What are you willing to do to earn the right to be heard? Have you ever thought of it that way? You need a hook. Research says that communicators have anywhere from 30 seconds to three minutes to grab and hold your audience’s attention. You can force them to sit there, but not to listen or engage with your content.
Knowing that, after we’ve spent a lot of time researching and planning out the Bible story or principle—what we’re going to say—we spend even more of our time in long creative meetings figuring out the best way to say it.
So, you might think that the Host or Assistant role in the Opener is mostly fluff or optional, but we consider it your ticket in—a priceless chance to tease your audience with an idea or thread from the truth the Storyteller will soon share.
This May, we’re talking about God’s Great Expectations for us—our Responsibility as a response to all the abilities and opportunities He’s given us. That can feel like a heavy subject for an elementary-age kid, so we decided to liven things up with a game-show take on this topic.
Take a minute to think about some of the game shows you grew up watching. I can’t help but picture all those excited people when they hear their name called and are told to “come on down.” Why not lean in and have some fun while inspiring kids to step up to the awesome challenge to live up to all God has for us?
In the Get Ready section of the curriculum, one of the ways we suggest you get the kids pumped up in expectation of your Power Up time is to create a special VIP area in your Large Group space this month. I want to give you a clearer picture of what this could look like and why I think it will work.
You know what they say: the easiest and cheapest way to change a room is to just rearrange the furniture. (And who among us isn’t watching our pennies these days?) Think about what couches, comfy chairs or bean bags could be moved into your area, front and center or right off to the side of your stage in an obvious place.
Week One you can point it out and proudly display a “Couch Potato” trophy, encouraging all your Small Groups to try hard this month to win the Opening contest. Because when they do, the following week they will be your ministry’s VIPs and sit in that very special section, in special seating, where everyone else (sitting on the floor or hard chairs) can see them.
Based on personal experience, this is a big win and worth a little bit of shifting of your stuff to pull off. The kid’s energy and enthusiasm is incredible to experience. It’s almost the end of the school year—why not go out with a bang? I’ve included some pictures of a DIY Couch Potato trophy to give you an idea of what you could make—for low cost and big laughs. Have some fun with it; I’d love to see what kind of trophies and VIP seating areas you create. Tweet them to us @252Basics.
Also, if you take time to comment below and say that you’re committing to going the extra mile and changing up your environment with VIP seating this May, we’ll put your name in a hat and you could win this Couch Potato Trophy—saving you a step.

I know how creative you all are and how you love a little competition—so I have Great Expectations for this month!

STEP 1: Gather your supplies. I used a wood base from Hobby Lobby (just $.99), black and gold paint, a foam brush, and Potato Head pieces from my kids’ stash.

STEP 2: Paint the base black and all the individual pieces gold. (Note: I chose to leave the eyes and hands white for contrast and to paint the mustache black.) Then let them dry.
STEP 3: Use the glue gun to firmly re-attach all the Potato Head accessories to the body and the Super Glue to attach the feet to the black base. Hold them while they dry for a better bond.
STEP 4: I printed the name for my trophy using my Labeler, but you could also use a regular mailing label or even masking tape.