Detective Lesson One
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UNCOVERING THE MYSTERIES OF THE PARABLES

THEME: We will be using a detective theme to uncover the true meaning of the parables and learn how they apply to our lives today. The backdrop for the action will be a swamp.

SETTING THE STAGE:
Set up one side of the room to look like a detectives office. Include a desk piled high with papers, an old typewriter, a microscope, file cabinet, coat rack for detective’s overcoat and hat, etc. Use the other half of the room to look like a swamp.

CHARACTERS:
Dingo Daily the news reporter: always hot on the trail of a
breaking story.
Detective Doofuss: A fussy detective who always thinks he can solve the mystery , a bit arrogant, sophisticated, flashy and know it all (somewhat like Timon or Basil of bakers street).
Jr. Detective Pumba: The detective’s side kick, a bit dumb,
unsophisticated, plain, funny, and usually comes up with the right answer (like Pumba from Lion King)
Frederick the French Frog: A large frog puppet who is high
strung and loves to rhyme; especially with the word son. He
thinks that he is above everyone else and hates being called Freddy. He is always trying to get a pretty girl to kiss him so that he can turn into a prince.
Clown (this week only)

THIS WEEK:
This week we will uncover the mystery of the parable of the lost coin and discover that we are very valuable to God.
GOALS:
To teach the children that:
< Valuable means having great worth.
< When something is valuable we do everything we can
to keep it, protect it, find it if we lose it.
< We are valuable to God like a treasure.
< We are lost in sin and Jesus comes looking for us to
save us from death because of his great love for us.

OPENING:
The week prior to this service video tape several kids telling about a time when they lost something important. Play the tape as the kids are coming into service.

PRAYER:
Take time to pray for our kids church. Remember that prayer is the foundation upon which ministry is built. Without prayer, our ministry is done in vain. Remember to pray for each of the children in your pod group. You may be the only person who prays for some of your kids.

RULES:
It is very important to review the rules each week.
) NO WALK!
) NO TALK!
) HAVE FUN!

WORSHIP:
Kids need verbal encouragement and instruction as they are led into worship. Take time between songs to talk about worship, encourage participation, give direction, etc.

OFFERING:

