Looking at letters
Helping kids access non-narrative texts
They’re one of the things we spend most of our time on in Church and Bible studies, they’re where most of our theology comes from and they’re crucial to how we interpret the Bible. Yet the New Testament letters (19 out of 27 books) are infrequently covered in a way that’s appropriate for children.
The next three first person story and worksheet help to bridge that gap. While it’s not comprehensive; it provides age appropriate context and application for the theology Paul (in this case) teaches. It’s a start! I particularly love the character of Philippa I created to help kids get to grip with … wait for it … Paul’s letter to the Philippians.
If you want more on Philippians check out this Sunday School series covering the book in more detail.
All about Paul
Although Paul would probably like me to point out it’s actually all about Jesus
We’re starting the year as we mean to go on: overlong blog post subtitles and excellent new material to help you prep for your Sunday School classes.
This first in the new series features A Scary Day for Ananias – subscribe below to catch the rest of the series inspired by Paul’s letters!
Each lesson in our four-part series includes a first person description, great to read or to act out as a monologue, and a worksheet that covers story elements; has an engaging activity to complete & allows children to consider how they figure in this story: what more could you want.
And, yes, Paul would be happy: through him and his interactions we get to see Jesus.
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.
Is the subject of this session
but fortunately using the ideas definitely isn’t stealing
I’ve never found it so easy to think of games/songs/activities etc and so hard to write a talk! I know tonnes of burglary related games (as well as heaps of synonyms for theft – what does this say about me?!) and as easy as that made it to plan the session for the eighth commandment I struggled to apply this in a way that didn’t use all my material for do not covet before I’d got to that one. Sneak preview for commandment number 10 though: God cares about our actions and our attitudes.
Planning All Age Services
and including children and young people
I’ve added a couple of pages of suggestions for how to include children and youth in a church service – any church service really but particularly the kind where Sunday School isn’t on and the kids are staying in. It’s my usual pic ‘n’ mix style so if you’re struggling to get yours serving practically there’s a subheading for that, or if you know that little ones aren’t following the reading let alone the sermon there are ideas for both of those as well: I hope you can find what you need!
Because this is a Sunday School blog my ideas are focused on youth and children, but it also could serve as a good checklist to check you’re celebrating diversity, in race, gender, age, ability and background and creating role models for serving the church while walking with the Lord.
There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Check out our other pages on inclusion, under the ‘how to…’ menu including this one on hearing impairment and one on helping dyslexics.
I found Narnia!
Not at the back of my wardrobe unfortunately.
Instead I updated the Narnia page on this blog with the talks and powerpoint from that series. I’m not entirely sure how or why they disappeared in the first place. Nevermind, they’re back now!
The Power of Stories
to change people’s lives
I was a visitor in a small village church this Sunday and something said in the sermon struck me: about the terrorist attack in Manchester last week the vicar asked, ‘What was this young man’s story that lead him to this point?’ That was not something I had considered before, but how did he become radicalised? At what point had he decided that this was to be his path?
What difference does the gospel make to people’s stories? We never know the ‘what ifs’ but what if someone had shared the gospel with him? What if he had met the risen Lord Jesus? What if I hadn’t become a Christian – what might my life look like?
We make massive changes in people’s lives when we share God’s good news with them. Whether it is our friends and family, the children and youth that we teach, or a stranger who we took the opportunity to talk to. Jesus had among his twelve closest disciples Simon the Zealot who fought against the Roman government: his chosen messenger to the gentiles was Saul, a man whose religious beliefs led him to persecute others. We know Jesus changed their stories and the stories of countless others. Let’s pray for him to continue to do so.
I’ve added another parable: The Rich Fool. Someone who did not let God change his story and never even considered the possibility. I don’t want that to be anyone I know so hard as it is, Lord, would I be courageous enough to give everyone I know the chance to hear of you and to make their decision. Amen
Things that are lost and found
And heavenly parties: lots of them!
I really love planning a party! Usually more than I enjoy actually being at said party. However, celebrating with Jesus when someone else comes and joins the family is one set of parties I’m really looking forward too (assuming that Jesus doesn’t come back first and we skip straight to the wedding feast – aka BEST PARTY EVER!)
Here’s the Lost Coin and the Lost Sheep – an explanation of how helpless we are in our lostness and just how much we’re loved! I’m praying that the children we teach might soon be the cause of another heavenly party as they put their trust in Jesus!
First told by Jesus; retold by me
The audience has changed – the meaning has not.
We’re kicking it off with a bit of material on the Good Samaritan and the Pharisee and the Tax Collector: find it here.
There will be more later on but next week with GCSEs imminent and A levels not far behind; I’ll be posting some Exam Stress tips for your youth.
Watch this space…