I've been meaning to ask... Children's Lessons
Our newest worship series, I’ve been meaning to ask… is shaped around four guiding questions to foster curiosity and courageous conversations. With a series focused on connection and community, we chose to introduce dialogue in as many places as we could. We welcomed a panel of four guest contributors, created conversation cards, and crafted our study journal with small group discussion in mind. Following that path, we have written corresponding children’s lessons in the form of a dialogue. Included for each week is a two-person script, questions to ask afterward, and a closing prayer—all based on each week’s guiding question.
“I’ve been meaning to ask. . . where are you from?”
Based on Genesis 2:4b-15 and John 1:35-51
“I’ve been meaning to ask. . . where does it hurt?”
Based on Jesus’ ministry of healing, particularly inspired by Mark 5:21-43
“I’ve been meaning to ask. . . what do you need?”
Based on Job 2:11-13 and 2 Timothy 4:9-18
“I’ve been meaning to ask. . . where do we do from here?”
Based on Ruth 1:1-22 and Acts 10
Click here to download the lessons, and keep reading for more information about how to adapt these lessons for your own context.
Each script is between a minute and a minute and a half long in performance time. We encourage you to adapt the scripts to fit your context, especially names and places. You’re also welcome to re-write the script completely to reflect the specific needs of your children.
We have kept the cast to only two people for simplicity and brevity. We’ve given them the names of Aleph and Bet as placeholders, but you are encouraged to substitute names of people in your community, names of the actors, or names of characters the children know. Continuity of characters among the four scripts is not necessary—characters can change from week to week if you’d like.
You can adapt these children’s lessons in many ways, and we hope you’ll get creative! Here are just a few possible ways to engage children with these scripts:
Enlist volunteers to create a short animated film based on the scripts. You can go “old school” with stop motion animation using clay, Lego bricks, paper shapes, or drawings, or you can use an animation program to create a digital short. Biteable is a free option for creating animated videos.
Stage a puppet show with the children, whether live or on video. You can select beloved puppets or stuffed animals; create homemade puppets out of socks, paper bags, or card stock and popsicle sticks; or just draw faces on your hands! With two characters, a single puppeteer is all that’s needed for these performances.
If you have aspiring filmmakers among your crew, ask them to direct and shoot a short film adaptation of the scripts using children or adults in your congregation as actors. Show the video during Sunday School or the children’s moment in worship, or email it to families to watch at home.
Put on a skit performed live by adults or children, whether in an assembly before Sunday School or during the children’s moment in worship. You might even encourage groups of children to develop their own skits based on the guiding question for each week.
Perform a table reading. Choose one person to read Aleph and one person to read Bet, and choose another person to read stage directions in italics. This is the simplest way to use these scripts, and is an excellent option for families or small groups where there is no audience.
Take a vintage approach by adapting the scripts for a radio show—complete with foley effects, of course! You might invite children to help make the sounds of Bet’s bicycle accident or Aleph’s moving boxes. Perform the show live or record the audio to share.
After the performance, you’ll want to ask children some general questions about their reactions to what they saw, such as:
What do you think?
Have you been in a similar situation before?
Which part was your favorite?
Would you have done anything differently?
We’ve included three themed reflection questions for each week that can be asked in a discussion setting or given as journaling prompts to older children. These questions are not reliant on the script in case you would like to use the two pieces in separate contexts.
Rev. Anna Strickland (she/her/hers) looks for the Divine in the everyday like treasure in clay jars and first encountered God in the integration of her spiritual self and artistic self. She is a native Austinite and graduated from the University of Texas where she now works in college ministry, especially serving LGBTQ students.