Creating the anticipation that something special is about to happen gives a big boost to children’s interest in your lesson! Increased interest is just one of the benefits of using illusions in your classroom. Gospel illusions, simply object lessons with a special effect, are also helpful because they do well at illustrating abstract concepts such as salvation or the Trinity. A common object lesson to illustrate the Trinity has always been using an apple. The three parts of an apple represent the three persons of the Godhead. Imagine the stronger impact made with three Gozinta boxes. These specially designed boxes fit inside one another in any order, making them an excellent illustration that there are three persons who make up the Godhead, persons who are the same in thought and purpose, yet there is only one God.
Getting Started in Illusions
If you are a beginner to gospel magic, you will probably want to start with some self-working effects. There are many illusions with Gospel lessons ready for purchase. You will also find gospel magic books to be a great help. Whereas one illusion may cost $6.00, you can purchase a book containing a dozen or more effects to make yourself for about the same price. If you are used to writing your lessons, try dropping by the library to check out some rope trick books.
The secret to keeping a balance when using an illusion is to make sure the lesson, or application, is stronger than the effect. It’s best not to do a trick if it really doesn’t enhance the lesson. A good rule to follow is to know what your teaching first, then find a trick that will help illustrate that lesson. The lesson may be overpowered if you find a trick first and then try to fit an application to it, or the application may end up weak. Examine your lesson and find an illusion that obviously demonstrates those characteristics. Let’s say your lesson is about the power of God’s word which is sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit. Try using a penetration effect such as the Needled Balloon. Or maybe you’re teaching that the word of God will last forever. In this case, the Wonder Pad, in which the paper cannot be torn, makes an excellent example and powerful illustration.
Be sure to practice the illusion several times, so that during your presentation, your attention will be focused on your lesson and not the working of the illusion.
A Few Key Pointers
Gospel magic can be very effective and powerful when done right. Remember these guidelines.
Ø Never let the illusion overpower the lesson
Ø Always practice, practice, practice
Ø Keep the secret to yourself (Many illusions are based on similar concepts.)
© by Rev. Gary R. Linn
Children’s Ministry Today
NOTE: You will find a wonderful collection of “Downloadable Gospel Magic Object Lessons” in the Children’s Ministry Outlet Mall.