Lessons Learned 
from Puppet Ministry

The camaraderie in the puppet ministry realm can be remarkable. Sure, when I went to One Way Street festivals, I had my moments when winning the Gold or the People's Choice awards seemed supreme. Yes, there are times as a puppet builder when care must be taken to avoid infringement upon the copyrights of another maker's character. Seldom, well only once, have I ever felt that another puppet ministry desired my ministry's failure. I hope none of you ever find yourself wearing the shoes of either side of that heartbreaker. 

When puppet makers, leaders, and teams gather we encounter new and exciting ideas that energize our individual ministries. We invite others to share our triumphs hoping to see them replicated in other teams. We disclose our defeats hoping to never see them rear their ugly heads anywhere else with any other team. We share because we want other teams to benefit from our experiences and when we listen we leave our gatherings with fresh inspiration for our teams. 

Eventually this inspiration culminates in the success of another puppet program well done. Perhaps in a bit different form than anticipated or plus/minus a few of the details. This path to success often takes longer than expected. Sometimes we can pinpoint the reasons for the delay. Other times we rely on such adages as the stars weren't aligned or we didn't have our ducks in a row. There have been times I've questioned, "Ducks, what ducks? I was supposed to have ducks?"

We need to remember that many times the things that take awhile to put together often stand out as the most valuable and become the most meaningful and memorable. Of all the lessons puppet ministry must teach, patience for the process is one we learn most frequently. If we can abide the unpredictability of ministry, our labors will eventually bear fruit. Sometimes glorious fruit we never expected. 

I don't get to control everything that goes into or comes out of my ministry. But if I am open to learning from others, to trying something new, and to persevering until a good idea can have its moment, everything will come together. 

And I am convinced that friendships and puppet ministries will continue to grow, and serve, and proclaim their message to the world.

A Share...


 A Prayer

Sometimes we worship because we've had a victory. But sometimes we worship until we see one. The trumpets used to bring down the walls of Jericho were sometimes used in a battle cry but were most often used to celebrate after a victory.  God was essentially telling the Israelites to start worshiping, singing, and playing those instruments before they saw the victory.  Celebrate before they saw the outcome they were praying for.  And it worked! The victory was won with a weapon called worship.  There will be times in our lives when worship will be the way to victory.  --- excerpted from Attacking Anxiety by Shawn Johnson

In 2017 our GPS (Grow, Proclaim, Serve)  Puppetry Conference theme was Anchor of Hope.  One workshop was learning a blacklight dowel rod choreography to the song "The Anchor Holds" by Ray Boltz. This was previously a part of our  "Jonah" puppet program.  There are ten - 10" rods made from 1" PVC tubing painted with fluorescent orange spray paint. Puppeteers are dressed all  in black with black hoods and gloves and either held the rods in the middle with the tips of their fingers or grasped the very end of the rod in their fist. The dowel rod portion was performed to just the chorus of the song while we had another fluorescent gloved puppeteer learn the sign language for each verse. A minimum of five puppeteers are needed for just the dowel rod portion. Workshop attendees learned the formations fairly quickly when at least one of the five was a His Hands Puppets team member with previous experience.  Most of the one hour workshop was spent in practicing the formations.  The group performed during the team presentations at the end of the day with a His Hands Puppet team member performing the sign language. If you'd like more information on performing this, I'm sharing my notes and instructional sheets from our Jonah performance.  Just click the buttons to access.


May you wake each day with 

His Blessings,

Sleep each night in 

His Keeping,

And may you always walk in 

His Tender Care.


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