On the Farm

On the Farm: Growing with God
is a downloadable Vacation Bible School program that uses an organizational structure and learning approach that enhances successful worker enlistment; provides flexible program options; and, offers quality creative teaching approaches. The content and presentation of this VBS encourages a high degree of effective participation from learners of all ages.

New in On the Farm are promotional helps. Getting the word out for a VBS is tough work, and important for the effectiveness of the week. We include a set of colorful promotional materials. Also, On the Farm Set includes information, and some samples, of additional items you can order to enhance the week. Plus, there’s a special link below where you can download color logos and other promotional helps for free!

Order On the Farm: Download

Look at What’s Included!

  • Administrative Guide
  • Bible Activities Teaching Guide (only available digitally)*
  • Music Activities, Recreation & Snacks
  • Projects Teaching Guide
  • Story Time Teaching Guide
  • Preschool Teaching Guide
  • Full Color Poster (large)
  • Promotional helps pak

On the Farm: Growing With God Set only $50 per set.

What is Taught On the Farm?

Helping Children Grow With God

Growth is a natural and expected part of childhood. In fact, growth is a part of all life. While children may be accustomed to thinking about their growth, they may not have thought about God’s role in their growing, and the ways God desires for them to grow.

The apostle Paul pointed to those qualities that encourage growth in Galatians 5:22-23. In those verses Paul describes the “fruit of the Spirit.” Love, kindness, patience, generosity and faithfulness are all necessary ingredients needed if children are to grow in healthy ways. We see these traits within healthy families, and we see them on growing farms.

The theme of On the Farm: Growing with God is based on the fruits of the Spirit from Galatians 5. Each day of On the Farm explores a Bible story that highlights or demonstrates one of the fruits of the Spirit. Following is an outline of the scriptures studied for each day of On the Farm:

On the Farm uses a family farm theme to help children see the natural way in which God helps them grow. Just as farm hands work together to help plants and animals grow, children can be active partners with God in nurturing growth in themselves and others. The theme also adds an element of fun and excitement to the focus-and may help attract children who might not otherwise attend. The farming theme helps celebrate the skills and efforts of church members who actually work on farms-and leads children to see their value. Enjoy the theme, and know that the fun the children have playing farm hands will help them be better partners in their lifelong journey of growth with God.

What is On the Farm: Growing with God?

On the Farm will follow the same structure and approach as our previous VBS materials.

Smyth & Helwys Publishing has also published Celebrate Freedom and Under Construction: A Habitat for Humanity VBS. The format used in these programs won praise from churches. Some of the reasons churches liked these VBS programs were: the ease of enlistment, the ability of teachers to specialize, the flexible schedule options, and the fun of learning which the children expressed.

Our format for Vacation Bible School materials includes an administrative guide, and teachers books for these areas: Bible Activities, Story Time, Crafts, and Snacks and Recreation. Each of the 5 days has a theme which relates to the overall direction of the VBS. All teaching guides include the same bible background for teachers. Teachers are enlisted to teach one area, and the children rotate through the areas according to the schedule chosen. Day and evening schedules are included, along with other options.

A motif is part of each VBS. For example, Under Construction used a construction site motif. Children learned that building God’s community requires effort and teamwork, just like a building crew. On the Farm will use a farming motif to help participants consider healthy ways to encourage growth.

There are some VBS programs on the market which offer an interesting motif, but sometimes the Bible study is sacrificed for the motif. We avoid that problem by first selecting the theological direction of the VBS (discipleship, missions, Christian community, etc.). Next, we choose passages from scripture which inform that theological direction. The motif, which adds a “fun” element for the children, is chosen last. It must support the theological direction which is at the core of the VBS. In this way, we are able to provide the theological focus and biblical depth churches want, while also offering the “fun” motif which attracts and keeps the attention of children.

Purpose of On the Farm: Growing with God

The purpose of On the Farm: Growing with God is to create an environment that will provide children an opportunity to experience and exercise qualities important for growth in faith in God.

Program Overview

On the Farm is a Christian education resource in which children learn about Christian growth through a farming theme. The church is transformed into a family farm, in which children assume the role of farm hands and are gathered into groups by age.

Children are formed into groups which remain together during the week. These groups of children, usually assembled by age group, rotate from one area of the farm to another, learning about growing with God.

With each group of farm hands, there is at least one appointed adult who rotates with the children. This person is called a Farmer. Groups should include no more than 20 children.

Children begin each day in a central location for the Roundup. During this community time, the Bible story is presented by a storyteller. From here, children begin rotating between parts of the farm. These Farming areas include:

Bible Activities-Farmers Almanac
Story Time-Shade Tree
Recreation and Refreshments-County Fair
Project Arts/Crafts-Barn Raising

On the Farm is structured for a three-hour time period each day. It is suggested that farming areas last 35 minutes each, including a 5-minute transition time during which the groups rotate between areas. You can make On the Farm meet your church’s scheduling needs by variating the time spent in each farming area or eliminating certain farming areas.

Each of the teachers uses a teaching guide which includes the Bible study for teachers as well as instuctions for the daily activities in their area. (The Recreation & Refreshments leaders need a copy of the County Fair teaching guide).The activities are age-graded, as needed, within each book, so teachers can customize their approach for each group as it rotates into their area. Plenty of options are provided for each day’s activities.

To help create a farm setting, the VBS leadership is encouraged dress as farm wranglers. The promotion pak also includes patterns which can be used for making t-shirts for the week.
On the Farm makes enlistment of teachers easier. Because children rotate from area to area, Wranglers need to prepare in only one area (Bible activities, recreation, crafts, etc.).

On the Farm Promotional Helps

The Administrative Guide which comes with the On the Farm Set offers a host of promotional ideas, and the included promotional pak provides a full color poster, reproducible flyers, logos, an adaptable press release, and t-shirt silk-screening separations.

Computer users may prefer digital files for some of these promotional items, so you can include logos in newsletters, or create your own promotional items.

Download Supplies

Daily Scriptures and Themes

On the Farm: Growing with God

To help children experience the fruits of the Spirit
(Galatians 5:22-23)

Learning Motif:
A family farm

Day One
(1 Sam 20:12ff)

Jonathan showed David the kind of love that is willing to sacrifice for a friend.

Day Two

Paul sought peace in a situation that could have been destructive.

Day Three
(Luke 8:4-9, 15)

The parable of the seed and the sower teaches us about patience.

Day Four
(Ruth 2)

Ruth was treated with generosity when she was in need.

Day Five
(Daniel 3:1-30)

Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego’s faithfulness to God was greater than their loyalty to the king.