So, here’s a huge illustration I’m working on and I’m still not 100% sure on what direction I should go. So, please send me some of your ideas. Let me give you the premise.
One of the major themes for camp is about being a misfit. When we “Chase the Light” and follow Jesus, we’re going to be seen as a misfit. The world around us isn’t going to understand or see why we’re doing the things we do. So, we’re playing with the different perspectives of being a misfit.
The initial thought I had was to have a container of tennis balls and another container of ping pong balls… or something else that is even more different than the tennis balls. I was going to illustrate how to the tennis balls, another tennis ball seems normal and acceptable. To the ping pong balls, another ping pong ball seems normal and acceptable. Nothing out of the ordinary. However, if I were to put a ping pong ball in with the tennis ball, the ping pong ball becomes the misfit. It becomes the strange and different item in the batch. In a ways, that is what we are when we follow Christ. We don’t completely fit with the world around us and although media, peer pressure and other factors will push us to conform and become more like the “tennis balls” we have to remember that:
- God is calling us to be different. He knows that we’re a misfit and we’re to chase after him in a world of others that don’t always chase after him
- Being a misfit is only a matter of perspective. The ping pong ball isn’t a misfit with all the other ping pong balls. Even though the ping pong ball is a misfit with the tennis balls, it shouldn’t forget it’s identity as a ping pong ball. It has a home, it has a fit and has an identity and one day will no longer be a misfit.
So, I feel pretty okay about this illustration and that it would work; however, I feel I can illustrate the same thing but take it even a bit further. It’s undeveloped and needs some work. Here is what I’m thinking:
I take some common objects (maybe metal) that I haven’t determined yet and while I’m talking to the kids, I pull out a hammer and start denting, breaking, and deforming these objects. I can talk about how this is a picture of who we are. God created us good and perfect and whole… but our sin and fallen state has broken us. We’re very far from what God intended us to be. However, when we decide to Chase the Light, to run after Jesus, he actually makes us whole again. I can replace Â one of the broken objects with an untouched and unbroken object. I’ll set theÂ ridiculousÂ scene of how in a huge batch of broken objects, being broken is considered normal and acceptable. The whole and perfect object is the misfit. It doesn’t fit. The other objects won’t understand the whole object. In our lives, when we chase after Jesus, we’ve people who have been made whole living in a world of broken people. Many of them will look at us with contempt. They may make fun of us because we’reÂ different. They may label us as a misfit because we’re different… which isÂ ridiculousÂ because in reality, they are the ones that are broken.
I like this illustration because it’s not so randome as tennis balls and ping pong balls, but very much attached to the human condition. At the very end of the talk, I’m going to speak to the person who has made fun of other kids. I’m going to hold up the broken object and point out theÂ ridiculousnessÂ of that situation, that what is truly happening is that something (or someone) who is broken and deformed is poking fun at something or someone else. All in all, it sets the stage of the messages we’ll be leading into during the week of being made whole and becoming a misfit.
So, I just don’t know what these objects should be? What would communicate well? Maybe it can be something that is common, it just needs to be easily broken, dented and deformed. Do you have any other thoughts or points I might need to draw some attention to?
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Quick thought. What about mashing up a watermelon? Not full on dropped-from-the-top-of-a-building destruction, but hammer holes and maybe a smashed up end?
If you want to go with metal objects that are a little cheaper, you could use some aluminum cans (I’m thinking soup cans, but soda cans could work too).
Not sure how big the stage is, but big metal trash cans beaten with a sledge hammer would play big too.
A+ I can see several ways to go with the bottom line of the pingpong/tennis ball illustration.
Thanks for sharing, Kenny.
Yeah, the stage is pretty big. So, big objects are good… but I still need to keep money in mind too. I thought of aluminum cans already… I’m just thinking that there’s something else I can use that’s ordinary perhaps that more intriguing that a can… or more fun to disfigure.
What about using hollow chocolate? You can break it, then use heat to melt it, representing how coming into contact with Jesus changes us. The chocolate can then be poured into a mold and reshaped, either into the same shape as it was or a new shape to represent becoming a new creation in Christ. Have an already-hardened chocolate in the same kind of mold as you use to pour the liquid chocolate into. Pull out the new, reshaped chocolate and ta-da! You can use two different shapes of chocolate to illustrate the misfit concept. All the supplies can be purchased cheaply from a store like Michael’s, and best of all, the kids can eat it afterwards!
I like the chocolate idea. Actually it’s really creative. I think it might work best in a smaller setting…. where you could gather the kids around where they could see better. There will be 400-600 kids in the room, so I’m looking for something a little larger than life…. something that will translate well when looking on from 40-50 feet away.
Know anyone with an old car they’re willing to donate to the cause? 😉
How about the local auto junkyard, maybe buy a couple used car doors. It would be big enough to provide the scale you need and not a small object lesson that only a few kids can see. Or the metal sheeting at Home Depot… it bends and twists and doesn’t break the bank.
I know cost is a factor, but what if you could get some people to donate some old bikes. I know I have three you could have if you were closer, so maybe there are people near you who’d have some. You could even ride one with a bent tire to show the ridiculousness of it.
I also thought of trying to get some old tvs that you could bust up, but that may be harder to obtain.
You might be able to find a junkyard that would be willing to let you borrow a junked car for a camp and maybe even transport it for you…
Hey…what about glass (like stained glass)? I understand you would have to be careful with safety and stuff (but same goes for most of these ideas) …you could go to goodwill get old colored glass jars, plates, etc…break them …they are all broken/we are all broken,stained, and out of place. We are no longer whole, but we are put together to create a beautiful picture …a mosaic…a stained glass image. (You could talk about how together we are the body and create an beautiful window or leave it as an individual) You could pull up some pictures of stained glass or actually do it. You could even talk about how you can only see the true beauty of a stained glass window when the “light” shines through…
Heyâ€¦what about glass (like stained glass)? I understand you would have to be careful with safety and stuff (but same goes for most of these ideas) â€¦you could go to goodwill get old colored glass jars, plates, etcâ€¦break them â€¦they are all broken/we are all broken,stained, and out of place. We are no longer whole, but we are put together to create a beautiful picture â€¦a mosaicâ€¦a stained glass image. (You could talk about how together we are the body and create an beautiful window or leave it as an individual) You could pull up some pictures of stained glass or actually do it. You could even talk about how you can only see the true beauty of a stained glass window when the â€œlightâ€ shines throughâ€¦