Children’s Ministry Stunt Lesson: The Human Table

This human stunt is a crowd favorite – and anyone can do it.  Its called “The Human Table”.  You could also call it “The Levitating People” or come up with your own name.

It’s called a “stunt” lesson rather than an object lesson because you need 4 adults about the same size as one another who are willing to perform somewhat of a stunt (so they need healthy knees and backs).

I’ve been doing this thing for years with kids, adults, and audiences.  I first saw some clowns do it at Ringling Brothers about 15 years ago, so I can’t take credit for creating it.  But over the years, I have innovated a little and added some of my own twists and lessons to it.

Here’s how you do it:

What you need:

  1. 4 adults with healthy knees and backs (kids are usually too weak to make this happen, but teenagers will work) that are about the same size as one another.  Also, keep it the same gender (4 men OR 4 women, just don’t do co-ed – you’ll see why).
  2. 4 chairs that don’t have arms/armrests (folding chairs or choir chairs are perfect).
  3. At least 10-12 feet of space in all four directions from the middle of your presentation area.

Here’s what you do:

Step 1 – Call up 4 volunteers (according to the stipulations above)

Step 2 – Set up 4 chairs in the following pattern and do as the picture caption indicates:

Sit each person in a chair so that the back of the chair is on their right (so their legs extend out from the square of chairs)

Step 3 – Tell the participants to put both feet flat on the ground, shoulder length apart, and to make a right angle with their knees.  Have all four people raise their left hand straight up and repeat “I will not sue you for injuries incurred…” (no, really, they have to raise their hands so the next step will work).

Step 4 – Then have them all lay back on the knees of the person behind them, as shown below.  Then they need to interlock their left arms in the middle of their newly formed human square.

Step 5 – Take out the chairs!  One at a time, remove the chairs and ask the guy or gal sitting on it to lift their rear a little so you can pull it out.

Step 6 – I like to play some dance music and have them kick, hop, crabwalk, hold a kid on top of them, really anything that seems pretty crazy like that.

Step 7 – They’ll eventually collapse, but don’t let that happen before everyone can take a good picture.  They’ll remain your friend if you help them up.  At some point (before or after the collapse), I teach the kids about Galatians chapter 6 and how Paul teaches us to “bear one anothers burdens,” which essentially means that in the body of Christ, we are here for one another – supporting each other, encouraging eachother, providing for one another, and so on.  These 4 guys (or gals) illustrate how to “support” one another in the physical sense.  But we also want to do that in the spiritual sense.

Have fun with this and please don’t hurt anyone!  Here are some other pics of this trick from other events.  What kinds of human stunts do you do?

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Jesse Joyner travels nationwide performing a comedy juggling act for family and kids events. He is also working towards his PhD in Educational Studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Deerfield, IL). He enjoys playing the piano, bird watching, and old houses. He lives in Richmond, VA with his wife, Sarah, and their daughter, Kezzie.

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