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Here are my thoughts and I need all of you wise and wonderful WORMS out there to help. I am looking at developing a summer Sunday school, VBS and next years Sunday school that runs off of and into each other. I would like to do a detective/mystery theme kind of along the lines of a murder mystery party or Carmen Sandiego.

My idea is to use the theme, "More Than A Baby In A Manger" to teach the children who Jesus really is and why he was here. I am thinking of using Eldrbarry's VBS idea of "To Seek and Save the Lost" as the intro to the progam changing the Midieval theme to a mystery theme where the children search for weeks to find the "lost" that Jesus came to save.

I think it lends itself to a lot of potential and my idea is to have an intergenerational summer Sunday school and VBS.

What do you think? What do I start with and where do I go?

All of you out there in WoRM-land ROCK!

Love to all. Anne
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Seeking the Lost

When I think of "seeking the lost", I think of the parables of the lost son the the lost sheep and the lost coin. There are probably lesson ideas for these here on the Web site.

As the children search for the lost, it is important for them to realize that they are one of the lost that Jesus came to save.

Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

Good New Clues

The "David C Cook/Cook Communications" VBS for 2005 is "Good News Clues" (no longer in print - check current VBS's themes to see if something similiar is available).

Some of those lessons are based on the "lost" parables, as suggested by Cathy W.

If you're looking to build as you go, you might want to break it into 3 parts to go with your 3 programs: why Jesus had to come, who is Jesus and what he did here, and why he had to die.

The other thing is, and this is just my opinion based on our kids ... a full year of detectives and looking for clues is a long time. You may want to use that for one of the 3 programs depending on which it would best lend itself with the stories you'll do. But you know your kids best, so let us know what you decide! Smile

Last edited by Luanne Payne


As I was listening to the lessons and homily at our Lenten service tonight, it sparked several ideas about your theme and stories to go along with it(there should be plenty of ideas on these stories on this exchange):

  • Detectives search out why Jesus is necessary--Adam and Eve and the Fall
  • What clues are there to Jesus in the OT--Jesus as the fulfillment of prophecy
  • Who else was searching for Jesus--the Magi
  • John the Baptist's followers asked Jesus if He was the one or if they should look for someone else and Jesus answered that the blind could now see, lame walk, etc.--tie in some of those stories as further clues to Jesus' identity
  • Who are the lost--the parables mentioned above
  • Palm Sunday--the masses celebrate Jesus as king
  • Jesus' death and resurrection--the answer to the mystery unfolds
  • The mystery isn't over--what comes next--the Great commission
  • Where does the power to do this come from--Pentecost and the power of the Holy Spirit
  • Look for clues about what God wants for us: the 2 greatest commandments, spiritual gifts, stories about service and helping others
  • How do we know what God wants for us--clues are in the Bible (rotation on the Bible and how it came to be), prayer (Lord's prayer)

Believe it or not, I did hear the lessons and homily. Smile

Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

Mystery Detective

Maybe you could start each session off with the Mystery Detective (someone dressed up like a detective-drench coat, dark glasses, magnifying glass, bible, etc.) that would do a short skit with the teacher or a dialogue each week to perk the kids interest and pull events together. Make it humorous. Each week he could be searching for something. Sometimes he could be completely off track because he's looking for something only to find out he mixed up the meaning and finds the answer is something he didn't expect.

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Wow! These ideas are great. Jan, I did end up purchasing the Good News Clues VBS. I love all of these ideas and will incorporate them all. Thank you all you wise and wonderful WoRMs!

Love to all,

Moderator adds some lesson posted later on this site that may inspire others:

Detective Themed Workshops found on this site:

Easter - Investigating the Trial of Jesus Theme

by ZBCC posted in 2014

Summary: We created a themed rotation studying Jesus’ trial. Children were recruited as investigators and collected evidence that Jesus was innocent of his charge of Blaspheme. Each workshop helped students gather evidence and learn more about the story of Jesus’ trial.

I've noted this here as it may interest people wanting to do a mystery theme for Easter. It is found in our Easter Forum @  Some of these same ideas may be adaptable to other bible stories where you wish to do a mystery theme.

Philip and Ethiopian Games Workshop

by Jan Napa from: First Presbyterian Church posted in 2012

Summary: Children will learn about Philip through an interactive game like “Where in the World is Carmen San Diego”.  See this link for full lesson

Nicodemus: Brand New Life - Nic at Night Science Workshop

by Staci Woodruff from: Jenks Church of Christ posted in 2012

Summary: As kids enter your workshop welcome them to the “Nic at Night Detective Agency”. Tell them that you were expecting some new recruits and that you’re glad that they’re here to help with this case. Tell them that your name is Detective _________ see link for full lesson

The Last Supper Bible Adventure (Games) Workshop

by Cat Blue 2015

Summary: The students will learn some important things about The Last Supper:  who the main characters are, where and when this event happened, what happened and why it’s important.  They will become sleuths who investigate to find these answers.  They will do a Word Search and Crossword Puzzle to complete their Detective work.

Last edited by Luanne Payne

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