This year for VBS I wrote our teaching curriculum and created it in a way that can be used by parents in conjunction with an amazing kids book to help them see the story of the gospel. The book was recommended to me by a friend of mine when we found out we were having our first child and we have almost worn it out. The curriculum is really designed to be a discussion guide for parents that can help them engage their children with the story of the book... which is the story of redemption. You can find a link to the PDF here, but I've included everything below. I hope this is a help to you.
The Garden, The Curtain, And The Cross
Story: Creation - The Garden, The Curtain, And The Cross p.1-6 (through Adam and Eve excited to spend time with God)
Big Idea: We were made to enjoy God and worship God.
Scripture Memory Verse: Psalm 100:1-3
Scripture Explanation: What kind of attitude should we have toward God? Joy and gladness. God created us to enjoy him. Real joy is only found in relationship with him. Worship is valuing God above all things. God created us to worship him (value him).
Illustration: Perfectly white tee shirt - No sin so that we can live with God.
Think It Through: How do you show the value of something? How do you respond when you get something you value? We were created to value God more than anything and anyone else. God made us for himself.
Phrase of the day: It’s wonderful to live with God!
Additional Scripture References: Isaiah 43:7; Rev. 4:11; Col 1:16; Psalm 95:6
Story: Fall - The Garden, The Curtain, And The Cross p.7-14 (through the curtain in the temple)
Big Idea: Sin separates us from God.
Scripture Memory Verse: Romans 3:23
Scripture Explanation: What is sin? Sin is not valuing God as he deserves to be valued, loving him as he deserves to be loved, trusting him as he deserves to be trusted and worshiping God as he deserves to be worshiped (review these definitions from yesterday). Sin separates us from God and results in sadness… not joy. Not trusting, valuing and enjoying him causes us to be disobedient. We don’t trust he is good and wise and that joy is found in him and we seek to live our own way. We trust other things, love other things, and worship other things.
Illustration: Perfectly white tee shirt marked up by a sharpie - Sin stains us so we cannot live with God.
Think It Through: What is the worst part about sin? Have you ever noticed how your actions come from what you want (think will bring joy) and value? Sin is bad because sin is worshiping and valuing something or someone other than God. God is angry with us because of our sin. God is right to be angry because he is holy and perfect and we have rebelled against our creator.
Phrase of the day: It’s wonderful to live with God, but because of your sin, you can’t come in.
Additional Scripture References: Romans 1:18; Isaiah 53:6; Eccl. 7:20; Romans 3:9-16; 1 John 1:8
Story: Redemption - The Garden, The Curtain, And The Cross p.15-24 (through the curtain tearing)
Big Idea: Jesus made a way for us to be made right with God.
Scripture Memory Verse: 1 Timothy 1:15
Scripture Explanation: Why did Jesus come into the world? Jesus came into the world to save sinners. We were created to enjoy and worship God, but sin separated us from God. Jesus came to perfectly obey God for us. He lived a perfect life. He died in the place of sinners. He rose again. Now, because of him, we can enjoy and worship God like we were created to do. When we trust in Christ, all of our sin is taken by him and paid for, and all his perfect obedience is counted as ours, and this brings us into a relationship with God.
Illustration: New perfectly white tee shirt given to us - when we trust in Jesus, it is like we never sinned and so now we can live with God.
Think It Through: What is the best part about what Jesus did? The best part about what Jesus did is that we are now able to enjoy and worship God. We are reconciled into right relationship with God. All of our sin is paid for and we have Jesus’ obedience as ours so that we can know God as a father and will be with him for eternity as we were created to be.
Phrase of the day: It’s wonderful to live with God, but because of your sin, you can’t come in… But Jesus died to take away our sins.
Additional Scripture References: Romans 5:8; Gal 2:20; 2 Cor 5:20-21; Eph. 2:8-9
Story: Eternal Joy With God - The Garden, The Curtain, And The Cross p. 25-31 (through the end)
Big Idea: Because of Jesus, we get to spend eternity with God.
Scripture Memory Verse: Psalm 16:11
Scripture Explanation: What do we have to look forward to? Jesus said he would come back and get us so that we can be where he is. The best part of the gospel is we get to be with God forever. When we get God, we get fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore. We get to spend eternity with God and will never again experience the sadness of sin. While we wait for him to come back, we are able to have joy now because Jesus has paid for our sins and we are a part of God’s family by faith in Christ. He gives us the Holy Spirit and so we are never alone and have God with us here.
Think It Through: How can we have real joy now? We still live in a world where there is sin, and because of sin, there is sadness. But people who trust in Jesus Christ are able to experience a joy even in sadness. This happens because we are forgiven of our sin and we are children of God. This means that no matter what bad or sad things happen in this world, we will always have God and he will always care for us. God has made promises and we can trust those promises that one day, all of the sad things will be gone… but until then, he will always be with us and meet all of our needs.
Phrase of the day: It’s wonderful to live with God, but because of your sin, you can’t come in… But Jesus died to take away our sins, so through faith in Christ, now we can come in and live with God forever.
Additional Scripture References: Phil 1:20-26; Hab 3:17-19; Psalm 73:25-26; Psalm 27:1; John 14:3; Rev. 21:3-4
SUGGESTIONS FOR PARENTS:
We have used this book with our kids and have been amazed at how God has used it in their lives. Here are some suggestions for parents that might be helpful:
Jon is husband to Carlee, Papa to Finleigh, Ainsley, and Olivia, a pastor at Arbor Drive Community Church in York, Ne, and co-host of The Pastor Discussions Podcast