Now that the countdown to Christmas is over, and all the Names of Jesus have been placed on the tree, it’s time to share the whole project!
Ben and I were sitting in his office between Sunday service and Youth Group. The lead pastor, Doug, came in and started chit-chatting. He shared that he was looking at doing a Christmas sermon series on the Names of Jesus. He and Ben kept talking, but my mind went squirrel brain in the middle of the conversation.
Names of Jesus… I just saw an Advent calendar idea on that. Consults google- “Names of Jesus Advent.” Bookmark this page. Bookmark that page.
An hour and thirty-six minutes later, Doug leaves… (Just joking- I have no idea how long he was there…)
“Hey Ben, check this out.” I showed him a printable ornament set with the names of Jesus.
Ben’s response: If we are going to do this, we are going to do it right. Trees, ornaments, Scripture, and video teaching on Facebook.
Sounds good! Let’s do it!
I printed off three list of names of Jesus and the printable ornaments I found. We weren’t 100% sold on the names the premade ornaments used, so we knew we would have to redesign the ornaments. While I was doing this, Ben consulted a friend of a friend to make cardboard trees to pin the ornaments on.
We started brainstorming more ideas on teachings. But honestly, I just left that part to Ben.
After we complied the list of names and scripture we wanted to use, I made some printable ornaments with the names we chose. But, when I was cutting out the ornaments, it was not exactly easy. And we were wanting to give this to all of kids’ ministry- including the preschoolers…
“I’ve got an idea,” my husband said. “Let’s 3D print the ornaments.”
Awesome idea. So, Ben designed the first ornaments and started printing them off… The first one looked awesome… but on the second one, our printer jammed or something… it was not going to work for 25 sets of 25 ornaments.
Sadly, at this point we were only a few days away from December. And we had just found out that our cardboard trees had fallen through.
Luckily, my husband’s best friend owns Ortmann Woodcraft. Ben drove down to Perryville where he and Jon made the most amazing looking wooden trees and ornaments.
However, my husband will not do anything just partially. We spent the next couple of nights spray painting the trees green and priming the ornaments so that the kids could paint them. Then we bagged up the ornaments and prepared hand them out at church!
My husband had a vision of using his college group kids and creating a Happy Hunter character. The college group took that vision and ran went it! Each Sunday, between church and youth, we recorded the next week’s videos. Each time I thought they couldn’t do better next week- they did! And when we wrapped up our final videos, it was actually a little sad. We all really enjoyed working on this project!
I can’t honestly tell you all the results, but I can say we have been blessed by this project in more ways than I can count. I am positive that this project has planted seeds and helped others grow! And I am sure it helped many keep their eyes on the true meaning of Christmas!
As a parent: I have six kids in children’s ministry, and I can honestly say they loved this whole project! Every morning they woke up asking what’s the next name for Jesus! We definitely watched all the videos a couple of times.
However, as a kids’ ministry teacher, I got to see the overflow in other students too! During worship, the band was playing “Jesus, Messiah.” One of the boys leaned over to me and said, “Hey, those are the names on the Tree.” Then he and my daughter started counting every name of Jesus they heard in the song.
Seeds were planted and I know the harvest will be plentiful in His timing!
Here are all our teachings in order with Bible references and a link to the video on Facebook! Enjoy and be blessed!