Your students join Captain Paul Hammer, Lt. Stu Dent,
and Shelbot the Overly Brainy Robot
on a “Great Commission Adventure” to teach
and learn the Gospel on newly discovered worlds.
Jesus in Space features three complete lessons set in a space-themed adventure:
1) The Baptism of Jesus and John the Baptist
2) The Last Supper & Foot Washing
3) The Road to Emmaus
Each of the 3 interactive lessons takes you to a new planet and its aliens who need to learn the story. Lt. Stu must translate the lesson into a message they can understand. And he gets plenty of help from Shelbot and Capt Paul, and the aliens. Your students interact with the story in fun ways (see each mission’s description below for details).
Each lesson in Jesus in Space is memorable, repeatable, and fun for a wide age-range.
→ The space theme focuses their attention in a fun way.
→ The activities teach the story, and get the kids working for understanding.
→ Discussion questions abound for kids & teachers to go deeper.
Click the PLAY button to watch a video clip overview of Jesus in Space:
Jesus is creatively portrayed three different ways according to the planet he is on. Gets their attention!
Project it on the wall to a group using your laptop,
Or show it on a laptop or PC to several students,
Or install on workstations in your computer lab!
Click a Tab to see details and graphics from each lesson-mission…
Mission #1: On the underwater Planet “Vet”
After landing on Planet Vet, Lt Stu meets Minister Gil Filtafish. Gil needs Stu’s help to explain Baptism and the story of Jesus baptism in a way that will make sense to new believers on this underwater planet.
Shelbot beams down the BABEL 4000 Computer which challenges Lt Stu (your students) to translate the story of Jesus’ Baptism and John’s message into Vetian underwater language.
- The BABEL 4000 story creator on Planet Vet.
The BABEL 4000 gives your students a bunch of “Vet-ian” (water-themed) words and ideas to substitute into the baptism story. They also construct the scenes in the story using Vet-ian images and metaphors. The kids get to re-outfit John the Baptist for underwater ministry (octopus suckers instead of camel’s hair?), and then play it back for all to see and hear for effect. It’s a fun activity that gets them VERY familiar with the story (including its details) and produces new results each time they use it. Their word-substitution choices and the playback are great opportunities for the teacher to add understanding. Most importantly, the kids will play and hear the story several times, which teaches this rather big and complex story into memory in a fun way.
Back aboard the Tarsus, Capt Paul explains Baptism to Stu in a presentation, and then quizzes him (your students). There’s also a fun Baptism “Pipes” puzzle game that displays info about Baptism -and then tests student’s memory of that info in a fun quiz which appears at the end of the Pipes game.
Back on the Tarsus spaceship, Captain Paul and Shelbot have a presentation and quiz about Baptism. It fits most denominations and has follow up comments the teacher can pause to talk about.
Mission #2: On the Planet Whammo
Mission 2 on Planet Whammo has four things to do:
1) LEARN THE STORY of the LAST SUPPER
After landing, Stu plays a story game with Chief Wackimac and his tribe of alien Robots to help them get the story of the Last Supper right!
Click to see part of the “Mission to Whammo”…
Windows users: Click the Mission to Whammo link
to see the opening mission briefing in a Flash presentation.
Did you ever stop to think how big and complex the story of the Last Supper is for kids? (and adults). We did! So we made this fun “Stu Zapper” quiz game to get your kids to listen carefully for the right and wrong version of the story being told by the Whambots, use their Bible get it right, and keep from being zapped!
How the Whammo Game works:
Working through the story from start to finish, the robots step forward and begin reciting their particular part of the Last Supper story. They stumble and then say something which may or may not be correct about the story. Stu is listening and then has to agree or disagree with the retelling. A chapter/verse sign is presented so kids “fact check,” then your kids direct Stu to agree or disagree with the robot. If the robot got it right and Stu agreed, the kids get a point. If the robot got it wrong and Stu knew it was wrong, the kids get a point. If Stu messes up, he gets zapped! Anytime the robot gets it wrong, Whammo!
The point is for your kids to pay attention, consult their Bibles, and KNOW THE STORY.
