A.B.C. Gospel Lessons 

3-Day V.B.S.

These lessons are an outline for you to follow; add to them to enhance your program. We'd love for you to share your ideas and have them added here.

What's it all about? A-B-C stands for "ALL - BELIEVE - CONFESS". This three day program is designed for K-5th Grade, whereby each day the lesson, craft and game focuses on one of the A.B.C. letters. Optional: include snack time during the course of the day, possibly between crafts and games. Most of the lessons include more than one craft or game. Depending on the length of your program you might opt to use all of them or just one of each. Click the links for additional lesson material. 

Organization Suggestion: Divide your assembly into small groups of 5-6 children per group. Assign a team captain (adult or older teen) to each small group. If you have a large number of children you can organize your small groups into larger groups and have them travel to their activities together. If possible arrange five larger groups (this is the number of groups that is needed for the Scripture memory verse, see below). Children remain in the same group during the entire program. 

DAY 1: ALL Have Sinned

Lesson - Introduction: The ABC's of Salvation (When you explain this, have children hold up three large posters with the letters A, B, and C written on them.) 

Today we will discuss the letter "A." "A" represents "ALL." The Bible tells us that ALL have sinned. Why do we all sin? How did this begin? When a dog has a baby, does it deliver a kitten? No, it delivers a puppy. The puppy looks like a small dog and acts like a dog. In the same way, we act like our great, great, great, greaaaat grandparents, Adam and Eve. Today we'll read a story about them that will tell us why we ALL sin.

READ the creation/fall story from a child-friendly Bible (Genesis 2:4 - 3:24) or tell it in your own words. If possible, use an overhead projector or a PowerPoint-type program to view pictures from the story as it is told.

Optional Enrichment Ideas: As you tell the story, have the children illustrate it by creating banners on long strips of butcher paper or choose three children to "act it out" (Adam, Eve, and the Serpent).

Scripture Memory Verse: Have children repeat after you: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

Enrichment Idea: Divide assembly into five groups. Assign a captain to each group. Give each captain a portion of the memory verse (number the portions). 

For example: 
1) For God so loved the world 
2) that he gave his one and only Son, 
3) that whoever believes in him
4) shall not perish but have eternal life."
5) John 3:16

Have the captains teach their portion of the memory verse to their group. After a few minutes, have the captains line up in numerical order at the front of the assembly. The captains then lead their group to shout out their portion of the memory verse. Repeat, only this time groups shout louder. (You might give an "award" to the loudest group. Awards can be as simple as the loudest group is given the "honor" of leading the rest of the assembly to the next activity.)

Craft: Apple Prints
(Traditionally, the apple has been used to represent the forbidden fruit. However, an apple is never mentioned in Scripture as the forbidden fruit that Adam and Eve ate.)

What You Need: 
Apples sliced in half, acrylic paint diluted with water, muslin cloth or paper with "ALL have sinned" written with a permanent marker along the edge, stacks of paper towels.

What You Do: 
Dip apple halves into diluted paint, lightly blot on paper towels. Press apple onto muslin cloth or paper to decorate it. You might form the letter "A" using the apple prints.

Craft: Dried Apple Wreath

What You Need: Whole apples sliced thin (not sections), strip of paper that says, "ALL have sinned" written on it, thin bendable wire, natural raffia.

What You Do: Push wire through the center of the apple slices. Push wire through one end of the strip of paper. Twist ends of wire together to make a circle. Tie a bow around wire with raffia. Allow apples to dry in sun.

Game: Apple Bobbing

Set up: Attach small apples to string and hang them from a clothing line at one end of the playing area. At the opposite end of the playing area establish a start line.

How To Play: Divide players into teams. Teams run in relay fashion to bob for the apples. Players attempt to take a bite out of an apple without using their hands. Teams may send two players to bob for an apple at one time. However, both players may NOT use their hands. When players bite an apple they may take it down from the line with their hands and bring it back to their team line*. Allow players a few seconds each to bob for apples. If they are unable to bite an apple, they must return to their team line to tag off to the next players in line.

How To Win: Since the apple represents our failure to obey God, the least amount of apples gathered is how to win the game. DON'T tell this to the teams before the game. Allow them to think that the most apples gathered wins the game.

* Place apples in bowls marked with the player's names. After the game, players may eat their apples. Make sure you have extra apples for the players that couldn't bite one during the game.

DAY 2: BELIEVE in the Lord Jesus Christ

Lesson - Review The ABC's of Salvation. Hold up three large posters with the letters A, B and C written on them. Ask the children to shout out what they represent. Review previous day's lesson. If you are using an overhead projector or Powerpoint program, show pictures from the previous day or display the banners that the children drew.

Today's lesson is on the letter "B". The "B" represents "BELIEVE." What does it mean to believe in something? (Allow for discussion. You might choose volunteers to come forward to tell their opinions.) 

Enrichment Idea: Ask, "Do you believe that George Washington was real? What about Abraham Lincoln or Martin Luther King?" We believe they existed. But when the Bible speaks of believing in God, it means more than just believing that he exists. In fact, the Bible tells us that even the demons believe in God (James 2:19). But their belief is not trusting God to save them. They know God is real, yet they don't trust in him. 

