During the outdoor program we have the opportunity to spread our message of hope and salvation. The lessons are projected over a sound system and can be heard by many in a community. For this reason we have decided to stick to simple lessons with a strong evangelistic message. More direct discipleship will occur in our indoor program which runs from late October to early May. This series is Adventure Days. Adventure will be the outward theme but the lesson will encompass our true task, to share with the kids the salvation message, to tell them the "Secret of Everlasting Life". In Adventure Days you will travel with our protagonist to wild jungles, high mountains and hot deserts. He will find many different beliefs about eternal life but in the end he will find The Way, The Truth and The Life.
Lesson 2 - The Mountain Adventure
In the second week of the Adventure Days series the focus remains on "the Secret of Eternal Life" The professor is still trying to find the answer after a very unsuccessful attempt the previous week. The stress this time will be on good deeds. It is important to love one another and to try to be helpful. However, if you feel that you can go to heaven simply because you are a good person you are sadly mistaken. What is important is what is in your heart. You can only go to heaven if you know Jesus and have a personal relationship with Him.
The opening can be anything that you choose, puppet songs or skits are usually very effective. Drama presentations or clowns might be good too. Use your imagination. The more variety the better. Try to do something different every week just to keep them guessing.
Prayer should always be included in the outdoor program. Since it will be heard by the entire community you might want to pray for things that concern them as a whole. If you are aware of any specific situations this would be an excellent opportunity to teach people that they can bring these concerns to God.
Enjoy this time in the program. It is fun for the kids. Try to pick an energetic leader for this part of the program. The leader should be someone who can help the kids get excited about singing. It should be a person who can teach actions to help make the songs more entertaining.
GamesGames can be a lot of fun but we need to consider safety first. At the Zoo we don't play any games that require a child to place an object in their mouth. There are a number of popular relays that include this type of activity but they are not incorporated into "The Zoo" program. We deal with children who are quite young and choking during the program or even at home when mimicking a game is a definite possibility.
The games for this lesson are adapted to suit the Mountain theme.
Game 1 - Unpack Game
Select 10 players. Divide them into two teams of five. Have the children line up in single file behind a pylon at the starting line. The first contestants will run to the finish line marked by a pylon. At the pylon they will find mountain climbing equipment spread all over the lawn. They will pack it all into the knapsack supplied and then yodel very loudly. When they have completed the task they will run back to the starting line and tag the player that goes next. The second contestants will unpack the bag and yodel. This game continues until each person has gone twice. The team to complete this first wins.
Game 2 - Crazy Mountaineer Dress Up Relay
Select eight contestants. Divide them into two teams of four. Have them line up behind pylons at the starting line. In front of the start pylon there will be a pile of crazy mountaineer clothing. (Large hiking boots, shorts with suspenders and a hat with a feather in it) The first contestant will put on the clothing and run to the finish line and back. When the child returns to his/her pylon he/she will remove the outfit and hand it to the next contestant. The first team to complete this wins.
Memory VerseThis is an interaction between the puppet and a leader. The puppet Phoebe is back. Phoebe is talking about her trip again. She sent a post card to her parents. It had an important message on it but in the mail it got all wet and the note on the back is hard to read. The children have to decipher it before they can remember it.
Phoebe: Hi everyone, I'm back. I brought something else to show you this week.
Leader : Great Phoebe, what is it?
Phoebe: It is a picture of me in the mountains, another place that I went on my summer vacation. It was very exciting. The mountains were huge and tall. See, come over here and I'll give you the picture. (hands it to leader)
Leader: Oh it turned out great. You look like you are having a lot of fun. Those are big mountains behind you.
Phoebe: Turn it over, I wrote a special message on it.
Leader: (turns it over and discovers that the message is ruined) Phoebe, I hate to tell you this but your message is in pretty bad shape. I don't think I can read it.
Phoebe: But it was so important. What do I do now?
Leader: There is some of it left maybe the kids and I can figure it out. Do you mind if we try?
Phoebe: No go right ahead. I hope you can do it.
Leader: (Allow time to interact with the children as they help to complete the message)
Let's read it together "For by grace you have been saved through faith not by works". Ephesians 2:8. That is what it says Phoebe. We will repeat it a few times so that we can learn it.
Phoebe: That's it, that is the message that I learned in the mountains. What does it mean? Do you know?
