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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The Good News! » » First VBS shows coming up (6 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Ed_Millis
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Inner circle
Yuma, AZ
2068 Posts

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I've been asked to help a group from our church with some shows. They volunteer at the local family rescue mission and shelter. The mission is hosting a VBS this summer, three sessions two weeks apart, and our group has one two-hour day in each session. They've asked me for a one-hour magic show on each of the three days.

My concern is that I need to insert a gospel message into the show. I do not normally present gospel magic, although I have in the past. But then it was only one trick, not a whole show. If I put the gospel in the middle, I can steamroll over the message with the closing tricks. If I wait until the end, I might lose the younger ones who couldn't pay attention for the entire show. If I have a really strong trick (which hopefully I do have some of those!), they might never remember the lesson.

How do y'all work out your VBS shows?
Ed
Theodore Lawton
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Inner circle
1310 Posts

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Hi Ed! Congratulations on this opportunity!

I've been writing a gospel show for quite some time in the hopes of doing one. So while I don't have experience beyond doing one trick either, I can offer some of what I've learned from Duane Laflin's book, Anatomy of a Gospel Magic Show.

First of all, I would highly recommend getting this book. It's only 15 bucks and in the short pages it contains you will really get some awesome ideas to help you with this. But having said that...

1. Establish a theme- you can probably work with whatever theme VBS is using this year. Or, choose your own. With a recurring theme you can refer back to it throughout your act and slowly pound a point home through repetition.

2. Have an opening segment- where you just do entertaining magic that captures the audience. You can also take some of this time to explain what magic is and isn't while your doing a trick. This is pretty important to some people who get the heebie jeebies from magic. Aren't Christians funny? You'd think they'd know better. But your opening segment is a great time to introduce yourself and set the tone for the show. Funny, serious, etc, while also establishing that you are a good magician.

3. Decide how much gospel you want to include. I know this is what you're struggling with, but that really is up to you. Pray about it, of course, and just let God lead you. I have chosen to write a show titled, "What is the Gospel?" That is my recurring theme and I include Scripture and explain the gospel throughout every trick in my show. Some people may choose to do an entire show as a "magician" and save the message for the end. I like pounding a point home through repetition. It tends to stick in people's minds more.

Here's an example of my script from the first effect after my intro. It's rather long, but hopefully you can get an idea of how I look at this.

Trick #1 : Titled: "What I want you to leave here with- By His Stripes We Are Healed" with Palmo and three silks. A 9" red silk, 9" white silk and 12" red and white striped silk.

Scriptures: Isaiah 1:18, 53:5

We're here to see magic and we're here to have fun, but I also want to talk to you about something serious. I want to talk to you today about the gospel of salvation. Today's theme is: What is the gospel? We're going to look at this strange word, gospel, which means "good news" and talk about what it means for us today. We're also going to talk about some bad news and what that means for us today too.

The bad news is that we all sin. We all do things that break God's laws and we all deserve to be punished for those sins. The good news is that God made a way for us to be saved from His anger and He is willing to forgive us if we repent, turn from our sin, and believe in Jesus Christ to save us.

Now, I want you to pretend for a moment. Imagine our sin is a dirty, yucky, ketchup stain on a nice white shirt. This red hanky will represent the stain of our sin. This is what God says about these dirty sins: "Come now, and let us reason together," says the Lord, "though your sins are as scarlet, (like this hanky) they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool. (Pass red hank through palmo and produce white hank)

God says that although our sins are like a yucky stain, they can be clean and white like this! Now this is important! This is what I want you to take with you today as the most important thing. What can wash away our sins? What makes us white as snow? How can God do these amazing things? Would you believe God uses blood to remove our stains? It's only the blood of Jesus that can make us clean in the eyes of God and forgiven of sin. You see, Jesus sacrificed Himself on the cross for us so that we can be forgiven and washed clean and white. His blood that was shed for us, actually makes us clean. By believing in His sacrifice for you, God forgives you and sees you like a clean person. (Display white hank and slowly pass it into the palmo) This is because Jesus took your punishment that you deserve.

