Recently, I had the opportunity to interview Jeffery Smith, author of Four Panels: A Prayer Pups Compilation and creator of the Prayer Pups, a Comic strip starring 5 adorable pups each sporting their own unique personality. This Christian comic is a fun way to introduce Bible truth to children.
Several years ago, Jeff was working on a comic strip idea called “Stinky Shark.” But as he doodled, he felt the nudge of God to to use his comic strip format to spread His Word. So he began working on “Noah’s Critters”, but when a friend mentioned that all of his animals looked like dogs, the Prayer Pups were born! The star was to be Con, the pug based on Jeff’s own little pug named Bubu! Bubu is the leader and the character who passes on the Biblical instruction. But it became clear to Jeff early on that Nim, the Chihuahua, would be the one stealing the show.
Jeff was quickly adding new strips everyday to the Prayer Pups website www.prayerpups.com and the Pups’ audience quickly grew around the world! People would send emails and messages everyday telling Jeff how much they enjoyed the Pups and what they meant to the children in their churches. Jeff personally reads every note. The prayer pups comic strips can even be emailed to you! My boys have already signed up!
“Four Panels” is compilation of Jeff’s strips. Here’s a sample!
Nim: My friend says Christians have to be perfect.
Con: Not True.
Nim: She said that if we weren’t, then we’d all be hypocrites.
Con: That’s Crazy!
Con: We know we aren’t perfect. It’s so clear that without Jesus, we’re nothing, that we came up the saying: “Not perfect, just forgiven.”
Nim: Phew! That’s a big relief. I usually don’t make it past breakfast without messing something up!
Each strip has one single sentence underneath like, “Wouldn’t be great if we were all so filled with the spirit that we cheered for Jesus?” or “You can read about the Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22.”
What a fun book for upper elementary boys, little girls who love puppies, or kids who don’t enjoy reading.
I must admit, I was unaware of The Prayer Pups, but now I am definitely a fan – on both Facebook and Twitter! This book is available at Amazon for $19.59 with free Prime shipping.
But God didn’t stop there. Jeff took his drawings to his pastor and it was suggested that he create some church bulletins based on the Pups, thus the Good Newz Children’s Church Bulletins were born. A CD that includes customizable bulletins for your kids! The CD includes bulletins for 3 distinct age groups, comic strips starring the Prayer Pups, puzzles and word searches, weekly devotionals, jokes and riddles, and coloring pages for a full year!
But this is more than just a church bulletin. It could be used as a weekly connection for home. Using the customizable feature, you can add a personal devotional or memory verse. The comic strips can be used before church up on the “jumbotron”. They could be printed, customized, and delivered to hospitals for children to use while waiting in the ER or after having been admitted. They could be easily slipped in letters to your Compassion or World Vision kids.
These comics are a lot of fun, true to the Bible, and very contemporary. I especially liked the modern day themes and the playful approach to “teaching” truth and loved that kids have to crack open their Bible to get answers to the crossword puzzles. I am most excited about using the customizable feature on the bulletins to create a newsletter for our kid’s ministry! It can even include a calendar of events! I would love to see Jeff and the creators revamp and put in a monthly newsletter template. Maybe next year? I’m always looking for another way to effectively communicate with families, and this is definitely an option.
Visit their website at www.TheGoodNewz.com purchase the Good Newz CD today! A reasonably priced resource with many possibilities, and honestly, just plain fun!