Leader: Yes, I have heard that verse before and I know what it means. It means that it is important to do good things to help others but that is not what is going to give you everlasting life. The Bible says that you need to believe in Jesus and ask him to forgive you for your sins.
Phoebe: I learned so much today. Thank you for helping me. I think I will take my picture home so that I can look that verse up in my Bible. See you guys later.
Leader: See ya Phoebe.
StoryThis story is told by puppets interacting with one another. Dr. Kentucky James is back. He is continuing his search for the "Secret of Everlasting Life." He is joined by a puppet dressed like a reporter and a couple of monkey puppets.
Reporter and Kentucky James enter from opposite ends of the stage and bump into each other in the middle.
Reporter: Oh, I'm sorry. Excuse me sir!
Kentucky: that's OK. You seem to be lost, can I be of assistance?
Reporter: Yes, I am lost and I sure hope you can help me. I'm looking for a man by the name of... let's see I wrote it down somewhere... oh yes, Professor Kentucky James.
Kentucky: Well guess what? I'm Kentucky James. What can I do for you?
Reporter: I'm a reporter from the "Zoo News". I have heard that you have been searching for "The Secret of Everlasting Life". Have you found the answer yet? Do you know how to get to heaven?
Kentucky: To tell the truth I do not know the answer. Last week I went to the jungle to visit a wise old elephant and I don't believe that he had the right answer. This week I climbed a mountain to find the answer to the "Secret of Everlasting Life", would you like to here about it?
Reporter: Sure, please tell us about your trip. We would love to hear about it.
Kentucky: I was pretty depressed when I got back from the jungle. I wanted to find the answer but I did not think that the elephant had the answer.
I came back here to my office to decide what to do next. As I was flipping through a magazine I saw a picture of a large mountain. I remembered the "Marvelous Snow Monkeys" on Mount Sager.
I thought I could find the answer there. So I packed my gear for a mountain expedition. I got on a plane and the next thing you knew we landed at an air field at the base of Mt. Sager. I hiked and hiked. I knew that the monkeys lived on top of the snow capped mountain. If the Snow Monkeys knew the secret I was going to find it. The team made it to the snow line the first day, we had to set up camp and stay the night there. It was freezing that night in the snow but I had to be determined and a little snow and cold would not stop me from finishing my search for the monkeys. More than anything I wanted to know, "how do I get to heaven"!
The next morning we continued our pursuit. I got really tired so I sat down on a rock next to a dark cave to rest. I heard an echoing noise come from the cave. I didn't move. I hoped what ever made the noise would not come out. Then I felt a tap, on my shoulder! I turned around quickly, nothing was there. Then there was another tap on my other shoulder, I turned again, and there was nothing. Then a small monkey jumped in my lap, scaring me so bad that I fell off my rock and into the snow. As soon as I recovered from the shock I realized this was one of the "Marvelous Snow Monkeys". I explained to him what I was searching for and he told me he would take me to his king.
(enter the Monkey King)
"Your Royal Monkey Highness, I have come a long way to ask you a question, may I ask it"?
Monkey King: "Ooooo, Ooooo, Go ahead".
Kentucky: "What is the secret of everlasting life"?
King: "Oooo Oooo Oooo, Well we monkeys believe that you can get to heaven if you are nice to one another. All the monkeys in our tribe do nice things all the time. That is all it takes"!
Kentucky: "Thank you so much for your time, King".
As I went down the mountain I thought wow! The monkeys are pretty smart. They weren't crazy like the elephant. All they said it took was being nice, no problem.
Reporter: Oh wow, what a story Professor James! That's it, you found the secret to everlasting life, you found the answer! I can hardly wait to get back to the studio and tell our viewers.
Kentucky: Not so fast. That isn't the right answer. At first I thought the monkeys were on to something. I thought that they were right, but I am not so sure now. Since I came back I found that the monkeys were not 100% correct. Doing good to each other is very important, but it is not the secret to eternal life. I am going to keep working on it. I'll call you if I get any leads.
Reporter: Well, OK, thanks for the interview professor.
Kentucky: No, thank you. (Puppets exit opposite directions)
Leader's ConclusionAsk questions that will help to clarify the message.
Quiet Seat prizes and closing prayer.
Copyright 1997, Bread of Life Ministries