Introduce your students to Flat Jesus this summer!

The Flat Jesus branded options from Sparkhouse! | Sparkhouse Blog

During the summer months, it can be challenging to find ways to engage students of any age. Attendance in preschool Sunday school, traditional Sunday school, and other children’s ministry programs decreases. Families take vacations; children go to summer camp; and schedules are less consistent.

But this doesn’t mean you can’t find creative ways to keep your students plugged-in to the Bible! We have a suggestion. One that is fun, free, engages students and their families, and may even involve a grand prize for you.

Introducing…Flat Jesus!

Flat Jesus is inspired by a national school project called Flat Stanley, based off a book written by Jeff Brown. Just as Flat Stanley has helped children with literacy and geography, Flat Jesus helps children stay plugged into the biblical message you’ve been sharing with them all year.

The Flat Jesus Project is simple: each student gets their own paper cutout of Jesus to take with them on their summer adventures. You’ll encourage them to take photos of their Jesus as he walks with them—helping them keep Jesus at the forefront of their minds. The project also provides an opportunity for you to partner with your students’ families. As natural questions and discussions come up, parents will have new talking points to help facilitate summer faith development.

Sparkhouse employee Whitney Bak colors the Frolic Flat Jesus | Sparkhouse Blog

How to get started

  1. Select the free template that aligns with your students’ Bible curriculum. Not currently using a Sparkhouse digital curriculum? No worries—choose the Jesus character you think will resonate most with your students!
    1. Frolic Flat Jesus
    2. Spark: Activate Faith Flat Jesus
    3. Whirl Flat Jesus
    4. Holy Moly Flat Jesus
  2. Print the pdf on a double-sided piece of paper. (Set your printer to “center” for best results!) You’ll want to print one copy for every child.
  3. Plan a day in May for your students to color and cut out their personal Flat Jesus.
  4. Laminate the cutouts.
  5. Give them to your students to take with them on adventures during the summer.
  6. Encourage families to take photos of Flat Jesus and have them send those photos to you.

You could win a grand prize!

Throughout the month of June, post those photos on our Facebook page (@wearesparkhouse) with the hashtag #FlatJesus. One church will win $100 to spend on Sparkhouse products and resources!

 

Have fun with this project and with this season! Summer is a great time for you to try something new, and for your students to explore their faith. Stay tuned for more blogs from us to help you work with families as they have important conversations about Flat Jesus.

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11 Replies to “Introduce your students to Flat Jesus this summer!”

  1. Interesting idea. How do we have parents keep the focus on Jesus the teacher vs Jesus the cartoon character. Is there some guide or dialogue for parents?

    1. Glad to hear you like our Flat Jesus concept! We will have more posts coming up that will address your questions, so please check back for those.

  2. JESUS THE CARTOON CHARACTER???!!
    REALLY!!!!! HOW SAD!!!! SURELY YOUR CHILD
    UNDERSTANDS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN OUR LORD & SAVIOR, & A CARTOON CHARACTER!!!! THIS IS A COOL IDEA BUT YOU ARE MOCKING IT!!!!! VISUAL IS A GREAT REINFORCEMENT TECHNIQUE & A GREAT WAY FOR KIDS TO REALIZE JESUS IS BESIDE US FOR THE LONG HAUL!!!!

    1. We have worked with talented artists who create hundreds of illustrations for our Spark, Whirl, Frolic, and Holy Moly Story Bibles. At the beginning of each of these projects, we work closely with the artist to establish what Jesus will look like in the illustrations. Here is a brief article one of our developers wrote about this process:

      If someone asked you as a child, “What does Jesus look like?” how would you have responded? Would Jesus look like you or someone in your family? For many of us, our first memory of what Jesus looks like might depend on how Jesus was depicted in a picture hanging on the wall at home, in a piece of artwork by the altar at church, or in our own Bible. Whatever the image of Jesus you remember, it was Jesus.

      Our development team understands that the way Jesus is depicted in our Bibles may become the primary way children in your ministry respond to the “What does Jesus look like?” question for many years to come. As we developed each of our Story Bibles, we carefully considered how we would depict Jesus. Our goal is to provide an image of a friendly, loving, and easy-to-identify man who was born in Bethlehem as the Son of God and fully human.

      Based on historical information about what people looked like in Bible times, our illustrators create their own unique picture of Jesus. Our team members review sketches and offer input regarding Jesus’ facial features, hair, clothing, body shape, and expressions. Each person brought their own childhood memory, accepting that there is no one perfect visual representation of Jesus.

      In our Story Bibles Jesus does not have perfectly coifed hair. His skin tone may appear darker than in other picture Bibles you have seen. We hope you and the children in your ministry will recognize Jesus’ kind smile, a lap large enough for plenty of kids to sit on, and arms wide enough to wrap around all who come to him for healing, teaching, forgiveness, and love. And someday your child may describe exactly what they see to someone who asks them, “What does Jesus look like?”

    1. Thanks for the idea! We only have our Sunday school curriculum represented, but we’ll add this to our docket for next year!

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