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From Starred Photos
Santa rides in a sleigh…
JESUS rides on the wind and walks on the water.
Santa comes but once a year…
JESUS is an ever present help in trouble.
Santa fills your stockings with goodies…
Jesus supplies all your needs.
Santa comes down your chimney uninvited…
JESUS stands at the door of your life and knocks, and then enters your heart when invited.
You have to wait in line to see Santa…
JESUS is as close as the mention of HIS name.
Santa lets you sit on his lap…
JESUS lets you rest in His arms.
Santa doesn’t know your name, all he can say is “Hi little boy or girls, what’s your name?”…
JESUS knew our name before we did.
Not only does he know our name,
He knows our address too.
He knows our history and future and
He even knows how many hairs are on our heads.
Santa has a belly like a bowl full of jelly…
JESUS offers a heart full of love.
All Santa offers is HO HO HO…
JESUS offers healing, help and hope.
Santa says “You better not cry”…
JESUS says “Cast all your cares on me for I care for you.”
Santa’s little helpers make toys…
JESUS makes new life, mends wounded hearts, repairs broken homes and builds mansions.
Santa may make you chuckle but…
JESUS gives you joy that is your strength.
While Santa puts gifts under your tree…
JESUS became our gift and died on a tree.
Yes, Jesus is better, he is even better than Santa Claus.
It’s obvious there is really no comparison. We need to remember WHO Christmas is all about. We need to put Christ back in CHRISTmas, Jesus is still the reason for the season.
Christmas trees originated in Germany. The story is told of St. Boniface who travelled from England centuries ago to tell the good news about Jesus to the German people. One dark night he and some of his monks carrying candles, came across some people deep in the forest. They had tied a boy to a bare oak tree ready to sacrifice him to their god, Odin. Boniface freed the boy and chopped down the tree. Then he showed them a fir tree pointing up to the sky. His followers put their candles on the branches and the people gathered around the tree and listened as Boniface explained how God had sent his son Jesus to bring light to the world.
I’ve just posted a reworking of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star with Christmas words
After hearing the Christmas story, and singing “Silent Night” a Sunday School Class in Sao Paulo was asked to draw what they thought th Nativity Scene might have looked like. One boy did a good likeness of Joseph, Mary and the infant, but off to the side was a plump roly-poly figure.
The teacher, afraid that he had somehow worked Santa Claus into the scene asked who that was. She wasn’t sure whether she was relieved or even more worried when the boy responded, “No that’s Round John Virgin.”
A few years ago I wrote a small 12 page PDF booklet called Christmas is Coming! It includes a number of original Christmas puppet scripts, stories and chants. It’s available for download for $10 USD via PayPal. I also have a number of other Christmas scripts and stories available free at Eliab.com
Christmas-1st Corinthians 13 Style
- If I decorate my house perfectly with bows,strands of twinkling lights and shiny baubles, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another decorator.
- If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas biscuits, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtimes, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another cook.
- If I decorate the Christmas tree with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir’s cantata but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.
- Love stops the cooking to hug the child.
- Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband or wife.
- Love is kind, though harried and tired.
- Love doesn’t envy another’s home that has co-ordinated Christmas china and table cloths.
- Love doesn’t yell at the children to get out of the way.
- Love doesn’t give only to those who are able to give in return but rejoices in giving to those who can’t.
- Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
- Love never fails. Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust.
But giving the gift of God’s love will endure.
I have just posted my new short Christmas puppet ( or vent) script. It’s called “Carolling Christmas”. Ricky can’t get to sleep because he has Christmas carols going around in his head. He comes to hear about the Nativity and gets excited that God’s son has come to earth.
Helen Aberg used to give generous Christmas gifts to her several grandchildren, but the children never sent thank you letters, despite the urgings of their parents. But then, one year, things changed. Grandma sent a hundred dollar Christmas cheque to each grandchild. The very next day, each child came over in person to thank her. She was telling this to a friend of hers, who said, “How wonderful! What do you think caused them to become so polite?
