Theme: THE GAME PLAN - Focusing on The Two Greatest Commandments: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind… and love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39)
Virtue: Excellence (striving to do your very best in all you do)
Light a candle. Ask the kids to tell you what they see on the prayer table and talk about some of the items.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Heavenly Father, we ask You to bless our Cathletics VBS as we learn what it means to become Champions for Christ. Teach us to live the great commandments each day; to love You with all our heart, soul and mind… and to love our neighbor as ourselves. St. John Paul II, pray for us. Amen.
Bible Verse of the Day:
Show the Bible Verse poster and watch the Bible Verse video.
“For I know well the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to give you a future full of hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
Theme Intro: The Game Plan
The Bible Verse tells us that God has a GAME PLAN for our lives: “ a plan to give us a future full of hope.”
Today, we are going to take a closer look at God’s Game Plan.
Did you know that in every sport, the coach has a game plan for players to follow if they want to become champions? Every player needs to learn the rules and follow them. It’s important for them to train hard and play every game with their best effort, with EXCELLENCE!
Becoming a champion in our faith is no different, with Jesus being our Head Coach. We can learn so many awesome things from Him, since He is the Greatest of all Champions! We need to train hard to become the best Christians we can be: Champions for Christ! Jesus wants us to live out His game plan so that we can win the ultimate victory prize which is Heaven.
I have in my hands our Cathletics VBS game plan/schedule for the week. Show the program overview.
(Keep the questions flowing quickly by asking for a response from only 1 or 2 kids.)
Why do you think we need this game plan? So we know what to do every day, to stay organized, to have order and not disorder, to keep everyone focused and moving in the same direction.
God gives us His game plan for our lives. It’s called the BIBLE! Show the Bible.
Who has their own Bible or a book of Bible stories at home?
Why is the Bible important? You learn more about God, it teaches us how to love God and others, it brings us closer to Jesus, it gives meaning and purpose to our lives, it helps us become Champions for Christ, it can change our life, etc.
Most of you have probably received a letter in the mail at one time from a friend or a grandparent.
You probably got excited and opened it up really quickly. Well, the Bible is God’s special letters to us. We need to read or hear God’s Word to discover what He wants to say to us.
Someone once said that the Bible: B.I.B.L.E. stands for “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth”. The word Bible comes from the greek word “biblia”, which actually means “books”.
The Bible is made up of 2 main parts:
Does anyone know what the two main parts of the Bible are called?
The Old Testament has 46 books in the Bible that tell about the times before Jesus was born. The New Testament has 27 books that tell about the life of Jesus.
Interesting fact: There are 73 books in a Catholic Bible versus 66 Books in a Protestant Bible.
We’re going to use each of the letters in the word Bible to help us remember God’s Game Plan for our lives. Today, we’re going to look at the first letter in the word Bible. Point to the letter B poster.
B stands for blessing. Be a blessing to God and to others.
That sums up the two greatest commandments: to love God with your whole heart, soul and mind and to love your neighbor as yourself. It’s the ultimate goal of our lives: to get closer to God and eventually go to Heaven. Jesus gave us the two (show 2 fingers) great commandments: love God and love others.
What does it mean to love your neighbor? Put others first before yourself, treat people the way you want to be treated, stand up for others, don’t be a bully, be kind to one another, don’t fight with your brother/ sister, etc.
Jesus wasn’t just talking about the person that lives beside your house, but instead He’s talking about your friends, teammates, teachers, brothers, sisters, cousins, and even your enemies. Yes, even those we don’t get along with.
What does it mean to love God with ALL your heart? You completely trust Him, you obey His word in the Bible, you spend time with Him every day, you talk to Him, Jesus is your best friend, etc.
Teaching: Putting Jesus at the Center
I’m going to show you 3 different posters to help you understand our friendship with Jesus.
This 1st poster shows someone who DOES NOT have a friendship with Jesus. This person doesn’t really love God with ALL their heart.
Can you see where they have placed Jesus in their life? Point to Jesus in the top left corner. They keep Jesus outside of their life.
He or she is more interested in (point to each image, moving clockwise): Sports, TV, friends, school, music and games. This person is too busy and too distracted with all these things (point to images of TV, etc.) and isn’t spending any time with Jesus.
Keep poster 1 in view.
This 2nd poster shows someone who has Jesus as a part of their life and is a bit closer to Jesus, but is still not best friends with Him. This person prays once in a while and maybe goes to Mass on Sundays, but they still don’t include God in every day of the week. Put poster 2 right next to poster 1.
This 3rd poster shows someone who has put Jesus in the center of their life. Point to center image.
Do you see how this person moved over and let God come beside them?
This person puts Jesus in the center of everything. Can you see how close they are?
