I am not a puppeteer! My wife watched a video once of me doing puppets and told me to NEVER do puppets again. I decided that I would focus on the things I do really well in Kids ministry – contagious energy, exciting games, and interactive messages – and avoid puppets.
I felt this was a winning strategy, but I had forgotten one critical detail . . . kids LOVE puppets! It didn’t matter if I did what I do best after church kids would ask about puppets.
I finally gave in and started incorporating puppetry in my kid’s ministry presentation. The funniest thing started to happen. The puppets would be HORRIBLE and after church, ALL of the kids would excitedly talk about how much they loved the puppets.
We should all strive for EXCELLENCE, however I do not believe that we should be paralyzed by PERFECTION.
So, have leaned in and started using puppets as much as possible. The burden that the Lord has laid on me is to expose as many children’s teams as possible to puppets and then train them. When I go to a church to do puppet ministry, I will ask for four puppeteers (new or experienced) and then will train them with the songs we are going to do. This allows me to stay focused on what I do best and also allows me to train others. Below are a few tips to get start your puppet ministry:
1) GO TO PUPPET TRAINING
Rev. Stan & Sis. Barb Russell from the Potter’s House Church, shared with our Sunday School Team the greatest puppet training I have experienced. They did the training with live puppets, but the Puppet Training, “Learn the 5 Basic Skills for Good Puppetry” can be watched on YouTube with your entire Team.
The 5 basics for puppetry listed here are :
– Entrance & Exit
– Height & Positioning
– Eye Contact
– Lip Synchronization
– Believable Action
2) FIND A STAGE
Once you get started you will need a stage for your puppets to minister to your students. There are many ways that you can display your puppets. Some people build puppet stages into their Kids church stage, others build free standing puppet stages. Since many Sunday School departments use shared spaces with other departments in their church, a mobile stage can be a great asset for your ministry. You can purchase a nice prefab stage at THE PUPPET STORE. This is a nice stage to get you started but this is a PVC stage that won’t be as durable as a metal stage, but much cheaper. A more expensive but sturdier option can be found at CREATIVE MINISTRY SOLUTIONS. This will be an investment.
3) FIND PUPPETS
Obviously, in order to have a puppet ministry, you have to have puppets. This ministry can get expensive and overwhelming in a hurry, so PACE YOURSELF. Start with a few multi-purpose puppets and add to your collection as you are able. Below are some places you can start looking for puppets:
- The Puppet Store –
- Creative Ministry Solutions – Formally One-Way Street (This is the Cadillac of puppetry. Everything they do is done with excellence, but it is significantly pricer than other companies)
- Create Your Own –
4) FIND A SONG OR SCRIPT
SCRIPTS: www.axtell.com is a great place to find Biblical-based and Value-Based puppet Skits. This site is a little difficult to navigate, but you can see free copies of the scripts and hear the soundtracks.
SONGS: CD I Like Jesus Best – by Jim Wideman and Friends (There are many others, this is just to get you started.)
- 1. I Like Jesus Best
- 2. J-O-Y
- 3. I Am A Christian
- 4. Hooey
- 5. Lord, I Thank You
- 6. Don’t Be A Pew Potato
- 7. Stop & Let Me Tell Ya’
- 8. I’ve Been Born Again
- 9. The Holy Ghost Will Take The Chicken Out Of You
- 10. Don’t Monkey Around With The Devil
ARTICLES ON PUPPETEERING
DISCLAIMER: Puppets are a huge ministry. This post is just the beginning. This post will be updated with additional information as well as subsequent puppet posts to follow.