“Oh,”said Helen,”it was easy. This year I didn’t sign the cheques.”
Are you looking for ideas and resources for Christian clowning with children?
Check out the following online resources…
Worship Drama and Dance scripts and skits (some clown skits included)
A mission team back from Peru writes. “We performed the mime “King of Hearts” in town squares and it has a powerful impact…without words. Very relatable to everyone. The gist: 4 individuals all dressed in black except for a shattered heart on each’s chest- the glamour girl, the fighter, the clown and the hypocrite. Each act out their roles, but take turns lowing their masks to reveal what’s really going on inside: the glamour girl has a very low image of herself, the fighter is scared, the clown is suicidally depressed and the hypocrite is blind. Then Christ enters, shows that he died and rose for them, and in turn pulls a shattered heart off to reveal a whole heart and each in turn is transformed.”
Here are some resources for using puppets in Christian ministry with children -
Free Christian puppet scripts ( Eliab.com free scripts mainly for use with one puppet and an adult)
Puppetresources.com (Huge resource of Christian puppets scripts)
Bob Snook Puppet and Drama Scripts ( hundreds of scripts – highly recommended)
The website The Way 2 Go has great flash presentations for children.
The Way 2 Go aims to provide an introduction to Christianity for children in the 8 to 12 age range. Pages included in “The Hub” also include information about- Creation, Jesus, Justice, Knowing God and Data bank.
1. Thou shalt not be perfect, or even try to be.
2. Thou shalt not try to be all things to all people.
3. Thou shalt leave things undone that ought to be done.
4.Thou shalt spread thyself too thin.
5. Thou shalt learn to say “no”.
6. Thou shalt schedule time for thyself and for thy supportive network.
7. Thou shalt switch off and do nothing regularly.
8. Thou shalt be boring, untidy, inelegant and unattractive at times.
9. Thou shalt not even feel guilty.
10. Especially thou shalt not be thine own worst enemy, but be thy best friend.
Above all things remember to rest in the Lord Jesus who said “Come to Me all you who are heavy laden and I will give you rest.”
Name Acrostics ( suitable for older chidren or family groups)
Give pencils and cards to each person as they enter and tell them to print their first name in capitals vertically at the extreme left of their card. The people mix in the crowd trying to find people whose first names begin with the letters on their card. For example, Linda’s card might be completed with these names:
No person’s name may be used more than once, unless two or more people bear the same name. The completed acrostic based on the longest name wins the prize.
At the beach a child found a seagull lying dead in the sand by the shore.
“Mummy, what happened to him?” the little boy asked.
“He died and went to Heaven,” the mother replied.
The child thought for a moment and then said, “And God threw him back down?”
Kids Who Are Different
by Digby Wolfe
Here’s to the kids who are different,
The kids who don’t always get A’s
The kids who have ears twice the size of their peers,
And noses that go on for days …
Here’s to the kids who are different,
The kids they call crazy or dumb,
The kids who don’t fit, with the guts and the grit,
Who dance to a different drum …
Here’s to the kids who are different,
The kids with the mischievous streak,
For when they have grown, as history’s shown,
It’s their difference that makes them unique.
I’ve used this website to make wordsearch puzzles and mazes for some of our children’s bible activity sheets and for our holiday programs.
Hide some everyday objects round the room with a Bible reference taped on them. Tell children the number of different objects they are looking for. Children are to find the object and write it down on a sheet of paper with the reference. When all objects have been found sit down and work out the Bible story by looking up the reference.
For example : Bread roll – Mark 8:5-9,Â Feeding the 5000.
Toy Lion – Daniel 6:10-23, Daniel
Lambskin – Exodus 12:3-14, The Exodus
Nails – John 19:18 , the Crucifixion of Jesus
A good reminder for those who prepare and preach sermons or talks-
“It’s the same with men as with donkeys: whoever would hold them fast must first get a good grip on their ears.” Russian proverb
The following prayer (on a’Powerpoint’ slide) is suitable for Sunday school or a school chapel service. The Bible reading was Luke 5:1-5. Jesus calls the disciples.
