For Sunday Schools
and for teens
I’ve hunted out crafts that use what most Sunday schools have on hand or can get easily:
Paper Plate Nativity
Good for anyone who can fingerpaint – if you’ve got a team or the time to cut and outline them before hand. Great for those who can be trusted with scissors; and prep free at that point!
Cardboard Roll Nativity
Printable characters you can wrap around toilet rolls or the tubes from inside your wrapping paper. Good for all those who can colour and glue under supervision.
Here’s a much craftier version – you could always steal some ideas to add to the printouts.
Nativity Story Stones
(I grew up near a beach and not the sandy kind – you may have less access to stones than I did) Good for small groups; older kids; and when you have time for creative play. A thin permanent pen sounds good for outlines but acrylic paint is fine for colours.
Did you know you can make acrylic paint by adding PVA to poster paint?!
Shadow Puppet Nativity
Great for teens. Maybe they’re too cool to get out and act but they can make these and perform to children or for the kids to perform this. You could even video it for use in a carol service.
Use your nativity crafts to retell the story or talk about the historical events. Here are some good questions to get that conversation started:
Where do we get our ideas of what these people look like from? How accurate do you think they are?
What mistakes/assumptions do you often get in a nativity set?
What’s the evidence that this actually happened? Can we believe in something with angels and a virgin birth?
How can we make our angels look like a person who has to start every conversation with ‘Do not be afraid’? What was scary about them?
When you hear this story every year what can you do to make it have an impact on your life?
Here’s a bonus nativity True or False Quiz to start break down assumptions your sunday schooler or youth may have. And I’ve written the answers for you too.
For Kids and Teens
and pointing people in the direction of Jesus
Scripts for Teens:
Don’t Miss Christmas
This comedy shows you all the nativity characters you never normally get to see; because they didn’t show up! The shepherd who’s just doing his job properly and the advisor worried about Herod’s temper if he goes. Can we spot ourselves in the mix?
An Unspecified Number of Wise Astronomers from Somewhere East Of Israel
For the pedantically accurate among you who find the inaccuracies of We Three Kings as annoying as the tune is festive!
Four scripts from the points of view of Mary’s mum, Joseph, one of Herod’s advisors and John the Baptist giving their thoughts on Christmas.
Scripts for kids
Angel Tours Nativity
Needs two grown up or confident teenagers to play the Archangels Michael and Gabriel who take us on a tour through the first Christmas – complete with songs!
This can be performed by just one person or by many – come up with actions to help tell the story of the world’s most unusual king.
From the rest of the internet
Not including the ones I’ve written (because obviously I’m biased)
Here are the gems I’ve uncovered:
Stories of the Saviour by Felicia Mollahan
A couple of presenters take us through the Old Testament and show us all the ways in which history looks forward to the coming of Jesus.
New Star by Sharon Kay Chatwell
A brand new star and the original Christmas star act as our guides to the events of Matthew and Luke with an obvious affection for all things sparkly.
God With Us A nativity play from Tearfund
It’s not often that traditional nativities catch my attention, this one did for its introduction that grounds the familiar story in the real world circumstances of the suffering and it’s flexibility with a script that caters for narrated action or line learning depending on what your performers can manage.
The Misunderstood Christmas by Marie Parker
Bumble your way through this funny nativity play.
In the Same Country by Trevor Fletcher
Enjoy this humorous take on what events might have looked like two millenia years ago if the angels had appeared to advertisers, lawyers and accountants.
The Nativity from John’s Gospel by Martin Dove
This script inspired by John chapter one includes Constantine and the council of Nicea, scientists and a grown up John the Baptist among its characters as well as the ones you’d expect in a nativity.
Christmas from the perspective of a Roman Soldier by Martin Dove
This nativity takes us all the way through to crucifixion and beyond through the eyes of a roman centurion.
Come back this Friday for my own Christmas drama offerings.
We’re nearly there
and I’m nearly ready
At last! Four advent scripts for four advent Sundays. Head on over and enjoy hearing from fictionalised (but I hope plausible) Biblical characters about some the events in the run up to Christmas. Joseph wonders how the start of his new family will play into the promise that God made to his ancestor King David. One of Herod’s advisors investigates rumours that the true king will come from Bethlehem. Elizabeth considers the strange circumstances that have led to her old age pregnancy and Mary’s mum shares the shame that her daughter’s pregnancy will bring on their family.
