Understanding Forms

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In order to use the forms, you will need to know what each property means, and how it should be filled out. Most of them should hopefully be self-explanatory, but if anything isn't this should help explain it.

Not all of these properties will be used in every form, so just scroll down and find what you have questions on. If you have not encountered a property before that is just because it's in a form you haven't used yet.

Please capitalize the first letter of whatever you fill in.

Age Group

See also Intended Audience as they are the same idea. This is a slightly more specific, looking for whether this is after a specific age group if one is required or being targeted with your idea. If this is a general idea that would work with multiple age groups, just put "General" or "Any."


Author

Used in: Drama, Message Ideas

This is only used in a few forms, where it is important to give credit to the person with the original idea. If this person is not who posted, their permission must be gotten before posting. As an author of some content, you do not have to give your real or full name. You may provide a handle, or use your username from this site. Just try not to use a name already in use by someone else on the site.


Book and Chapter

Used in: Drama, Message Ideas

This is for the book of the Bible that was your primary text. This does not mean that it had to be the sole basis for your idea. But if there was one verse that fit this idea well it would be… and put that in this slot. Other passages can be placed in the meat of the idea, but only one can be put here.

Due to the way the site is designed you will need to type in the name of the book and that chapter number (as a numeral, not spelled out), but not the verse. This will properly link you to the appropriate page of the commentary. So what you put in should look like John 10, or Genesis 16. The only exception to this is Psalms, as we do not say Psalms 23 but Psalm 23, so please use the later.


Characters

Used in: Drama

This can be as specific or as vague as your idea requires. Anything from “An animal puppet” to “a large man with a mustache and red suspenders named Al, who has a deep voice.” This will not show up on any searches, but is used to prepare people with what will be required.


Direction

Used in: Message Ideas

This is designed to be a sentence description of the key point of the idea. This is what other pastors will see first to figure out what your idea is all about. Think of it as the summary statement of what you are trying to convey.


Elements of the Service

Used in: Liturgy

This property is used only in liturgy. This is because liturgies are often based on the same basic event, for instance a wedding, and this property is used to distinguish what common elements on liturgy has with another. If an advent liturgy uses wreathes, candles, or drapings on the cross, this is the place to record them. Likewise, wedding rings, and unity candles might be two elements that a wedding contains.

Just write out each element, seperating each with a comma.


Goals

Used in: Sermon Series

This is a short sentence property that is basically the same as The Point or Direction. It is meant to provide an overview of what sets this series apart and what you hope people will have understood by the end of it.


Group Size

Used in: Experiential Learning

This property is to define what size of a group an idea is designed to work for. This naturally only is relevant for some types of ideas. But sometimes you need an idea for a specific group size, and that's where this comes in.

This is a drop-down property, so you don't actually get to choose exactly what size works for your idea. This means sometimes the choices won't be exactly what you're after. But we have limited choices so that we can more easily sort all ideas by size.


How to Get There

Used in: Message Ideas

This is where you put the meat of the idea. Remember, this is not a full manuscript or even a full outline. Leave room for other pastors to contextualize it and personalize it for themselves. This is simply giving other pastors a jump start on a message with an idea that they can use.

The idea is that you share the entire idea here, all the steps of how to get from the Bible to your key point. One simple way of doing this is using bullet points, "*" in wiki text, but that is not required.


How Many Chapters are There?

Used in: Commentary

This property needs to be filled out with specific numbers, without spelling them out (ie 3, not three). The number of any book can be easily found by turning to the next book in the Bible and turning back a page to the end of the book you are working on. If your book is a single chapter work (ie 3 John), please put "1". This property is used to determine the percentage of the book that has commentary on it.


Intended Audience

Used in: Drama, Message Ideas, Sermon Series

What we want to know here is who was meant to be in the audience when this is presented. Is this for Adults, Children, Youth, puppies? The specific aim is to find the age group this is intended for. If there is no specific group, “General” is a fine answer.


Literary Genre

Used in: Commentary

Every book of the Bible is categorized into specific genres and sections. These genres have been provided for you so you can simply pick the correct one. If you do not know what genre the book you are working on is from, look at an introduction to that book in any Bible dictionary or even study Bible. It should mention it, or allow you to figure out what is the correct category. When in doubt, leave it blank so someone else can fill it in.