An ‘Action Prayer’ suitable for an all-age worship service.
Invite the congregation to copy the actions of a group at the front of the church or room as a reader says the following prayer. Pause between each section to allow time for reflection:
(Arms raised, head up.) Lord God, we praise you. You are great and wonderful. We want everyone to know about it.
(Arms waist level, palms up.) Help us to do what you want so that people will see that we love you and want to follow you.
(Arms down, palms forward, head bowed.) We know there are times when we have let you down. We have done things which you have told us not to do. We are sorry. Please forgive us and give a new start.
(Arms crossed over chest.) Make us strong enough into to give in to temptation. Keep us safe from Satan. Thank you that you are great enough to keep us safe from anything.
(Arms reaching out to the people on either side.) Help us to forgive each other when we cause hurt or do wrong. We thank you for each person here. Thank you that we are all members of your family through your Son Jesus Christ. Amen.
I’ve just been reading this great collection of “Graces” which families or children’s groups might use before eating together. I’m keen to try out the grace to the tune “We will, we will Rock You“. It’s also worth browsing the childrensministry.org.au site to read some of the The Uniting Church in Australia’s (NSW and ACT Synod) other resources also.
Mary Had a Little Lamb (familiar tune) used to introduce pre-schoolers.
Homer Simpson is my name
is my name
is my name
Homer Simpson is my name
Homer is my name.
Jingle Bells (familiar tune) Objective: to learn to count to 10.
789 and 10
789 and 10
(raise a finger as each number is given.)
True God – to the tune of “Frere Jacques”
God the true God, God the true God,
He is Lord, He is Lord,
Father, Son and Spirit, Father, Son and Spirit,
Thank you God, thank you God.
Old MacDonald (familiar tune) Song of Thanks- accompany with actions.
The morning sun that wakes me up,
The new leaves on the trees,
The creepy capterpillar and
The buzzing bumblebees,
Arms that grow and hands that clap,
Head and toes and fingers’ snap,
Thank You God for all of these.
Thank You, thank you, God!
(100 Action Songs for School Kids, David C. Cook)
Best Friend (to the tune of “The Adams Family” )
Jesus is your best friend
His love for you, will not end
So trust Him now, depend
On Jesus everyday
Jesus loves you (click,click)
Jesus love’s true (click,click)
Jesus loves you. x3 (getting either softer or louder each time)
(click,click -at the end)
Jesus Called Me Peter (to the tune “Rock Around the Clock”)
1,2, …1,2,3,4 !
Andrew met Jesus.
Jesus met me too.
My name was Simon,
Now I’m telling you.
Jesus called me Peter. (leader)
Yes, He called him Peter. (echo)
Jesus called me Peter. (leader)
Yes, He called him Peter .(echo)
‘Cause simply Simon’s gone,
Now I’m known as “Peter the Rock” !
(last time add spoken…”Rock on Peter !”)
God’s on the move,
I just met Jesus,
Now I’ve joined His crew.
© Don Stott, http://www.Eliab.com , 2004
- Build good relationships
- Leaders to kids
- Kids to leaders
- Kids to kids
Participate in all activities even if it is from the sideline
Be real with the kids
Set and keep good standards
- Use action and variety
- Be well prepared.
- Use activities that suit the childrenâ€™s age group.
- Give the children some responsibility.
- Create a sense of belonging
- Know their names and interests.
- Have a positive and encouraging atmosphere.
- Have a known strategy for managing your children..
- Make sure your working environment is as appealing as possible.
- Study the Bible creatively
- Sell it by your own walk with God
- Help them to see how God wants to be in communication with them
- Broaden their horizons â€“ social justice, current events
- Make it visual and involve them
5. Play games with them
- Always take into account the differences between boys and girls.
