I’ve recently decided (after years of presenting Biblical Truths to children) that learning to present an object lesson effectively is one of the “Great Equalizers” in presentation-based children’s ministries. (One of the other ones is: effective storytelling… but, that’s for another post).
I love puppetry, ventriloquism, magic tricks, juggling, cartooning, crazy characters, etc.
If you want to learn more about a great organization that promotes and trains people to do those things, go to FCM.org
To find resources related to using magic tricks, try my resources at jamiedoylemagic.com
However, I’ve also come to realize that not every presenter at our various church locations has an interest in pursuing these various illustrative methods. But, if they can learn to effectively present an object lesson, they will elevate the experience for the children in the audience.
With that said, here are a few things YOU can do to help you better present an object lesson:
- KNOW WHAT you are going to say: Script it out… even just bullet points
- DO something with the Object/Prop —OR— Demonstrate what it does
- INVITE a volunteer or volunteers to use the Object/Prop if it’s appropriate
- Have a PLACE it starts so it’s hidden to begin with – This creates surprise
- Have a PLACE it goes to once you’re done – Sometimes its goes back to being hidden and sometimes it stays on display so you can refer back to it
- SIZE and COLOR… Make sure it can be seen and understood when viewed
- MUSIC in the background can help carry the message and create atmosphere
So… what else would you add to this list?
You are a creative person – that’s how God made you. Put it to work as you consider the resources you already have on hand for little to no money. You’ll be surprised how much God has already blessed you with if you’ll just do a little extra work, investigation and have enough humility to ASK. Here you go:
- The church craft/supply closet
- The internet
- The church kitchen
- Your garage
- Free stuff on craigslist
- Relationships with other KidMins
- Your own children’s toy-boxes and closets
- The local library
- That retired Sunday School teacher in your church
- Your external hard-drive and/or the hard-drive on your computer
- Local businesses (They’re always giving stuff away)
- Business owners in your church (They’re looking for a tax write-off)
- Family members
For a little cash:
- Garage sale
- Salvation Army
- Pawn shops
- Second hand stores
- The internet
- Surplus stores
- Going out of business sales (everything from their merchandise to the store fixtures)
- Churches closing (sad but true)
- The dollar sections and clearance sections of larger retail/dept. stores
Fine Tune Your Ability to Create the Experiences
Whether you choose to use Gospel Magic or not, there are some things you should be doing in any creative presentation method that will help you to create an experience with your class or audience:
As you tweak your routines or put the finishing touches on a prop; ask yourself:
- How am I creating an experience for my audience?
- What else can I do to add that little extra ‘whoa’ in the moments that I’m with them?
- What will these kids talk about when they leave?
- What am I doing to advance my skills as a performer/presenter and ‘experience creator’ so my program stands out? And not just from others… but, from the last ‘experience’?
Be Willing To Face Evaluation From Others
These are vital questions – and they need to be answered if you plan on succeeding as a performer/presenter. No question about it, you’re going to have to subject yourself to criticism and evaluation. Find a coach or several coaches whom you will allow to freely comment on your presentation. Record yourself on video and invite those who are already successful in the realm of children’s ministry presentation to view your presentation(s)… they can help you. Invite also, those who are trained and seasoned in drama and theater to view your presentations and get their insight.
You Have The Potential To Be Amazing
If you love what you do… kids will love you, you will feel very fulfilled at what you’re doing. Put that all together and you’ll be at your best as a presenter. And when you’re at your best – it will show up in your presentations- therefore, it will help you to create a stronger experience.
That’s right, I’m having a ONE day sale starting TODAY – Friday, November 19, 2010.
Here’s the deal. You’ll get 7 of my ebooks for only $14.00. READ THAT AGAIN!
If you were to buy these seperately from my online bookstore, you’d pay $50.00
Why in the world would I do this? I’m a generous guy I guess… but here’s the deal: The sale ends at midnight tonight (Mountain Standard Time -USA)
The Titles include:
- Adding Flash To Your Lessons Vol. 1 & 2
- Incredible Object Lesons
- MORE Incredible Object Lessons
- EVEN MORE Incredible Object Lessons
- Teaching Kids To Give Vol. 1
- Teaching Kids To Give Vol. 2
So, here’s what you need to do.
- Use paypal.com and send $14.00 (USD) to the e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
- In the “E-mail the Recipient ” section, put ebook deal in the Subject Line
- Put your e-mail address in the Message field
- When I see you’re funds have been sent, I’ll send you an e-mail with a link along with a password to download each book. (once you reeceive the link and password, you’ll have until Thanksgiving to download the books. After that, the links will be inactive)
You can go to my online bookstore to read descriptions and even see samples of each book – BUT REMEMBER – this deal is NOT AVAILABLE at my online bookstore.
Stop Using that Rubber Chicken!
These kids are bored, sometimes, because, they keep seeing the same props over and over and over again. Sure, you bought that rubber chicken because you knew the kids would laugh when you pulled it out of your briefcase. And I commed you. Every #kidmin leader needs a rubber chicken! But ever since, that thing had shown up every time you need to illustrate the concept of fear, or anytime a character needed a funny prop to display. Maybe for you, it’s not a rubber chicken. Maybe its a flaming Bible, a fake brain, a decorated gift box or any other oddity or novelty item that has adorned your children’s ministry supply closet.
It seems easy to pull these props – it’s our default setting. “I need something extra here… hmm… ah ha! I’ll use this pair of jumbo sunglasses!” But are your kids seeing those jumbo sunglasses too often? Are kids already anticipating what your are going to use to illustrate a point? When you pull out that prop, are they saying “Oh, that again…”?
Look over your service planning sheets for the last year and count the number of times your commonly used props have been used. Is it time to store that away? Give it away? THROW IT AWAY?
I’m preaching to my self here, I know. But let’s all take stock of what we have. Be a good steward of it. Evaluate. Make changes.
Yes my #kidmin friends, it’s true: I have posted a free Easter object lesson over at the online bookstore. It’s a chemical-science-amazing-fun kinda thing. The lesson is from my book “More Incredible Object Lessons”. And all I am asking is that you take the free lesson and consider purchasing something else at the bookstore. Are you assuming that this is a shameless plug for my resources? Yes! It’s a shameless plug for my resources. I don’t do it very often – this is why I feel no shame.
You can get to the online bookstore here – thanks for your support!