Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Using Ordinary Objects in Ministry

It might seem like a small thing, but this week I want to encourage you to use as many every day items as you can in your ministry.  Why?  Because those items that we see every day can make a huge impact when they are used in an object lesson or a sermon.  Allow me to elaborate on what I mean.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned doing a Sermon in a Sack during our Family Sunday services.  During this time of the service, one child brings in a mystery object and I have to come up with a brief sermon about whatever they brought.  I don't see the object until it's time for the sermon and the curiosity about what is in the sack is part of the fun.  I've done this in almost every church I've ministered in and this is what I find happens:

1) The adults look forward to finding out what is in the sack as much as the kids do.

2) The kids start getting picky about what they will put in the sack because THEY start getting reminded of Bible stories by what they see.  (Example, "We can't put that toy food in the sack because remember God provided food for the Israelites." "Tommy, don't put a boat in the sack, remember Jesus was in a boat when He calmed the storm.")  They want to stump me, so they figure if they think of a story associated with the object that I will easily come up with one too.

3) The adults will start trying to figure out what Biblical truth can be taught from the object too...and often it is different than what I used.  I know because they come up to me after the service and tell me what they were reminded of by the object. 

Do you see what I'm getting at?  The kids and the adults start seeing what God can teach us through those every day objects even before I ever open my mouth.  The same can be said when an ordinary object is used in a planned object lesson or as part of a sermon.  Every time the kids see that object, there is the potential that they will be reminded of the Biblical truth that it was used to teach.  And, perhaps even more important, they will start looking for what God can teach them through the ordinary items that surround them in their lives.

This doesn't mean that we shouldn't use unusual objects in our ministry.  I just wanted to remind you of the amazing tools of ministry those ordinary objects can be.

Until next week...

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