to love and help one another to grow as Christians, and in bearing one another's burdens. The responsibility of Christians to one another is important here. (More mature believers should be discipling younger Christians.)
Theme Emphasis Ideas:
You may want brainstorm with the group to consider some creative ways to emphasize the Theme and the Key Words for each day. The idea is to "burn" these words and their relevance into the children's heads during the day. Do something different and fun every day fitting them in where most appropriate. Skits, stunts, and other activities add to the fun, and children learn best when they are having fun. You may use these ideas to in regard to the Object Lessons.
The recreation times could also have games and activities related to the daily key words. Teamwork-Cooperation games on day 3, follow instruction type games on day 4, blind man's bluff on day 5, etc.
- "Joe Isuzu" could show up on Day One, spinning a tall tale. (was Peter's tale of Jesus death and resurrection any more believable?) What is expected of us in hearing and believing the Word of God preached?
- Day Two. Have someone blow a horn or wave a flag when the word "meet" is used during the assemblies. Have the leader "innocently" use the word from time to time in making announcements. Why is meeting together as believers so important that we don't want to miss it?
- Day Three: Have a crazy stunt where the staffers need the help of some volunteers and have to cooperate with each other as a team (&share","help") in order to accomplish it. The church is a body.
- Day Four: Do a "Simon Says" (however you don't do what Simon says, he's a fraud, right?) or other exercises where the kids "obey" instructions. or perhaps have a lousy "magician" visit, since we have the story of Simon. The magician could become a pest, requiring "discipline" by the end of the day.