Children Desiring God VBS Curriculum

Here is one more VBS theme option for you to think about. It’s the Children Desiring God VBS Curriculum, published by John Piper’s church. If you have used their material, please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Vacation Bible School has sure changed a lot since I was a child; that’s right, I attended VBS in the days when we had simple snacks of juice and cookies, listened to Bible stories, memorized substantial Scripture passages and used gold spray paint to finish out our macaroni shell and dried-bean-covered paper plates. And we loved it!

But congregations still exist out there who welcome a more simple approach to VBS. I don’t think it’s impossible to attract children to a well-run and managed VBS that is put on in a low-key and undramatic fashion. Children respond to love, good stories and games and crafts just as they always have. And I love the idea of being able to focus more on, well, on the Bible in a less distracted setting.

Is Children Desiring God VBS Right For You?

It won’t be for everyone, but the VBS curriculum from Children Desiring God offers a great alternative to some of the other programs being used. The CDG VBS is also perfect for doing backyard Bible club in the neighborhoods of your city.  Here are some ways to tell if this approach and this curriculum could work for you.

1. You’re looking for a VBS start-up that is relatively inexpensive.

A teacher’s kit is $60.00, and includes 5 duplicate sets of lessons, one student project book (additional ones are 5 for $9.75), a CD with PDF’s of color visuals and activity pages, and other resources. A 35-page color resource packet printed on cardstock is $20.00. In all, the total start-up cost for teaching materials for a VBS of 60 children would be around $197.00.

2. You’re looking to go a little deeper at VBS.

The folks at Children Desiring God are known for their solid and engaging children’s curriculum. Serious does not equal boring, of course, and their material is anything but that! I’ve always found children, both my own and the ones I teach at church, to be very responsive to their approach.

3. You’re willing and able to come up with your own craft ideas, games, puppet shows/skits, etc.

Those elements are left up to each church in their VBS curriculum. For some churches this wouldn’t pose a big problem; some may have to dig a bit deeper into their creative sides! You know, kids really don’t have to have the big productions we sometimes think they do. And some kids appreciate a more laid-back atmosphere. Another option: call what you’re offering a “Backyard Bible Club.” That may deflect expectations of a more slick production.

4. You want a solidly evangelistic opportunity from your VBS.

Not that other programs don’t provide that, but CDG, you’ll find, is quite intentional and winsome in their evangelical approach, both to the children in your VBS and to their parents. Lesson plans include helpful suggestions on reaching and teaching unchurched children and their parents.

If you’re interested, you can check out all four Children Desiring God’s VBS programs here. And remember, you can also use this curriculum as a Backyard Bible Study in the Fall, or even in your neighborhood. I’m happy to recommend it as a relatively low-key but very effective resource for reaching children’s and parents’ hearts for with the love and truth of Jesus.


  1. Oge says

    Hello Heather, I would really appreciate some ideas to go along with “Hidden things” curriculum as we will be using same this year. Thank You.

  2. Jennifer Newby says

    Our church is using Hidden Things, and we are looking for a skit…would you care to email me the one you used? Thanks so much!!!

  3. Kendall Harris says


    I know it has been a long time since you posted this but If you still have that skit that you wrote for the “God Always Wins” series I would love to get that from you! I am just not creative enough to do that on my own!

    Thank you so much!

  4. Stephanie says

    We are using this curriculum for the second time. The last one we did a few years ago, we came up with our own puppet skits, crafts, and games, and snack ideas, and it worked out fine (it was Wisdom Calls Aloud). I loved the theme on that one. Our pastor does the Bible teaching part, and he uses the general ideas, but doesn’t go word for word with what they have. What they actually have for the Bible teaching always looks kind of boring to me and a bit long and complicated(using a number of different Bible stories/verses from all over to make their point) but their basic outline and points are great, and they did have some little game ideas and other things that were helpful for talking with the kids about it at our end of the VBS day chat before they left. It works for us because we are small, and have people who aren’t afraid to come up with their own ideas to work with it. We are doing “Things Hidden” this year. Noticing that a lot of their little “extra” ideas are pretty much the same as the ones that they had for the other VBS that we did from them.

  5. Paige itchell says

    We are using Things Hidden for the first time as well. We are meeting this week. I ‘m sure everyone has come up with a lot of interesting crafts, games, etc. I’ll be happy to share as soon as I can!