- Have noisy and quiet games.
- Make sure that it is fun for everyone â€“including those with special needs.
1. Table Tiggy Spread out round room. Leader asks a question. First child with their hand up is chosen. If an incorrect answer is given the child sits down. If correct the child takes a step (not leap) to try and touch another child (touch= out). The last one standing wins!
2. Round the World One child stands behind another child. The leader asks a question. The first to answer gets to continue round the room. Whenever the game needs to stop, the person who correctly answered the last question becomes the “champ” for the week.
3. Who am I? The teacher says “I am thinking of a Bible character, who am I?” The class asks questions only answerable with yes/no. You can count or limit the number of questions asked and have many a variation on this!
A variation: have several children out the front with a word on a headband (or hat, or held). On each sign there is a word, title, occupation, object, food, place or Bible character. The class can see it, the child with the sign, can’t. The child with the headband asks a question and the class can only reply yes/no. If “yes” , they have another turn, if “no”, the next child gets to ask a question. First to guess their word wins.
- giving when you feel like keeping,
- praying for others when you need to be prayed for,
- feeding others when your own soul is hungry,
- living truth before people even when you can’t see results,
- hurting with other people even when your own hurt can’t be spoken,
- keeping your word even when it is not convenient,
- it is being faithful when your flesh wants to run away.
As part of your Sunday School program or children’s group get the children to learn some Bible memory verses.
For example: John 3:16, Revelation 3:20, John 14:6, Psalm 23:1, John 1:1, Romans 3:23, Isaiah 53:6, Genesis 1:1
(perhaps use a simplified translation for younger children)
Use these texts for your Snakes and Ladders as follows:
1. Have a Bible reference at the bottom of each ladder. If you land on that square you can only go up the ladder if you can quote the verse, otherwise stay where you are.
2. Have a Bible text written out a the top of each snake.If when landing on that square you can give the correct reference for the text, you do not go down the snake. If you cannot give the reference, you do go down the snake.
The group could be divided into teams for this game and it could be played on an overhead projector electronic whiteboard or wall chart using counters or on the wall with makers which could stick on and be moved.
So you’ve found your puppets or made your puppets. You know that you’d like to use them with your group, but… what exactly are they going to say ? You’re not quite ready yet to launch into a full scale puppet play.
Why not begin by making an announcement or introduce someone to the children ? Your puppet can add interest or humour to a flat part of the program.
Practise your announcement using short sentences and appropriate language for the age-group of your hearers. Remember puppets need to move in the mood and the emotion of the words they are saying. Have a minimum of narration and a maximum of dialogue.
Try these ..
BEGINNINGS…. The puppet(s)
> Enter excitedly when they hear the leader mention a key word. e.g.
Leader: I know someone who is quite rude.
Puppet: Food, did I hear someone say food ??
> Enter shyly, disappearing when people call out.
> Introduce yourself.
> Ask for a riddle and give the answer ” toothpaste” to any riddle asked. It will set up an opportunity for some interesting dialogue.
> Enter looking for something, then look surprised when you find it. Look even more surprised when you notice the audience are there watching you!
> Come in complaining. you have a problem, or are looking for help.
MIDDLES… The puppet(s):
> Listen carefully to the leader and then ask dumb questions.
> Listen to one another.
> Make an announcement.
> Give directions to people to do things, look for something etc.,
> Make up a song (using a well known tune) , limerick or rap to advertise the event or person.
ENDS … The puppet(s)
> Excuse themselves to prepare for the announced event.
> Ask to be shown the direction to the toilet and excuse themselves with great embarrassment.
> Suggest that it’s time to go and look for another riddle, song, book etc..
>Suggest that it’s time to go and visit Grandma for afternoon tea or another food related activity (we all know how much puppets like to eat !).
Remember practise in front of a mirror or a friend to gain confidence with your movements and dialogue. Soon you’ll be improvising and ready for some simple scripts.
See also 20 ways to use a puppet.