To illustrate this point I will need a volunteer (choose a volunteer to come forward). Place a sturdy chair at the front of the assembly. Say, "If you sit on this chair, do you believe, or trust, that it will hold you up? (You might also have a broken-down chair and ask, "Which chair do you believe will hold you up?") Ask, "Why do you believe it will hold you up? (Listen for answer) Ask the audience, "Do you believe this chair will hold up our volunteer? (Listen for answers) Have the volunteer sit in the sturdy chair. Say, "You trusted, believed, that the chair would hold you up because it was built sturdy. In other words, you trusted, or relied in this chair to keep you from falling. This is the kind of believing or trusting that the Bible is referring to when it says, "BELIEVE in the Lord Jesus Christ". We are to trust or rely on Jesus to save us. This kind of believing is more than just knowing something in your mind, it is trusting and relying your entire life on God. It is turning from your sin and asking God to save you.

The Bible tells us that God sent his only son Jesus to earth to save us from our sin. Why must we be saved from sin? What does this mean? (allow for discussion) God is Holy, he is perfect. Because of this, sin cannot be in his presence. Which means we have a problem, because we sin. We sin even when we don't mean to sin. In fact, the Bible says we are born sinful because we are children, great, greaat, greaaaat grandchildren of Adam and Eve. The Bible says that our sin must be punished. But God, rather than punishing us for our sin, came down out of Heaven in the form of a man, to take the punishment that we deserve. He did this because he loves us and wants us to trust, BELIEVE, in him to save us and forgive us. When we believe (trust, rely) in God, then the Bible says we will be saved.

Enrichment Idea: (this can be acted out in the same room or in another place on the church campus) Set up a courtroom with a judge's desk and gavel at the front of the assembly. The judge needs to wear a long black robe. (An adult volunteer needs to act out the judge's part. He or she must know what to say.) Ask children to call out different kinds of sins (wrong things people do). Write these sins on Post-It notes and attach them to the clothing and body of a child volunteer. Have the child stand in front of the judge. 

The judge must say in a deep somber voice something to the effect of, "I see that you have sinned. In fact, you are covered in sin! Your sin is very serious and must be punished. The Bible says the punishment for your sin is DEATH! Therefore, I sentence you to death! (Judge pounds desk with gavel)

Then the judge stands up, walks from behind the desk and stands next to the child. Judge removes his or her robe, places it around the child and says in a gentle voice, "Because I love you, I will pay the penalty for your sins. I will die in your place. Your sins are now covered."

Judge turns and addresses the assembly, "This is what God did for us. The Supreme Judge, God, came down out of heaven in the form of a man, took the punishment that we deserve and died on the cross. And because our sins are covered by Jesus' blood, God no longer holds our sins against us! The really great news is that Jesus didn't stay dead. He rose from the grave and lives in Heaven. God wants you to live in heaven with him too. You must only BELIEVE in Jesus!"

Scripture Memory Verse: (Groups do not need to use the same portion of the verse from the previous day.) "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

Craft: Trust Chairs
Paint and decorate miniature wooden chairs (the kind for doll houses). On the seat write the letter "B" for "Believe in Jesus."

DAY 3: CONFESS Jesus is Lord

Lesson - Review The ABC's of Salvation Use three large posters with the letters A, B, and C written on them. Hold up the letters and ask the children to shout out what they represent. (Hang the judge's robe on a hanger at the front of the assembly. During review, ask the children what the robe reminds them of?)

Today's lesson is on the letter "C". The "C" represents "CONFESS." What does it mean to confess? When have you heard this term used? (allow for discussion) Criminals confess they've done wrong. To confess means to "admit" or "agree". When we confess our sin, we are agreeing with God that we do wrong things. We are admitting that we need his help to cleanse us from our sin and help us choose his way, the right way.

Scripture Memory Verse: (Groups do not need to use the same portion of the verse from the previous day.) "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

Lesson with Game: Reverse the Curse 

Craft: Megaphone Message

What You Need: Brightly colored poster board paper, colored markers, scissors, stapler, yarn, glue stick, various items to decorate the megaphone such as, sequins, stickers, buttons, fabric, etc. 

What You Do: Draw a large "C" for "confess" on the poster board. Decorate the "C" and the poster board using markers and decorative items. Fold poster board into a cone shape and staple shut on both ends. Staple yarn to both ends of the megaphone to use as a holder. 

Use the megaphone to CONFESS "Jesus is Lord!" (Have the children use their megaphones to shout out the Scripture memory verse.)

Wrap Up
This week we've learned our ABC's in a fun, new way. If there's anyone here who isn't sure they've been forgiven of their sin, then you need to know that God never lies. His Word says, "whoever (that's ALL of us, you and me) BELIEVES in Jesus shall not perish but have eternal life." And, "If you CONFESS with your mouth, 'Jesus is LORD,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." 

Pray: (Tell the children they can pray quietly along with you) "Dear Jesus, I believe that you died for me. I admit that I have sinned and cannot save myself. Please forgive me of my sin. Help me to turn from my sin and follow you. Amen."

Copyright 2004 S. A. Keith

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