Okay, I feel really needy right now. I’m finalizing the last few messages for camp which is coming up in July. One of the messages that I’m really looking forward to is answering the question: Who is Jesus? In the morning we’re looking at Nicodemus who sought out to understand who Jesus really was, so that evening I’m comprehensively explaining who Jesus is. It should be a lot of fun. This is an important message because so many kids follow Jesus early because it’s all they know. Parents, Church, Sunday School and all the other GREAT influences point them to Jesus, so they do. However, at some point a child who comes to faith really early has to transition to where their faith truly becomes their own. They have to understand how Jesus was the plan for redemption. Many 7 year olds can tell you that Jesus died for their sins because they’re repeating back something they’ve heard for years. It’s important that kids truly understand why Jesus HAD to die for their sins.
So, I do have a part of my talk that is very information heavy. Alone, it could be too much. So, I thought I’d pace it using a technique I learned form Aaron Reynold’s “Fabulous Reinvention of Sunday School.” I plan to have 5 podiums on stage with an object on each one… covered by a cloth. Each object will represent a point. They can identify the points to the objects, but it also creates anticipation as they’re anxious to see what I uncover next. This way a 7-10 minute narrative will be more engaging and possibly memorable. So, this is where I need help. I need help coming up with two or three objects. Let me show you what I’ve got and what I’m looking for:
Defining God: (Dictionary) I would begin by defining God as 3 in 1. How Jesus has existed eternally as the son, but was sent to the world to be born as a baby boy. We picked a dictionary because we’re “defining” God and I think it works, but I’d love to find an object that would maybe illustrate the trinity… but that’s probably the age old question, isn’t it. Don’t anyone say “and egg.” Ha!
Friendship: (_______) God created mankind for a relationship. A relationship with God is what drives everything. At this point I don’t know what object would best describe “friendship” or a “relationship.” Initially I thought that a ring might do that, but that’s not something that kids will identify with as much.
The Fall: (Apple) This one is easy. The apple clearly represents mankind’s choice toÂ disobeyÂ and fall from grace. Most kids easily identify with this.
Forgiveness: (a lamb) I would introduce God’s plan for substitution, allowing the sacrifice of an animal to cover our sins. I’ll introduce that it’s a temporary system and one that isn’t complete. I’ll use plenty of foreshadowing that points to Christ as the perfect lamb.
Christ’s Sacrifice: (a spike) I’d wrap up with the explanation that Jesus was God’s perfect solution to the problem with sin. That Christ’s perfect sacrifice would restore the relationship with the God of the universe.
So, those are my 5 illustrations to pace my talk. So, do you have any suggestions for the first one, defining God? Anything better than a dictionary? Is a dictionary relevant? Is there something that would represent God better? Lastly, I need a good object that represents friendship. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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I remember reading about that technique and thinking it would work well. I find the best illustration for the trinity is a triangle. You could always just use a Bible to define God. It does tell us all the He has chosen to reveal about himself. As for friendship, what about one of the those friendship bracelets or one of those best friends lockets that splits into two pieces?
what about a sign that has “BFF” on it, or perhaps an extra large note with the words “BFF” on it. After all- doesn’t Jesus want to be our best friend?
Trinity…hmmm….still thinking on that one.
okay only kidding.
I would say a friendship bracelet. Kids still make those at camp.
What if for friendship (or even the trinity) you used a thick braided rope?
It could be just long enough to hold in your two hands and thick enough (like a tug-o-war rope) to see from stage. You could unravel it as you are talking about it.
If you used it for friendship, you could even quote Ecc. 4:9-12.
Or you could use it for the trinity to, since it is a thick rope and it is three strands braided into one and each strand is part of the whole rope and makes the other other strands stronger.
My first thought for friendship was a magnet. Webster’s defines a “friend” as “one attached to another by affection or esteem”. Just like your love for puppets has attached you and Jonathan Cliff.
The best illustration I’ve seen of the Trinity was a camp stove and ice. You heat up the camp stove put in the ice as it turns to water and then steam you have all three elements present at the same time. Is it solid, liquid or gas…..its all three just like the Trinity. They each have unique properties and qualities.