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Writing and Developing Scripts To Teach Spiritual Truths

One of the most fulfilling experiences in a kid’s camp or crusade is to see how much the children respond to a newly developed script between myself and my ventriloquist figure, Rodney.  It’s wonderful to see their eyes light up with excitement, hear their laughter, and discern that they understand the spiritual truth being presented.  I’ve been asked so many times where I find my scripts.  Well, most of the dialogues Rodney and I have developed are from much prayer and thought.  Here’s how I go about developing a new script. 

First, I pray about it.  Then I think about what I would actually like to cover or what aspect of the service I really want to teach.  For example, if the service is going to be on prayer, what part of prayer should Rodney and I talk about?  In one kid’s camp theme, we talk about how prayer needs to be persistent.  In another, we talk about that prayer must come from a clean heart.  For this brief article, we’ll use the persistent aspect as an illustration. 

So, where do I begin?  Actually, I find it much easier to develop a script by beginning at the end! 

Think of where you want to end up.  What main point do you want to come across?  If you were going to sum up everything in one sentence for the children, what would it be?  (“Prayer must be persistent.  Continue to bring your request to God every day.  Do not give up.  Do not stop praying.  It may be hours, days, months, or even years before you see God’s answer, but God will answer when you are persistent in prayer!)

Now that I have my closing summary statement, how can I get to it?  This example easily lends itself to several Bible stories if I want to share one.  There’s the persistent widow Jesus talked about.  There’s Elijah praying for rain and sending his servant 7 times to look out over the sea.  There’s the daily walk of the Israelites around the walls of Jericho.  These and many more stories could easily fit into bringing across the point of being persistent. 

But let us consider that I do not want to use a Bible story for this part of the lesson.  What then?  I think of what kind of situations my vent figure may get involved in throughout the day.  He’s about a 9-year-old boy.  This itself opens a world of outrageous possibilities.  I can easily see that he has gotten himself stuck somewhere and is calling out for help.  Where could he have gotten stuck?  Oh, yes.  He was chasing a bunny rabbit and crawled after it into a culvert.  He got stuck in the culvert and begins calling out.  But no one is around, so he keeps calling until someone hears and helps him.

Now that I know what story or life experience will lead into my closing point, I need to consider what will be the comment or situation to bring up the story or experience. 

There are a number of ways that I could lead into this illustration.   

First, it could be an off the cuff remark.  We could be talking about his day.  He could be talking about wanting a new suitcase to live in.  I could comment that, “Yes, it is pretty tight in there.”  He could respond, “Oh, I’ve been in tighter spots before.”  I could say, “Really, and when was that?”  This leads into the story. 

Second, it could be a straightforward comment that I say, like, “By the way, what’s this I hear from Mr. Smith that he found you in the ditch by Mrs. Green’s house the other day?”  This leads into the story. 

Third, it could be something in his appearance that brings it up.  “Rodney, what’s that Band-Aid on your cheek from?  Were you trying to shave again?”  This leads into the story.

Once I have the introductory remarks, main story, and closing comments figured out, I go back and put the meat on the script.  For example, Rodney may have tried several ways to catch the bunny; acting like a carrot, skateboarding, box with a stick on a string, camouflage, etc.  I’ll pull out my joke books and look for jokes or puns that will go along with the story.  In this example, I’d look for jokes with rabbits or small animals, tight places, camouflage, skateboarding, etc.  Of course, I’ll think of all kinds of questions I can ask him to help the story along and bring up those jokes and puns.

Once it’s altogether, I’ll go through it several times to smooth out any rough edges before I use it.  The main thing to consider is your character.  If you’re using an elderly gentleman character and your talking about persistence, it could be a number of things like trying to get the cap off the aspirin, or using Rogaine to grow hair.  Make it something that the character is likely to be involved with naturally.

Hope these ideas stir up some creativity!

© by Rev. Gary Linn
Children’s Ministry Today

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