Journey with Jesus into the World
A "Let's Go" Treasure Hunt!
Families, children, or groups travel to different treasure stops
to discover a scripture, answer questions, and find a treasure.
Knowing Jesus and being loved by Him is wonderful! So wonderful, in fact, that we want to share this joy with other people. This Go! Treasure Hunt takes us on a journey through several "scripture stops" where we learn the importance of growing in faith, sharing the Good News of Jesus with others, and understanding that Jesus is with us in good times and challenging times.
A Few Different Options
We wanted to make this activity flexible to fit the needs of a variety of churches and situations.
What types of groups could participate?
- It can be a regular Sunday School lesson at the church with teachers and helpers and students.
- It could be a Rally Day activity at a church event (like a kick-off event or picnic) with family groups or small groups. You would need a few leaders to help lead people on their journey and conduct the activity. Or you could have a teacher waiting at each stop to do the activity with the groups as they arrive. You would want a parent or other helper making sure each group gets to the locations.
- It could be an intergeneration event that concludes with a meal as part of the "treasure of being together in Christ."
- It could be an event for families or a family ministry to do on their own schedule—you would need to supply them with materials and a leader’s guide.
Where could you do this?
- Inside the church building.
- Outside on the church property or the immediate neighborhood.
- A local park or forest preserve.
How would you know how to “navigate” from stop to stop on this journey?
- Use the GPS feature on a smartphone to find treasure stops at various coordinates.
- Put an “X marks the spot” on a map for participants to follow.
- Create clues to follow for each stop. (Don't make them too hard, make them obvious, like "standing under the giant oak at then end of the church parking lot, walk 100 feet due north,, there you'll see a red arrow, follow it...")
See the notes at the end of this post for some adaptations.
A Brief Overview of the Let's Go! Journey
1. This journey is based on the Matthew 28 verses of the Great Commission and Jesus’ ascension into heaven, but includes other related scriptures, such as Pentecost in Acts 2. You can certainly pick different scriptures and activities to adjust to your teaching and event needs.
2. There are 7 different locations in the journey —a starting point and six additional stops. You can see them in greater detail in the attachments to this post.
3. Each Treasure stop has a theme with a short Bible passage, a treasure to collect, and a few discussion questions. (The treasure hunting is the "activity.") The stops are spelled out in more detail in the attached Leader’s Guide
Here is a quick description of what happens at each stop:
Stop #1 (the starting point): WAIT
- Bible reading: Acts 1:3-5 and Acts 2:1-4
- Treasure: Paper flames and water drops with various gifts of the Holy Spirit printed on them
- Activity/Discussion Topic: Waiting, receiving the Holy Spirit at baptism, gifts of the Holy Spirit
Stop #2: GROW
- Bible reading: Matthew 28:18-20
- Treasure: Bookmark
- Activity/Discussion Topic: Growing in our faith and how that happens
Stop #3: GO
- Bible reading: Acts 1:8
- Treasure: “Target” Handout (with Jerusalem—Judea—Samaria—End of the Earth
- Activity/Discussion Topic: Jesus sent His followers further and further out—where are some places that He might be sending us to show the love of Jesus?
Stop #4: RENEW
- Bible reading: Matthew 11:28
- Treasure: Granola bar or trail mix
- Activity/Discussion Topic: Life is hard sometimes and we need renewed energy for the journey. Jesus can help us.
Stop #5: SHARE
- Bible reading: 1 Peter 3:15
- Treasure: Card or flyer with your church’s information on it
- Activity/Discussion Topic: What can we tell other people about our relationship with Jesus? How can we tell others in a way that doesn't come off as aggressive?
Stop #6: OBSTACLES
- Bible reading: 1 Peter 5:8
- Treasure: Picture of a roaring lion
- Activity/Discussion Topic: There will be obstacles in our way—what might they be? And how can Jesus help us?
Stop #7: LO, I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS
- Bible reading: Matthew 28:18-20
- Treasure: Door hanger
- Activity/Discussion Topic: Jesus is ALWAYs with us—in good times and hard times
Different denominations will have different emphasis and practice regarding baptism and the obstacles that we may face during our journey (such as the devil mentioned in 1 Peter 5:8). Check with your pastor and adjust according to your church's needs
- Decide where the activity will be taking place.
- Determine the locations of the various stops and create your directions: GPS coordinates, clues, map, etc.
- Find a map (either in your Bible or through a web search) showing Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria. This is for Stop #3.
- Put together the treasures for each location (see attached Leaders Guide for more details)—you will need one of each treasure per child. There are several attachments with handouts that you can print for several of the stops. Have a paper bag for each child to carry their treasures from stop to stop.
- To save space, the Bible passages are not written out in the handout (but I will put a link to Biblegateway.com for each passage). You will either need to have Bibles or print out the verses or use your phone to follow the links.
- Recruit volunteers and give them the necessary materials.
- If you are doing an independent “do-at-home” activity, then put together a packet of materials (treasures, discussion guides) for each family.
Additional Ways to Enhance Each Stop
Adding and getting something helps people remember and is exciting for the kids. After all the journey's are over, bring together and display the material from each stop.
Add something to write or draw at each stop that summarizes or shares someone's answer to one of the questions that the group thinks was especially insightful. This can be on a paper table cloth or added to a notebook at the treasure spot. Add your signature. This is a great way for groups to "see who has gone before them." if you're doing this as a wider multi-day treasure hunt course people can do on their own, put a small notebook in a plastic bag so they can record their thoughts and names.
Take-away something from each stop. For example, at the flames stop take away a burnt match. At the obstacles stop, take away a small rock. At the "Lo I am with you always" stop take away a rubber "Jesus" bracelet.
Take a group "selfie" at each stop posing to illustrate the scripture lesson.