Once they get the story right, they are rewarded with a fun “Seder Meal Grocery Checkout” game. …but only if they get the story (mostly) right.
2) SEDER MEAL GROCERY GAME
This is a reward-gamefor persevering in the Stu Zapper/Whammo “Get the Story Right” game described above. It looks like a futuristic grocery check-out, which gets a little out of control. Stu must figure out what items are part of a Seder meal, and which are not. By the time your students are done, they’ll know!
3) WHAMMO LABS GAME
After the Whammo story game and Seder game, Stu can play a “Whammo Labs” game about the meaning of the Passover-Seder meal and its connection to the Lord’s Supper. Your students navigate Stu through different levels of the “Whammo Labs” –avoiding smasher robots and various robot recycling machinery. There are several locked doors that can only be opened by answering a question about the items found on a Seder Plate. The game TEACHES THEM what those things mean. Sneaky, huh?
The Seder Plate the players are trying to fill.
To get the items to fill the Seder plate, quiz questions must be answered!
4) LT. STU’S COMMUNION PRESENTATION
The final optional learning area takes place aboard the Tarsus. Students can select to watch an ecumenical presentation focusing on the celebration of communion/eucharist today. The slideshow is narrated by Lt Stu and has some interactive screen quizzes and study notes sprinkled in.
Stu’s presentation explains what the Bread and Cup mean to us.
Windows users: See Stu’s descent to Planet Whammo in a Flash Presentation.
Mission #3: On Ice Moon Alpha
On Ice Moon Alpha, Lt Stu encounters strange snowball creatures ready to learn the story of Jesus on the Road to Emmaus. At first, Stu is mis-identified as an alien intruder by “Flinger” -a snowball-throwing Snoballian. After a snowball game, Teacher Snobob appears to settle things down and invites Stu to help them dramatize their Emmaus play.
The story of the Road to Emmaus has a lot of parts! (which is the challenge in teaching it) So– Shelbot beams down the “Stagecraft 4000” to help Stu dramatize the story with the Snoballians as the actors. The Stagecraft 4000 allows your student to design the actors, place them in the scenes, -and add scenery, sound effects, and music to dramatize the script. Then they play it back.
The SNEAKY IDEA is that they’ll want to create several versions, which means they’ll be deepening their memory of all those story parts each time they construct the story.
To cap off the visit to Ice Moon Alpha, Captain Paul leads the Snoballians (your students) through a very special INTERACTIVE reflection activity about “how we see Jesus today” …and “how we can help OTHERS see Jesus”.
- Final screen in the interactive “Jesus in the Snow” reflection activity, found on Ice Moon Alpha (Road to Emmaus).
The reflection uses the famous “Jesus in the Snow” photo, -a picture of snow which looks like the face of Jesus is you look at it just right. The demonstration walks your students through the experience of seeing the face of Jesus, demonstrating in an experiential way how some people quickly “see Jesus” (in the picture), and others need help. We make the point that this is a good analogy for how some of us “see” faith and the role of the church in helping others “see” as well. As you can see in the screenshot above, the reflection ends with questions you can choose to discuss.
The Story Behind Jesus in Space CD
by Neil MacQueen
I admit it…
I’m a space nerd. I grew up watching Lost in Space. Was disappointed when they canceled Star Trek Enterprise. Ben our programmer and Colin our music guy are also space nuts. A statue of Gort the Robot from The Day the Earth Stood Still presides over our recording studio. So you might say Jesus in Space was “predestined” to happen. 😉
Over the years, I’ve had fun imagining with students how you might “tell this story to an alien from outer space who didn’t know anything about the Bible.” It’s an entertaining trick that always gets the kids talking. In 2005, I began scribbling notes for a series of Jesus Story CDs focused on key Jesus stories. I asked some friends if they thought “Jesus in Space” would be considered blasphemous by non-space-nerds. “No, it’s a great idea!” they said. And so, Jesus in Space was born.
Jesus in Space is fun and intentionally “epic.”
Look and listen closely, –you’ll see us paying homage to various space shows and space shtick, including: Star Trek, Lost in Space, the Jetsons, Star Wars, Close Encounters, even Spaceballs. This ‘touch’ also helps older students feel like the program is for them. The Star Wars-ish opening fly-in, the Star Trek lightspeed trail, Open the pod bay doors, …we had fun.