They are best buddies and they have chats throughout the day. They stick together through everything; in the good times and the hard times. Do you think this person loves Jesus with their whole heart, soul and mind? Put poster 3 right next to poster 2.
Think about which poster shows where Jesus is in your life. (pause)
Our ultimate goal is to love Jesus with all our heart, and have him at the center of our life, just like in the third poster. That is how we can experience His amazing love, His peace and His true joy.
Choose two or three of the following activities:
Bible Story: Noah’s Ark
NOAH’S ARK - GENESIS 5:32-9:29
We’re going to hear a story from the Bible about a man named Noah. I’m going to ask you to make specific sounds or actions for certain words in the story.
At any time in the story, when I say the word flood or water, I want to hear everyone make the sound of gushing water and make waves. Let’s hear you try. Encourage the kids to be loud.
When I say the word bad, you all say “Oh oh.” Kids repeat.
When I say the name Noah, put your arm up in the air and say “Champion!” since Noah was a champion for God. Kids repeat and do the action.
When I say the word rain, make the sound of rain by tapping your knees. Kids tap their knees.
When I say animal, make the sound of your favorite animal. Kids tap their knees. When I say rainbow, say “Wow!” Kids repeat. Ok, here we go...
A long time ago, God saw that many of his people were forgetting about Him and doing bad (pause) things. They didn’t want to follow His game plan for their lives. God was really upset that the people he created chose to turn their hearts away from Him. He decided to make a flood to wipe away everything that was bad, but God wanted to make sure that the few good people that were left would be saved from the flood.
There was a good man named Noah who loved God with ALL his heart. Noah listened to God when God asked him to build an ark, also known as a big boat, to save him and his family from the flood.
God told Noah to build the ark big enough to fit two of every kind of animal (male and female, of course). People laughed and made fun of Noah, but he continued to trust and obey God by persevering in building the ark.
Time passed and then the rain came. It rained and rained and rained. Noah and his family got into the ark, with all the animals and God shut the door. The whole earth was covered with water, and Noah and his family and the animals were the only ones that were kept safe.
After a really, really, long time, the water went away and they were able to come out to dry land. They thanked and praised God for keeping them safe. Noah and his family were a blessing to God. God was pleased and placed a beautiful rainbow in the sky as a promise that He would never again flood the whole earth.
What important lesson did you learn from this Bible story?
Obey God, trust in God, love God with all your heart, turn away from bad things, persevere when times get tough, don’t worry when people make fun of you, God has great and beautiful things in store for those who follow His plan, God keeps His promises, etc.
Just like Noah, there are many other great examples of people who were Champions for Christ.
What did God tell Noah to build?
A. Statue B. Chariot C. Ark
How many animals of each kind, did Noah have in his boat?
A.1. B. 2 C. 3
The Bible is made up of 2 parts:
A. Part 1 and Part II
B. Old Testament and New Testament
C. The Book of Noah and the Book of Jesus
Ages 7 and up:
Which is not one of the greatest commandments?
A. Love the Lord your God B. Love Your Neighbor C. Love to play sports
What is the name of the first book in the Bible?
A. Noah B. Genesis C. Numbers
What sign did God give to Noah after the flood?
A. Star B. Angel C. Rainbow
How many books are there in the OLD Testament?
A. 36. B. 46 C. 38
How many books are there in the NEW Testament?
A. 27 B. 24 C. 21
In Greek, the word Bible actually means...
A. Books B. Letters C. Magazines
Ages: 8 and up
- Bible Bookmarks (print on cardstock)
Tell the kids:
These bookmarks name all the different books of the Bible on them.
When you finish reading a book in the Bible, you can highlight it on your bookmark.
(Opt.) Show the kids a bookmark with highlighted names for the books of the Bible that you’ve read.
Give the bookmarks to the team leader to hand out at the end of the day.
Beach Ball Bible Verse Game
Play the Bible Verse Song Video and have the kids toss around a beach ball.
When the video stops, the person holding the ball has to try and recite the Bible verse.
Play this game on any day of the week.
Ask a parent or older sibling to read you a Bible story.
Bonus: Try to find a story that you’ve never heard before.
Encourage the kids to come back the next day and tell you one cool thing they remember about the Bible Story.
Tell the older kids about the awesome Bible in a Year podcast by Ascension. Fr. Mike Schmitz reads through a section of the Bible each day and gives a short teaching.
VBS Saint of the Day
St. John Paul II is our VBS Saint of the Day. Read the saint story and ask the following questions:
Where was St. John Paul II born? Poland (in a town called Wadowice)
What was his name before he became pope? Karol Wojtyla
How many countries did he travel to when he was pope? Over 120 countries
Give each child a saint card to take home with them. Encourage the children to read the story on the back of their saint card with a parent.
Jesus, thank you for this time together to grow in our faith. May we continue to practice excellence in everything we do. We want to put you at the center of our life. Amen!