And they made for themselves and worshipped a golden…triceratops? This weekend we were talking about the Israelites building a golden calf while Moses was receiving the Ten Commandments. (We have started using a new curriculum as of Sunday, so some of you may recognize this as the same thing you taught on.) In order to help the kids visualize the story, the curriculum called for a toy cow to be spray painted gold. Unfortunately, Wal-mart did not have any toy cows and I couldn’t get to the farm store during business hours. So, I took what I did have, a toy triceratops, and painted it gold. I told myself the kids wouldn’t notice. As soon as I uncovered it, they noticed. Unfortunately, I’m pretty close to the kids and I do not have the luxury of stage lighting or even a stage.
There are one hundred and one different ways I can go with this week’s takeaway, but I’m not that disciplined, so I’ll just give you one. When you are dealing with severely limited resources, including time, you may not always have the perfect prop or a way to acquire the perfect prop. Around here, you can’t just jump over to the costume shop (there isn’t one). If you cannot get it at Wally world or the farm store, you better plan ahead on driving the hour it takes to get to the nearest city. I’m one for quality, but I’m also one for making the best out of what you have. We took the gold dinosaur and made a joke out of it and then went on. This was probably more memorable than a golden cow anyway, because it stood out.
I’ll leave you with one great example of this. While doing my internship during college, I had the privilege of working with another CM student who is now my best friend. He was teaching on something to do with a Roman soldier. He did not have a centurion’s helmet, so he made one…out of an old broom and a hat. I do not remember the lesson, but I remember the Children’s Pastor and I had many conversations about the creativity of the costume. This is what it is all about.
I’m not giving you a license to do a terrible job and blame it on lack of resources. I’m also not saying wait until the last second and then freak out because you do not have the resource you need. What I am saying is, use what you have to do the best you can. When the best resource is not available, do not be afraid to do something funny or fun. Maybe the funny resource is better than the “best” resource.
So what are your thoughts here? Have you ever used an unconventional prop?