Flannelgraph Jesus

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Do you remember flannelgraph Jesus?

When I was a kid, walking into Sunday school and seeing the flannel board all set up, meant it was going to be a great morning.

I don’t know what it was- maybe because I’m a visual learner, but I really liked the flannel board. In my class, it had the ability to hold the attention of all the kids in the room.

You’d sit around it quietly, listening to your teacher share the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 or Peter walking on water – hoping that she’d choose you to be the one to put the small felt character on the board.

20 years later- flannelgraph boards and little felt Jesus’ are just a thing of the past. They’re considered old school and if your church even has one around, I’m certain it’s collecting dust in some dark closet somewhere.

Today in kid’s ministry we’ve got flat screen TV’s and projector screens to help kids visualize bible stories like Joseph and the coat of many colors or Jonah and the whale.

The way we do things today, are very different from how they were done 20 years ago and that’s okay, it’s as it should be. We need to stay relevant to this generation. With kids spending over eight hours each day watching TV or using social media, we’ve got to find ways to hold their attention in the very short time we spend with them.

Jesus did it – He taught the people using parables, creative stories rich with imagery, to help people understand and remember His message. He knew what they needed to hear, and used creative means to convey the message.

People have been teaching kids about Jesus using creativity for thousands of years- in all sorts of different ways. What we need to remember though, is that the method may change, but the message must stay the same.

It doesn’t matter if you’re using little felt people or an auto tuned rap video about Jesus – as long as kids are getting the point that God loves them; that He sent His one and only Son to die for them – you’re doing your job.

Looking for new, exciting ways to do so is good; it keeps us hip and up to date.

Wonder how long it will be until we’ve got a holographic Jesus in kid’s ministry?