As I’ve been writing these I’ve been considering (with a lot of help from Tim Chester’s book One True Story) different perspectives on the story we all know and love. People weren’t expecting God to do what he did: to come into the world as a vulnerable baby, to be part of a human family with all its complications and challenges, to work miracles in ordinary and unimportant lives, to fulfil reams of OT prophecies yet not to act in the way we expect and people just weren’t ready for it.
Advent is a time to get ready then. I, with a lot of help, have completed my Christmas shopping, also bought presents for December family birthdays, visited and been visited by relatives and friends, wrapped presents and decorated the tree. I could consider myself ready for Christmas but there is much more to it than that.
I’m ready to celebrate but am I ready to embrace the fullness of God as a saviour, as a judge, as God with us? Am I ready for him to come again? Am I ready to admit where I fail to trust God in my life? Am I ready to admit where my understanding of God is wrong? Am I ready to change my life and my attitudes this Christmas?
I think, once again, I am going to need a lot of help with this. Thank God, then, that I have it!
Just in the nick of time
or was I aiming to post on the relevant day?
(It’s the first one.)
The script for Second Sunday is up and on the second Sunday of Advent. This one was a little harder to write as I didn’t get the inspiration I had with the others. It’s also been a busy week with people visiting, but I’ve definitely got inspired for the next one so see you on Tuesday as usual!
Just in time
Some stories for advent
I’m writing four scripts for advent one linked to each Sunday of advent. These are probably my favourite things to write: first person accounts. Just for a little while I get to imagine what it would have been like to be there, to see this, be visited by angels, to be waiting for the coming Saviour.
I ask myself how would I have reacted, as humble as Mary, as understanding as Joseph, as excited as Elizabeth or as doubtful as Zechariah, as scandalised as Mary’s mum, as scared as a shepherd or as scornful as Herod? These different reactions are great, we learn as much from the pharisees as we do from the disciples and they challenge us – which are we really more like? Plus it’s more fun to write as a bad guy!
Enjoy these and two more next week!
The Disorganised Sunday School Blog has a new thing
Can you spot it in the menu above?
Yes! We’ve added a brand new Youth Work section to the blog for all the Disorganised Youth Workers out there. If you’re a follower let your DYW know what’s coming and encourage them to subscribe so they don’t miss out.
It already includes our Narnia talks and a link to our Christmas Scripts (check them out if you haven’t already – it’s nearly upon us!) which work great for teenagers as well as younger actors. And starting next week will have a series on The Armour of God from Ephesians 6.
It’s that time of year again
(At least if you’re involved in planning)
The shops may still be packed full of pumpkins and cobwebs but we know that Christmas will be here sooner than you think. There are scripts to find, cast and rehearse. Costumes to make. Copious amount of chocolate coins to buy. Songs to choose. And a theme to link it too.
Let me make your life a little easier by pointing you in the direction of some excellent Christmas scripts. And a How to… full of acting tips.
That’s not all for Christmas but it’s a good start and I hope you find something useful!
Discover Jesus in the gospel of John through the eyes of the people he meets.
Explore the mystery of the Word becoming flesh through the eyes of the Shepherds and the Wise Men. This Christmassy session, based on John chapter 1, is a great kickstart to the gospel of John (although it borrows the people from Luke and Matthew) and is great for any time of the year.
Click here for games, songs, dramas, talks and more!
If you haven’t already, follow this blog and catch the rest of this series.
It’s nearly December!
Month of Carol services, mince pies and panic.
Here are some more ideas you can use in your Christmas preparations. These should take less time to prepare than the Christmas Scripts I posted two weeks ago.
Try going right back to the roots of Christmas with Nativities Straight from the Gospels. You can find Luke and Matthew’s version of events and I’ve even combined them if you want the full story. Perfect for accompanying a sermon on either of those passages.
For those of you with all the right costumes but none of the times here’s a suggested playlist to tell the Christmas Story through Songs. Obviously you can pick your own songs but this is a nice starting point.
And now for something a bit different: less traditional and with a strong Christmas message this script is super flexible. Christmas King can be performed by any number of people, kids and adults alike. It can be read, memorised or performed with simple actions to accompany the lines. I’ve even done it with audience participation; getting them to cheer along, and pulling people up on stage to turn into clocks, crosses and Christmas trees! It doesn’t require costumes or props unless you want them and it’s so easy to pass a microphone or have all the action take place in front of a mic stand if that’s what you need.
Tips on getting kids to act well!