Jesus was beaten and whipped for you, He was crucified, nailed to a cross, for you. The Bible says: He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes (Producing striped hank) we are healed. So keep that in mind today, that the gospel, the good news, is that it's because of Jesus' sacrifice that we can be forgiven!


So that's trick #1. I have about 8 or 9 tricks written and an intro segment.

I'm going to end my show with a testimony based trick that I have performed at my church using a hank ball and silk fountain. So that's something else to consider including. Hope this helps! I'll be praying for you Ed!

And speaking of sin Ed, it's a sin that we have never had some Round Table pizza or gone to that little Christian owned coffee shop together in Yuma. I need to hit you up next time I'm passing through.
Theodore-
Smile
Magic is the bacon in the breakfast of life.

............................................

God bless you and have a magical day!
Ed_Millis
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Inner circle
Yuma, AZ
2068 Posts

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Thanks for that! I appreciate the boost.

Not sure that coffee shop is still there. Round Table is though.
Ah, but then there's Kneaders ... :8-)

And thank you for the prayers.
I will count on them.

Ed
Rickfcm
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Veteran user
lower Michigan
341 Posts

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For both of you I have been teaching Sunday school for thirty years and have written many of my lessons down. I can email you my notes if you give me an email address. No charge.
themagiciansapprentice
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Inner circle
Essex, UK
1324 Posts

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For VBS aim at a few tricks without scripture to show who you are and settle the kids in - they have to like you and see their is nothing to fear in your magic. I even mention that all of "sleight of hand" comes from a book in the library, but my beliefs come from the Bible.

then an audience participation routine (fill the stage!!)

then have three tricks that build on the same message/VBS theme

an audience participation trick

then the final summary of the message

I learnt this from Duane Laflin and use it for all of my message show- get the The Art of Gospel Magic dvd 3 set

This system WORKS!!
Have wand will travel! Performing children's magic in the UK for Winter 2014 and Spring 2015.
TheMightyRicardo
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104 Posts

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Hi Ed,
I always look forward to VBS because we buy into a well-planned package, where the theme is already built into the Bible study, crafts, music, recreation etc. and that makes it much easier on the group leaders. This Summer the theme is exploration - "Journey off the Map". The groups rotate between activities every 40 minutes. Spaces for 150 children
Your VBS sounds like it has a totally different structure. Since you are doing one-hour magic shows for three of the total six hours of VBS, it sounds very unbalanced in terms of activities for the children. Also, if it is the same group of children you will have to provide 3 totally different shows.
IMHO you should check with the organisation to find out if this is what they really want. Make sure the VBS is well-planned and find out the Theme; - it is a heavy responsibility looking after a large group of energetic children.
The secret to a succesful VBS is keeping the children engaged by getting them involved in varied, interesting activities.
Anyway, I have used or seen the following magic effects at VBS in the past:-
A rope animated like a snake (facing fear)
Red liquid turned purple then green (following instructions)
A dark liquid turned colourless (delivery from sin)
A hand smash on to chosen paper bag - soft item or broken glass (trust)
A card trick - the card changes to a blank with message (focal passage)

Hope this helps,
Richard
Ed_Millis
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Inner circle
Yuma, AZ
2068 Posts

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This is not a church-sponsored VBS. This is the local family shelter / mission. There are three sessions, each lasting three days, two weeks apart. Various churches volunteer to take one or more days, with each day lasting two hours. I am filling an hour on the third day of each session. I've been told there's a theme - I doubt that it's a preplanned package.

From what I understand, the audience will consist of familes staying at the shelter, along with staff and any of their kids that are not otherwise occupied. I anticipate ages 0-50+, with no way to determine ahead of time how many of each.

It sounds like it might be best to open with some of my standard stuff - 15-20 minutes - to establish the character of the magic and the magician. Then make each trick a lesson about a different facet of the gospel. That way, if someone has to leave, at least they heard something. If they stay for more, they get to hear more.

Ed
TheMightyRicardo
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Hi Ed,
I didn't get that each session lasted 3 days. That looks a lot better.
I have to look at our pre-planned package to see were I can do one or two tricks to emphasize a particular message.

Richard
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