Try these programming ideas to get the most out of your Torchlighter® DVDs:
Community Movie Night
Host a Community Movie Night at your place of worship. These are especially good during the summer, where you can host them outside on a big screen or sheet. Volunteers can provide complimentary popcorn or other concessions, and in the same place, set out Voice of the Martyrs info packets, portable Gospels, Bibles, and tracts.
For a sunday school class Awana club, etc., host a missions highlight day in which you watch one of the torchlighters missionary episodes (Amy Carmichael, Samuel Morris, Jim Elliot, Gladys Aylward, or other.) Make sure you theme the classroom with the specific country for the Torchlighter® you choose and have students come to class prepared with information about that area or, for an informal program, dress up in clothes from that country. After you watch the DVD, make the connection stick with the kids by showing them pictures of missionaries your church has sent to that country, praying for the missionaries, and praying for the people in that country still unreached by the gospel.
Use the torchlighters® series for a Vacation Bible School or Camp. This will work for a week-long or three-day Bible school. You could schedule Bible verse memorization, game time, song time, presentation (this is where the video goes in) a short lesson or review, and then crafts. For a 2 hour VBS, you would easily fit in a whole video. Different themes are possible with the wide variety of Torchlighters®: Missions VBS, Church History VBS, Use-Your-Gifts VBS, Serve-the-Lord VBS, or World Tour VBS.
Sunday School Christian Heroes Quarter
Each Torchlighter® video comes with a comprehensive leaders guide. Choose three heroes and cover them as a special Sunday school quarter. This is a perfect solution to summer Sunday school, when teachers are looking for something easy to use and a bit different.
Make Torchlighters® the focus of your church’s next family night. Advertise this as a fun and educational evening, and be sure to include refreshments and games. Each Torchlighter® story is preceded by a story preview. Share this video preview with your congregation to build enthusiasm, while encouraging them to invite guests. Be sure to take advantage of our reproducible student worksheets, available in each video’s study guide.
Use The Jim Elliot Story as part of a Missions day. Highlight various mission work around the world through displays, ethnic food, crafts, and opportunities to support worldwide missions. The documentary Beyond the Gates (intended for adults) is a great complement to the Torchlighters® DVDs for such an event.
These suggestions are adapted from an email sent to us by Pat and Jerry James who used the Torchlighters® for a Summer series.
For anyone who is teaching children, Pray! Pray for your children every day. Tell them that you love them and that you pray for them. Some children have no one praying for them. You may be the only one.
Use the Perpetua Story to teach that we get to heaven “by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony” (Rev. 12:11). It is also a good starting place to explain that the Lord’s sacrifice was once and for all and that we must make a profession of faith in Jesus.
Use the William Tyndale Story to show the importance of having the Bible in the English language. Print out a Latin translation of the verse “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my Word endures forever” (Matthew 24:35, Luke 13:31), as the memory verse of the day. You will probably get blank stares from the class. Offer to read it to the children. Then ask if they would like the translation. This verse appears more than once in the Bible, so it must be important! It will help the children understand the value of having the Bible in their own language. The Latin reads: caelum et terra transibunt verba vero mea non praeteribunt
For the John Bunyan Story you might read selections from a children’s version of Pilgrim’s Progress in class, especially one with pictures.
For the Richard Wurmbrand Story, make copies of the Morse Code alphabet and have the children decode Bible verses or other messages in it. Explain the difference between Communism and Free Enterprise. Good scriptures are Hebrews 13:5 (Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”) and I John 4:4 (Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.)
For the Gladys Aylward Story write her nickname “The Virtuous One,” in Chinese. Use the “beautiful feet” scripture (Romans 10:15) to show the sequence of beautiful feet being sent, preaching, hearing, and believing. This ties in with the fact she was “foot inspector.” Bring in pictures from the Internet of the practice of footbinding in China and why it had to stop. Find out why Gladys Aylward did not care for the movie Inn of the Sixth Happiness and explain this to the children.
For the Eric Liddell Story use the Torchlighters® game of a torch relay, emphasizing the need to pass on Christian faith to others. All sorts of Olympic games can be adapted for class participation and you can award medals. Use the scripture passage 1 Corinthians 9:23-27 to show how we must train ourselves spiritually.
For the Jim Elliot Story, copy blank maps of South America and have the children fill in the thirteen countries. Pray over the work of missionaries and people in each of those countries. Tell stories of missionaries to some of those countries.
Bible Giveaway Event
Combine a showing of The William Tyndale Story with a children’s Bible giveaway OR a Bible retrieval event (old Bibles are collected, along with funds to send them to needy areas). The video God’s Outlaw, a dramatic feature length film portraying the life of Tyndale, is a perfect option for a concurrent adult program. This Bible focused event is a great way to begin a unit study on the history of the Bible using a program such as Discovering the Bible.
Sunday School or Children’s Church Reward
Set up a system where kids can earn their own Torchlighter® DVDs by earning points through Bible memory work or through service hours.
Summer Reading Club Party
Cap off your church’s summer reading club with a party and a showing of The John Bunyan Story. Invite kids to share what they’ve learned through reading over the summer. Read The Young Pilgrim’s Progress as part of your event. Copies of the video and/or the book could be used as prizes for kids who’ve earned the most points in the reading club.