  6. Paige itchell says

    My church is using “Things Hidden” for the first time this July. We are going to use the mystery/Sherlock Holms/Clue sort of theme. We haven’t had trouble coming up with crafts or gmaes, but we want to write skits also. If anyone has skits that go with this theme, please email me! THANK YOU!

  7. Penny Gentile says

    I am going to use the Things Hidden for our VBS at church this year and any examples of crafts of activities even games would be wonderful. Thanks!!

  8. Kelly Smith says


    I know this is a VERY old post, but our church is considering using the “God Always Wins” curriculum for VBS this summer. Do you still have ideas handy for decorations, games, crafts, and/or music?

    I hope to hear from you or someone else…

  9. Laura says

    Heather (and others),
    I am planning to use the Things Hidden curriculum for our Backyard Bible clubs this summer, and I would love some ideas on supplemental crafts, games, snacks, etc. that work well with this! Please e-mail me anything you have on it. Thanks!

  10. Brian Hammonds says

    Heather (or others),

    Our church is looking at doing the “Things Hidden” VBS this year, and have never used a CDG curriculum before. If you have anything as far as ideas or resources to go along with “Things Hidden” I’d love to hear about them!

  11. Becky says

    Heather (and any others),
    We are using this curriculum for our kids kamp this summer. I am specifically looking for some craft ideas and would LOVE your input. Would you email me some decoration and craft ideas?! Please..and thank you :)

  12. says

    We are also using the “God Always Wins” material and would appreciate any ideas about crafts and games that you could send my way. Thanks.

  13. Cathleen says

    Hello everyone! We too are very interested in the Children Desiring God VBS. It has never been used at our church. I would appreciate any suggestions on which one to begin with and if any music is available or songs that can be used to reinforce the lesson. The teachers, parents, and especially the kids really enjoy having the music to help keep the Scripture or lesson in their hearts and minds.

  14. Gloria says

    We have used Things Hidden and God Always Wins. So much deeper and God-centered than other curriculum out there. Not as slick, but the children and teachers were blessed. The latter is definitely more clear for younger children. For God Always Wins we made a trophy case, had lots of game activities which fit with the theme (e.g.obstacle course). For Things Hidden we did a scavenger hunt which the kids really enjoyed.

  15. dawn hancock says

    We are using God Always Wins curriculum this year for the first time. We are writing a skit to go with it. did you have a closing program for the parents? We are using sports as the theme. What kind of games and such did you do? What did you do with yours?

  16. Rachel says

    Heather – I would love ideas for God Always Wins. We are starting to plan for our BYBC in June ’10. Thanks!

  17. Sherry says


    We would welcome any ideas for “God Always Wins”. We are looking at this for 2010. Thank you.

  18. Tammie Crowgey says

    Heather, I would love to hear some of your ideas on the theme of “Hidden Things.” We have never used this curriculum but we have gone through some of John Pipers other studies. I am not very creative so I need all the help I can get from others. Thank you so much for your willingness to share with others.
    Tammie Crowgey

  19. Charla says


    We are planning on using God always wins for our 2010 VBS. I would appreciate any ideas you have, especially for skits!!!

  20. Megan says

    Heather-We are looking at both of these as the theme for our summer 2010 vbs. I’d love to know your ideas for them both. Skits, crafts, music, ect……. Thanks so much for any input. You can e-mail me at this e-mail address. Thank you—Megan

  21. says

    Thanks for letting me know. It looks like they’ve moves some things around on their site. I’m updating the link in our post.

  22. Jess says

    Tony, the link to “all four Children Desiring God programs” doesn’t seem to work. I got to the Children Desiring God website and worked my way to the Backyard Bible School/VBS page. This is the link to that page …

  23. says

    Thanks for the feedback. In my church we’ve used some of their Sunday School Curriculum, but I could imagine using one of these for a Bible Club.

  24. Heather says

    YES!! This is GREAT curriculum! We used their stuff last year for VBS and will be using it this year as well. Our team of leaders had so much fun coming up with ideas to go along with this God-centered curriculum. We designed a theme around them for decorations, games, crafts, music, and this year we even wrote a skit to go along with “Things Hidden”. If anyone needs ideas to go along with “God Always Wins” or “Things Hidden” let me know. I’d love to help.

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