What Do You Think?

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What do you think? We'd love to hear your comments.

UPDATE: Keep the great comments coming! And while you're at it, tell us what puppet materials are you looking for - scripts? music? puppets themselves?


Anonymous said...

I am 57 years old, my wife and 2 daughters that are in their twentys are very active with the children in a puppet ministry. we have visited several local churches to help them to kick off their own programs.We strive to inter act the children , to make it their own work. Puppets are still alive!

Dr. John R. Hembree said...

It is not the medium that is the issue. Puppets are only a means of conveyance like any other resource. If your puppet ministry is dead it might be that you need to reevaluate how the puppets are used. At our school, if I do not use my puppets in chapel the chldren are dissappointed.

Anonymous said...

Puppet ministry is not dead...but it is certainly different today than 20 years ago. They no longer come out and act out a story. They no longer sing silly "specials."

I use a team concept in our kids church. Each team member has a different personality...and brings a different perspective to the lesson being presented as they present the idea in their own "language." I use puppets as additional members of my team. Each puppet has a different personality.

I use puppets to communicate values...and present teachable moments. I don't have a converted former gang member on my team...but I have a puppet who is a bit gangster..and needs some help in the area of appropriate conversation and how to see other people the way God sees them. I have a puppet that is a a liar and a trouble maker. I have a puppet that is just a grouchy old man. (probably the kids favorite)

Jake, short for Jacob, is the old man and he and I do the scripture verse each week.

He is a recurring character...and as much a member of the team as I am.

We have a missionary puppet that tells stories of her travels once a month using the GPH - BGMC material.

We usually only see one or two of these guys each week. They come in...do their part...and they leave. They ALWAYS interact with a human character...rather it is me...a member of my team...or even the kids.

The biggest reason that puppets do not work in church today is not because the puppet has less appeal...it is because of the lack of creativity in the puppeteer, or the lack of flexibility in their curriculum.

Too many churches depend on GPH...or Elevate...or Group Publishing to Plan...prepare...and execute thier weekly services. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with using them...(I use them all)...you need to use them as a resource...not THE source.

Be creative. Ask God to help you be creative. Connect with the kids in ways that are memorable every week.

Anonymous said...

It also depends on the excellence of the puppeteer(s). You can't just go out and do some half-baked sketch or song. It takes hard work and preparation (just like everything else worthwhile in life!).

Puppets are coming back in the secular world - through plays like Avenue Q (not for kids, but an excellent and creative way to do puppetry!) and many comedy routines now include ventriloquists.

If puppet ministry is dead in any church, it's because it's been allowed it to go the direction of church drama - cheesy, half-baked and ill-prepared!

Ruth said...

Puppet ministry is changing. At one time, any "silly" or "cheesy" thing was the new rage and did work! That is still probably effective with younger children, but not with older. If puppetry is going to keep up with all we have to offer by way of media and technical advances, it does have to be kicked up to a higher level. Like with much in the church world, if it is not changing, then it is probably dying.

Anonymous said...

Puppet ministry is only dead if you make it dead. I recently did a speech on this topic. I found that puppet ministry is difficult and takes a lot of work; so, many people do not find it worth while. But puppet ministry can indeed be very effective and worth while as long as you are allowing God to work in & through it and you as a puppeteer or team leader. Puppet ministry is indeed still alive. I would dread the day when puppet ministry became extinct for I myself LOVE doing puppet ministry. I believe if its done right, children of all ages will always love puppets and thus it cannot die as long as it keeps on keeping on. There are still many various places that use puppet ministry (including the very Bible college that I am presently attending). Puppet ministry is not dead.

Anonymous said...

We still use puppets from time to time....kids (and adults) seem to enjoy them.....also use the children to work the puppets, they love to do (train them).

Malaga AG

Randy Christensen said...

First of all, puppets, like any other method, are effective based on the excellence of the performer. A bad violinist makes people hate violin music...unless those folks have also experienced violin music done with excellence and heart.

Secondly, the key is in the development of the character, not the puppet itself. A PAPER BAG puppet can be entertaining if the puppeteer creates and displays a unique character. Our culture cries out to embrace out-of-the-ordinary characters...whether on t.v., the internet, or on one's hand!

Randy Christensen

Anonymous said...

I believe in some situations the puppet ministry is still a great way to reach children, but, in today's society, our children have been so overly "entertained" that it doesn't hold the same value it may have held even 10 years ago.

Anonymous said...

Our GAP (5th & 6th grade) kids are my puppeteers. This is a great way to engage our preteens in ministry and keep them intertested in being a part of KIDS church. The curriculum we use has the puppet skits on CD so the kids don't have to learn lines. The younger kids look forward to being old enough to become a GAP kid so they can be a part of the puppet and drama team. The younger kids love the puppets.I am glad to hear that others still see the value of puppets as I have heard that puppets are a dying ministry.

Anonymous said...

I believe that puppet ministry is as good as the puppeteers. This is my area of concern...I won't just let anyone stick their hand in a puppet with at least a little training and practice...but I can't get anyone to practice!

Anonymous said...

Puppets are not dead, just good puppetiers! If you think that puppets are dead it is just because you do a terrible job at it! Get some good puppets and practice, don't just say it's dead because you don't do a quality job!

mary ann said...

I have read that puppetry is passee. I think if the puppeteers are not skilled and the skits are bad yes, but the more thought, practice and skill involved puppets are really in. Puppets need modern viewpoints and personalities.
I recently updated some of our old (has been) puppets. They looked like they'd been around 100 years. I updated their looks with earrings, bling, new hair styles and clothes. One is Mrs. B. a busybody that never misses anything and her husband Mr. B. who wishes she wouldn't gossip. Another is the JamForce Police officer, who poses as an undercover with earring and leathercoat. One puppet is green, so he really is outrageous with spiked yellow hair (can't judge a book by it's cover. Can the kids relate? I think so.

Ann M. in Austin said...

I agree with several others; puppet ministry is dead if you don't do it with EXCELLENCE. Puppetry without proper technique is a bore and a disappointment to kids. Puppetry done with excellence leaves kids in awe and open to hear the Gospel.

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