This series follows the Celebrity Days Series. The aim of Celebrity Days was to introduce the children to Jesus. It covered the cross and its centrality to Christianity. Detective Days will be "Investigating what Jesus taught". Now that they know Jesus, it is important to cover what Jesus expects of us. The lessons will cover three of Jesus' parables. The lessons will be applied to the lives of children.
Lesson Two - Judging People
In this series we are investigating what Jesus taught. The children will be looking at the stories that Jesus told. They will be asked to uncover the lesson in it. This lesson will be applied to a life situation that the children can relate to it and use it in their own lives.
The opening time could be used for almost anything. An opening puppet song is often a big hit. Regardless of what you do this time should be interesting and upbeat. It will help to set the tone for the program. On the Zoo Bus we try to select cartoons that the children enjoy. This helps to keep their attention focussed so they are not just running around.
In each Zoo session the rules must be repeated. The children will complain but do it anyway. Over the past year we have discovered that the moment you are not as strict, the children begin to take over. This can cause a great deal of frustration since the important message that you want to share will not be communicated.
The prayer time is important. In the program we will try to stress it as an important opportunity to talk to God. Try not to rush through it. Remember that this may be the only time that the kids pray.
Songs that match the theme would make an exciting addition. Detective style music would help the theme come to life even before it is introduced. This type of music is extremely difficult to find. If someone was musically inclined they could change the music from other children's choruses to suit the theme.
During Detective Days we will try to incorporate games that coincide with the theme.
Game #1 - Unscramble
Select two players, one from each team. The first contestant is given a "police or detective" notepad. On the pages there are clues that the officer has collected. The first page has one word on it. The word is scrambled. The contestant must unscramble the word and then unscramble the word on the second page. The contestant must figure out each word and solve the sentence. It must be done in one minute. The second contestant must unscramble the words in his/her pad.
Game #2 - What is that?
Select two players, one from each team. This game involves drawing. The first contestant is shown simple words. They must read the word and draw the item on a board so their team can guess what it is. The object is to see how many words the team can guess in one minute.
At this point in the program the "mystery bag" was introduced. This is a large bag with a question mark in it. Inside there is a sentence that sums up the lesson being taught. After each segment of the program a child will be selected to choose a clue from the bag. At the end the children will put the puzzle together and solve the mystery. Give out First Clue at this point.
Last week the detective's typewriter was broken but he managed to get that problem fixed. Now the detective has run into another problem. He received a clue but it got all mixed up. If he can sort it out he will get the clue. This is a puppet interaction. Einstein the Elephant is back. He talks to the audience and to the memory verse leader.
Einstein: Hi there. Let me tell you I'm having a much better week. I got my typewriter fixed and it works perfectly now. I also got another clue in the big case. Do you want to see it?
Leader: We would love to see it. Wouldn't we?
Einstein: (as he tries to grab the clues to show them to the audience, he trips and the clues go flying) Oh no, now look what happened. I had them all arranged so that I could read the message and now its mixed up. This is terrible. This is worse than my typewriter problem. What can I do?
Leader: It will be ok, Einstein. We will help you sort it out. It looks like footprints.
Einstein: They are footprints. Each one has a word on it and the words make a message. The message is a clue for the big case that I am working on.
Leader: Let's get started. I will need some volunteers to help me out. (Leader will select kids to help out with the sorting.) There you go Einstein. I told you it was nothing to worry about. We sorted the message out and we will read it to you; "If anyone of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone." John 8:4
Einstein: That's it, that is the important message! Wow, you guys are really smart. Wait a minute though, what does it mean?
Leader: (addressing the kids, allow them to have some input.) Does anyone have any idea what that means? It is something that Jesus said. He was talking to a group of people. They were angry at a woman because of what she had done. Jesus said that they shouldn't be so mean with the woman because everyone makes mistakes. He meant that we should not judge people. We have a video that will help to explain the verse.
Einstein: Maybe it will help me understand. Thanks for all of your help.
At this point a child that has been behaving will be selected. This child will draw a piece of the mystery message out of the bag. The children will be informed that the other pieces will be removed from the bag after each major activity. Give out second clue.
The story will be told through the use of video. The video was a "Nest Entertainment" product and is highly recommended for its superb quality. The name of this cartoon was "The Righteous Judge".
At this point hand out the third clue.
Skit - Snake and Julie
Snake is the neighbourhood tough guy. He is quite nasty but has started to be interested in the videos that he has been watching with Julie.
Snake: Well, Julie, I guess that video was a little better than the one from last week. But I still didn't like it. If I was there I would have thrown rocks at that lady.
Julie: But Snake, that isn't what you were supposed to learn.
Snake: I don't care. That lady did something wrong. She was really rotten. She deserved to have rocks thrown at her.
Julie: That is horrible, Snake. You totally missed the point. Snake, can I ask you some questions?
Snake: Ok, go ahead!
Julie: Have you ever made any mistakes, Snake?
Snake: I have made a few I suppose.
Julie: Would you want people to be nasty to you every time you make a mistake?
Julie: That is what you should have learned from the video. You should not judge people. No one is perfect.
Snake: I don't know. I guess you are right but I'll have to think about it.
Give out fourth clue and assemble the puzzle. Read the message. "Jesus tells us not to judge people."
Use this opportunity to ask questions and ensure that the children have understood the concepts.
Copyright 1996, Bread of Life Ministries