OPENING SKIT:
Dingo Daily, the news anchor from the PowerHouse newsroom
interrupts the regularly scheduled service to bring us a breaking
news story. As Dingo is reporting on the mysterious
disappearance of a rare and valuable coin, a clown can be seen
in the background looking under things and above things and in
things...etc. The reporter is annoyed with the clown for the
disturbance he is making and tries to interrupt the clown to get
him out of the way and discovers that he is the owner of the rare
coin and asks for an exclusive interview (be sure to ask about
the value of the coin, the fact that there are other coins he still
has, why it&#8217;s so important).
When the reporter returns the viewers to the regularly scheduled
programming, Detective Doofuss and his trust assistant show
up. The detective is bound and determined to solve the
mystery!
DETECTIVE SKIT:
The detective paces back and forth across the room periodically
stopping dead in her tracks and looking like she has a brilliant
idea and then resumes pacing. Her assistant follows behind
mimicking everything she does. As she is pacing the assistant
notices a REWARD poster on the wall and tries to direct the
detective&#8217;s attention to it, wondering aloud if this might be a
clue. At first the detective seems annoyed with the interruption
and tells Pumba not to be ridiculous. Suddenly she realizes that
Pumba is right, but wants to take credit herself so she announces
that she has just discovered a very important clue. This poster is
a clue! Why, it&#8217;s all elementary, this poster makes it clear that
something that is valuable is very important. It has great worth!
Yes, this coin is important because it has great worth, but what
does this have to do with God??? What does this have to do
with us??? They must find out!
GAMES/POD GROUPS:
The detective is pacing in the swamp and comes across a mud
pit (a bucket of pudding) and decides that there must be some
clues hidden in the &#8220;mud&#8221;. He doesn&#8217;t want to get messy so he
asks for some volunteers to play a game to retrieve the clues.
Fill a bucket with chocolate pudding or some other messy
brown gooey stuff (be sure to consider clothing when selecting
volunteers and provide old paint shirts to participants). Hide ten
pennies and three dimes and two quarters in the bucket of goo.
Select one player from each team to compete for their team. On
go the contestants must dig through the pudding with their
hands and attempt to find as many of the missing coins as
possible. Give one point for each penny found and ten points
for each dime and twenty five points for each quarter.
Discuss the following with your pod group:
1. Spend a few minutes talking about money. Kids are
usually fascinated with large sums of money, so this is
good way to get a discussion started about what it means to
be valuable.
2. Is a hundred dollar bill a lot of money?
3. Would you be careless if I gave you this twenty dollar
bill?
4. Would you be sad if you lost it? What would you do?
Why?
5. When something is valuable we do everything we can
to keep it safe, to find it when it is lost, etc. Even if it
means digging through yuck like the kids finding change.
MEMORY VERSE:
The Lord&#8217;s loved ones are precious to him. Psalm 116:15
Write each word of the memory verse on a piece of paper. Tape
several of the pieces under the chairs of the kids. Frederick the
Frog stumbles across a stack of words hidden in the puppet
stage. He is convinced that they must be a clue. He selects
children to come and hold the cards and discovers that several of
the pieces are missing and he needs help filling in the missing
words. Have kids look under their chairs and find the missing
pieces.
Frederick: (very sophisticated... clearing his throat) Excuse me
mademoiselle... (makes a kissing sound)
Leader: Why, hello... I don&#8217;t believe we&#8217;ve met.
Fred: oui, oui mon ami. Allow me to introduce myself. I am
Frederick Frenior the third, my dear lady.
Leader: My, what a fancy name for a toad! Can I call you
Freddy?
Frederick: MOST CERTAINLY NOT!!! First of all, I am not a
toad... those lucidious creatures are nasty. I am a FROG!! And
secondly, my name is Frederick, not Freddy.
Leader: my apologies Frederick. I didn&#8217;t mean to offend you.
Now what can we do for you?
Frederick: Well, now that you ask, how about sending one of
those beautiful ladies over here to give me a big kiss?
Leader: MOST CERTAINLY NOT!!! Kissing is for married
people.
Frederick: But, I just know that if one of those lovely ladies
gives me a kiss I will turn into a most handsome prince!
Leader: Frederick, you are a frog, not a prince. That only
happens in fairy tales.
Frederick: Oh, I&#8217;m in the depths of despair. I will never become
the handsome prince that I am inside if you do not let one of
those pretty girls give me a kiss.
Leader: I&#8217;m sorry Frederick, but I guess you&#8217;ll just have to stay
a frog. Is there anything else we can do for you?
Frederick: No, but alas perhaps there is something I can do for
you. You see, I have stumbled across what I believe to be a clue
that will help you solve your mystery. I found this stack of
papers with words on them back here in the swamp.
Leader: Why I believe you&#8217;ve stumbled onto something Freddy.
Frederick: Madam!!! My name is FREDERICK!!! And I just
finished telling you that I had stumbled onto something.
However, some of the pieces appear to be missing. Perhaps the
children should look under their chairs to see if some of the
missing pieces are hidden there. Now if you will excuse me, I
must be on my way. I need to find a beautiful girl to give me
that kiss... that is unless you would like to give me a big
smacker??
Leader: MOST CERTAINLY NOT!!! I&#8217;m already married.
But thanks for the clue. Good bye.
Frederick: You&#8217;re welcome. Choa.
Leader: Well, kids let&#8217;s see if we can figure out this clue...
BIBLE STORY:
The detective assistant comes out and says that he has a story
that might help us understand today&#8217;s mystery. Using a rare
coin and a broom he tells the parable of the woman who lost her
coin and searched high and low to find it. (Remember that
Pumba is a funny guy, so ham it up when you tell the story)
CLOSING OBJECT LESSON:
Obtain a rare and valuable coin (or piece of jewelry). Use the
coin to talk about what it means to have value. Tie all the clues
together and help the kids discover that we are lost in sin but
because we have such incredible value to God he sent his son to
die for us so that we would not have to stay lost. He seeks us
out and calls us to him because of his great love for us! God is
like the woman who lost her coin and we are like the lost coin

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Copyright Sheryl Coats 1995-2009