Puppets

David Buckner

Get Attention:
As with many other types of ministry tools and strategies,  the very nature of puppets is simply to get the attention  of people. It has been said numerous times that puppets is  geared for children. Why then do adults gawk and pause as  they pass a puppet stage? Just like balloon animals,  juggling, clowning, or any other type of creative ministry,  puppets can appeal to a wide variety of people.

There are some tips to getting attention with puppets:

1.) Involve human/puppet interaction whenever possible.

  • Use an emcee to host the puppet show.
  • Have a human come out and play an instrumental  solo that is in a song that you're doing.
  • Incorporate some interactive games with the kids  watching. Have a puppet lead and a human(s) facilitate out front.

2.) Involve GOOD props as much as possible.

  • While practicing, actually have a prop  brainstorming session. 
  • Devote whole practices to making props. 
  • When someone isn't in a certain song that is  being practiced, they can be working on props.
  • Interactive props—balloons, bubbles, beach balls,  squirt guns, and so forth.  Example: If your group is doing Surfin' USA, incorporate some beach balls thrown out into  the audience (to be collected during the  last chorus). Maybe throw a beach towel out  front with someone acting as if they are  spending some time on the beach. Just get  creative, don't limit yourself, and think  outside the box.

3.) Good/sharp choreography is critical to successful  puppetry.

  • If inexperienced in this, attain videos of other  groups and learn from them.
  • Watch episodes of the Muppet Show or Sesame  Street.
  • The more together the choreography is, the better  chance of keeping the attention of anyone  watching.
  • Music choice is also critical for getting attention.  Puppetry is one of the few opportunities to do oldies,  kids songs, group interaction songs, and songs from  all genres of music, while still getting a positive  response. The one piece of advice is to establish  credibility and trust by picking very familiar songs  before trying to deviate into something more  "focused."


Do Something Eternal With A Moment:
As with creative ministry strategies, there will only be a  short time in which to plant a seed with anyone who has  stopped to watch. Puppets are also somewhat different  because there isn't a direct connection from person to  person. Therefore, it is imperative that some of the group  be trained on "working the crowd". Using various tools and  materials in order to hopefully plant a seed with someone  watching is recommended for the "crowd workers". Another  way to incorporate seed planting into a puppet show is to  include a short, entertaining Bible story into the show.  There is a puppet character called "Sally" who has numerous  ones of these stories. There are many more, but the point  is to simply create the moment in which to plant a seed. 

Puppet Resources:
Above all, we will point you to the Internet.

http://www.puppetproductions.com/

http://www.fcpfellowship.org/

http://www.gptpuppets.org/stage.htm

And many more! Just plug the word "puppets" into a search  engine and be amazed.