Fishing for Christ Visuals, Day Two

Here are the visuals for The Sign of Jonah. Some of them can also be used for the corresponding preschool lesson, Jonah: Obey God.

Fleeing to Tarshish


Lightening the Ship

Throwing Jonah Overboard

Big Fish


These visuals were contributed by Mary Beth Frey.

Fishing for Christ Snacks, Day 3: Fish Sticks

Wednesday: Snack
Elementary Bible Lesson: Raised from the Dead
Memory Verse: 1st John 4:10
Preschool Bible Lesson: Feeding the Big Crowd
Key Item: Fish Sticks
Fish sticks are easy to prepare and (at least theoretically) made out of fish. We provided ketchup and tartar sauce for dipping.
Snack Lesson:
[Hold up a fish stick.] What is this that we're eating?
Can you think of any times in the Bible when anybody ate fish? Did Jesus ever eat fish?
In the Bible lesson today, we're going to learn about a time when Jesus at fish, not because he was hungry, but because he wanted his disciples to see him eat and know he was really there.
Additional Snack Items (optional):
To make the snack more substantial, we served applesauce and homemade cookies alongside the fish sticks. We also provided Kool-Aid to drink.

Fishing for Christ Snack Lesson: Day Two: Whale Cookies

Tuesday: Snack
Elementary Bible Lesson: The Sign of Jonah: Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sin.
Memory Verse: Romans 6:23
Preschool Bible Lesson: Jonah: Obey God
Key Item: whale[1] cookies
Serve cut-out cookies shaped like whales or fish.
Snack Lesson:
[Hold up a cookie.] What shape is this?
Can anyone think of an account from the Bible that involves a whale, or some other really big fish? One bigger than a person? Perhaps even a fish big enough to swallow someone?
In the Bible lesson today, we're going to learn about a man named Jonah, who was swallowed by a large fish and was inside it for three days and three nights.
Additional Snack Items (optional):
To make the snack more substantial, we served tuna salad sandwiches and carrot sticks alongside the cookies. We also provided Kool-Aid to drink.

  1. [1]: Is a whale a fish?

    In Bible times, yes, the word that we translate fish could refer to pretty much any animal that swims in water. The notion that the word fish should be used only for the ones with gills (and that whales and dolphins are not fish but mammals because they breathe air from the surface) is a modern idea. By the time this modern classification scheme was invented, there were already a number of translations of the Bible into English, all of which had used the word fish in the traditional way[2][3][4][5][6].

    Most modern translators continue to use the word fish, mostly because English doesn't really have another common, well-known word for anything that swims in the water.

    We don't know for sure whether the fish described in the book of Jonah was a whale. There are several other kinds of large fish that it potentially might have been; but traditional Bible scholars generally consider a whale (probably a baleen whale) to be the most likely (unless it was a special one-of-a-kind fish directly created by God just for Jonah).

    For Bible School purposes, we just use the words fish and whale interchangeably, and we used whatever cookie cutters were handy: some of our cookies looked like (cartoon) whales and others looked more like some other kind of fish. This difference is not important. The word used in Jonah (Hebrew: דָּג) can refer to either a whale or some other kind of fish. (The word in Matthew, κη̑τος, is somewhat more specific: it refers to something monstrous that lives in the sea. This could include whales, very large fish, and various other real or imagined sea monsters.) We aren't told which specific kind of sea creature it was, because that doesn't matter. Whatever it was, it was large enough to open up its mouth and take in a man whole.

Fishing for Christ Snack Lesson: Day One: Chocolate Coins

Monday: Snack
Elementary Bible Lesson: The Fish with the Coin: Jesus is God
Memory Verse: Matthew 16:16
Preschool Bible Lesson: The Coin in the Fish's Mouth
Key Item: Chocolate Coins
Chocolate coins can be purchased at most large grocery stores and from many other sources. We got enough to give each child a couple of coins with their snack.
Snack Lesson:
[Hold up a chocolate coin.] What's this? Well, I mean, it's chocolate obviously, but what's it made to look like?
Where do you usually find money? At the bank, maybe? In a piggy bank, or safe?
Have you ever been fishing? Did you ever catch a fish? When you catch a fish, does it usually have money?
In the Bible lesson today, we're going to learn about a time when a man named Peter caught a fish and found a coin in it's mouth. That may sound unusual, but it wasn't surprising for Peter, because the coin was right where Jesus told Peter the it would be.
Additional Snack Items (optional):
To make the snack more substantial, we served spaghetti and fresh fruit alongside the chocolate coins. We also provided Kool-Aid to drink.

Fishing for Christ Visuals - Day 1

These are the visuals for The Fish with the Coin (and also for the corresponding Preschool lesson).

Peter and the Tax Man

Peter and Jesus

Peter Fishing

Peter Finding the Coin

Peter Paying the Tax

Eating Grain

Accused of Working

These visuals were contributed by Mary Beth Frey.

Soldiers of God Decorations Photos Part Five

Continued from part 4

Up in the auditorium, where the elementary group has their Bible lessons, we put up the armor of God posters. We also put up this big wooden shield one of the women in the church found at a garage sale, a couple of weeks before we started decorating. (I think she said she paid a dollar for it, something like that. The smaller piece on the wall in the teen room came from the same source, as I understand it.) We chose this spot for the big wooden shield partly because this was a good place to put it up high, where nobody was likely to knock it down on someone. Also, there was already a nail there.

As usual, we also put up the flags for our missions-field countries. (Next year, we hope to add a new one.)

Soldiers of God Decoration Photos Part Four

Back to Part Three

For the preschool bulletin board, we did representation of the five items from the Shapes Lessons.

We also put some soldier-related posters on the preschool-room walls...

And on the door.

Soldiers of God Decoration Photos Part Three

Back to Part Two

We put these two posters on the walls in the teen room.

We also hung this item in there, up near the ceiling. we were a bit careful where we put this one. Those aren't real weapons on it, and they aren't actually sharp or heavy, but we still didn't want any children swinging them around hitting people in the face with them. One of our Bible School workers found this item at a garage sale, along with a much larger one that we hung in the auditorium. (I'll include a photo of that one in another post.)
If you can ignore the workday mess for a moment, you'll see here a foam sword, shield, and helmet hanging from the ceiling.

Soldiers of God Decoration Photos Part Two

Back to Part One

We put these two in the stairwell...

These two in the hallway...

These two at the end of the hallway, and this other one over on the other side of the kitchen serving window. (At this point you may be noticing some power tools and other things that seem out of place for a Vacation Bible School. There's a perfectly reasonable explanation for this. As we were decorating, some of the men in the church were also holding a workday, doing maintenance and improvements to the building that aren't directly related to VBS. Those things were picked up before Bible School actually started.)

Continued in Part Three