The program is a visual feast as well. Look in the backgrounds to see where Ben our animator/programmer has stuck all sorts of random space gadgetry.
Other subtle tributes:
The Snowball natives on Ice Moon Alpha speak a strange version of Canadian, with a tweak of Scottish. It’s a tip of the hat to my Canadian family history and friends. The “world tribe” robot motif on the planet Whammo is my very subtle tribute to my denomination’s mission history, and to my great-great-grandmother who was Native American. There’s even a Samoan motif in there if you look closely! Like many people, I’m not thrilled with some of the history of Christian missions to non-Christians. I pray that in our day we are more sensitive about what it means to “go into all the world.” This is why Lt Stu always speaks in the “language of the hearer” on each planet -helping them learn about Jesus (even if the robots imagine him as a robot Messiah).
P.S. Listen carefully to the native drums on Planet Whammo, Ohio State fans.
Other things of notice:
It’s no accident that the captain of the Tarsus is named Paul and is guided by Great Commission Control. We thought it worked right into the evangelistic nature of the first three stories. Baptism, Communion with Jesus, and “how do you see Jesus today” (Road to Emmaus). And whether you baptize by sprinkling -or the whole pool, you’ll feel comfortable with our presentation.
You may also note in JiS that we continue to stretch our age range down a bit, –making sure our software stretches a little easier to the younger children, as well as up to young teens. Having said this, even my own teenagers have been giggling at JiS everytime I show it to them. John the Baptist with a crab-hair coat and sucker-fish belt will do that to you. The older kids will get a kick out of our space theme and sense of humor.
The “Jesus in the Snow” activity goes way back to my youth group days and is one of my all-time favorite lessons. You don’t see it in materials these days, so I’m hoping to preserve it in my own way by putting it in software.
Credit where credit is due:
A huge amount of credit for this epic goes to Ben our programmer and illustrator, and Colin our sound and music guy. Ben’s humorous creativity is evident everywhere in the program. Colin’s soundtrack and character voice modifications are terrific. And we put Marc, our Jewish friend, to the test with “Minister Gil Filtafish,” making him talk with a mouth full of water. (You can actually hear him choking and laughing when he offers Stu some “air.”)
Sunday Software is famous for sprinkling our stories and games with pop-up study notes, and Jesus in Space CD is no different. Our pop-ups ask questions, illuminate meaning, and give teachers extra stuff to talk about. For example…. the study note below pop’s up during Capt Paul’s Communion slideshow to give students and teacher the opportunity to talk about the meaning of the Cup (wine/juice).
Stu is kind of like your kids. Captain Paul is kind of like you!
Shelbot’s Teaching Notes:
Each Mission in Jesus in Space CD thinks it is your lesson plan. Each mission tells the Bible story, digs into it, and has life-application reflection. This is done through animation, narration, interactivity, games, and a lot of humor!
Each Mission has a WIDE Age Range. The CD’s sense of humor and activities will appeal to older children and younger youth, without going over the heads of younger kids. That said, we always tell folks that non-readers and early-readers should have help navigating and learning from any of our CDs.
Each Mission takes about 20-30 minutes to get through, more if you want. This depends on the age of your students, how well they do with certain games, and how much the “guide by the side” teacher stops to have them talk about things (which is often we hope!). Since many of the activities are games that can be played more than once, you could easily be in one Mission for 45 minutes. And….a few weeks or months later you can have them play a game or two again as a refresher.
Our Student Worksheets for Jesus in Space CD help guide your students through the content and hold them accountable.
*Note: For 5+ copies we will send a special site license with one CD. The license gives you the right to fully install the program on up to however many computers you paid for. The license also comes with a lifetime guarantee that should the CD be lost or damaged, we will replace it for free.
Age Range: Ages 5-15. Certain content is tucked in especially for the older students. Younger kids will need some help navigating. Jump Menus allow leaders to select or bypass certain content.
Minimum: 1.0 ghz, 1 mb ram.
Windows 8/10 users, see our Windows tweaks.