Christian Clowning

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My husband, Kirk, fell into clowning naturally. Finding humor in
every situation and being the brunt of people’s jokes was what he
lived for. When he discovered clowning, it didn’t surprise
anyone.

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He tried to get me in costume as well.

“I’m not funny,” I’d say.

But I did accompany my clown husband to church. I was the straight
person who kept Checkers on track.

He’d act like he knew all the scriptures, but he knew them all
wrong. I’d correct him. That was my job and I liked it.

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The children were enthralled by his antics. They politely listened
to me, but their eyes were always on Checkers.

Later I added makeup and a costume also. Once I discovered the
right clown character for me, it was easy and fun to develop
it.

I saw a difference immediately. Children crowded around me and
eagerly listened to anything I said. They’d offer hugs-lots of
hugs. The love I was able to share was the best part. It made all
the work of applying the makeup and donning a costume
worthwhile.

CLOWNING IN THE CHURCH
Christian clowns are funny-sometimes sad, sometimes silly-but they
always touch children with God’s love and further his Word.

Clowns not only capture the undivided attention of children, they
also see the world through a child’s eyes. Christian clowns can
take a scripture verse and shed humorous light on it that provides
new insight for kids. For example, a Christian clown can take John 3:3 and try to figure out how to be born
again.

HOW TO GET STARTED
There are four basic types of clown characters. I’m a White
Face
clown, Kirk is an Auguste clown, and the other
clown types are a Tramp and a Character clowns.
After choosing the type of clown character you want to be, visit
your own closet or a thrift store to create your costume. Look for
pants and jackets that are too big, too short, too baggy or simply
bright and colorful. Jazz up clothes with big buttons, colorful
patches or pockets, puff paint, glitter, ribbons or bows. You can
buy an inexpensive clown wig or spray your natural hair with
washout color.

Check out the “Clowning
Resources
” box for other costuming and makeup tips.

Try out basic clowning at church camp, vacation Bible school,
church dinners or celebrations. Use a few of these “kid-tested”
clown props:

  • Carry a giant foam sandwich. Tell kids you’re “feasting on the
    Word of God. You put it inside, and it’ll make you grow.”
  • Conceal a horn from sight in a pocket. Gently push a child’s
    nose and at the same time honk the horn. Tell the child he or she
    is making a joyful noise unto the Lord.
  • Take a feather duster and prepare the kids for children’s
    church by dusting them off. Say, “Create in me, O God, a clean
    heart.” (Avoid eyes and mouth areas.)
  • Carry a box that opens up, such as a pencil case or school
    lunch box. The outside reads “Parting of the Red Seas.” Open to
    reveal several red letter C’s that have been partially torn.
  • Place red circle stickers on the kids’ noses to make them
    official clowns.

When you’re comfortable with basic clowning, add a skit or two
that teaches a spiritual message and apply it during a Sunday
school program or children’s church. Arrange to take over a
children’s sermon during the service. Or open a regular Sunday
morning service with a skit relating to the pastor’s message.

If you’ve always wanted to be a Christian clown, get started! Kids
will love you, and you’ll be able to reach them as you never have
before.

Dorene Taylor and her husband are Christian clowns in
Iowa.

name="clowning resources">CLOWNING
RESOURCES

For more information, check out:
*Strutter’s Complete Guide to Clown Makeup, by Jim
Roberts, Piccadilly Books, Box 25203, Colorado Springs, CO 80936,
(719) 548-1844.

*Clown Ministry by Floyd Shaffer and Penne Sewall, Group
Books, Box 481, Loveland, CO 80539, 800-447-1070.

*Christian Clowning Association, 10410 LaPlaze Drive,
Louisville, KY 40272, (502) 937-9846.

Copyright© Group Publishing, Inc. / Children’s Ministry
Magazine

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