Location

Used in: Liturgy

Most ideas are not location dependent, but sometimes a particular location is important. For instance, a baptism liturgy might be dependent on being in a river, or an Easter service might be a sunrise service outdoors. An event might demand being in a gym, or on a soccor field. Feel free to put whatever it is, but most ideas will probably be "General" as they do not require being in a specific location.


Occasion

Used in: Drama, Liturgy, Message Ideas

By “Occasion” we mean a specific event or type of service that your idea was meant for. This could include a regular thing, like a Wednesday Night Youth Service, or a Children's Church. Or it could be a less frequent event like a wedding, Easter, a Revival, or Baptism. But if there is a special something connected with this, put it here. As always, if this is a more universal idea, put “General.”


Order of Book

Used in: Commentary

This property is fairly simple. What we need is the number the book you are working on is within the Protestant Biblical canon. The Deuterocanonical/Apocryphal books do not count as part of this order. If you are unsure what number your book is, the index of any Bible should have all the books of the Bible in order and you can count. This is an important category to organize the books correctly. Please use only numbers, without writing them out with letters.


The Point

Used in: Experiential Learning

This is basically the direction for Experiential Learning Ideas. This property is a short sentence about what the people using your idea should learn by the end of it. This is used in helping people to better find an idea that matches what they are trying to teach.


Possible Problems

Used in: Experiential Learning

Many events can be dangerous, or misunderstood, or need to be seperated by gender. Anything that could go wrong with your idea should be listed here, or anything else that someone else using it needs to know about. Any format or length is acceptable.


Prep Time

Usd in: Experiential Learning

Some ideas, especialy experiential learning ideas, require preperation. The amount of time this takes is extremely important. This property is where you tell people an estimate of how long it takes to gather the materials, set up, and do everything you need to get this idea ready to be used. This property is a drop down option, so you can only selext set numbers. This is so that ideas can be sorted better.


Props

Used in: Drama

This is fairly self-explanatory. This will not show up on any lists so you may format it however you want. A handy way is with bullet points but that is not required. Please remember that this should be everything needed, not just everything that you did not have already on your stage. Others might not have everything you took for granted.


Script

Used in: Drama

This is where you can type in your entire script. The window is rather small, however, so typing it in another word processor and pasting it into this form is often a good idea. There is no limit to the length you can use.


Setting

Used in: Experiential Learning, Sermon Series

This is the same ideas as "Location" but for a different form. What we're looking for is anything that sets this idea apart as far as where it needs to happen. Some ideas require a particular place, or a particular set-up to work right. List anything that your idea requires as far as place. Please use only one word, and be as general as you can and still have the idea work. For instance, don't say "a pine forest" if "outside" will still work.


Steps to Set Up

Used in: Experiential Learning

This is a property designed to detail exactly how to set up your idea. Generally, narrative writiing is easiest to explain. If you need to upload diagrams or images, feel free to do so. Everything that needs to be done before this idea can happen needs to be discussed here so that someone can recreate your idea smoothly.


Style

Used in: Liturgy

While this could be used in almost any form, it is not. That is because the style is usually dependent on the person presenting the idea, not inherant in the idea itself. For instance, sermons can say the same thing in a formal way, traditional, postmodern, or as a raving maniac. Liturgy is an exception, however, because the style is set by the words used.

There aren't any specific groupings for this property, just try to describe whatever style your idea is in. This could be formal, informal, modern, classic, or almost anything else you want.


Summary

Used in: Drama

This is supposed to be a sentence, maybe two, that provides an overview of the idea so that others can get a quick idea of it. This should not be very long, make it as short as possible, because it will be appearing on lists describing your idea.


Supplies

Used in: Experiential Learning

This property is designed for a list of everything that is required to recreate the idea. Using bullet points ("*") work well, but any method is fine. Try to be as exhaustive as possible. This will help other people to estimate the feasability and cost of recreating your idea.


Theological Tradition

Used in: Liturgy, Message Ideas

Most ideas do not have a specific theological bent, and are universally Christian. Those should be labeled as "General." However, there are times when an idea might be specifically Roman Catholic, Calvinist, Wesleyan, Pentecostal, etc. Just write in whatever tradition your idea best fits into, but do not worry about simply labeling it General.


Things to Watch For

Used in: Message Ideas

This is a general purpose property. If there is anything from the text that needs to be addressed to make your point, cultural issues to overcome, or just generally anything that we need to know which doesn't fit otherwhere, put it under this property. Other verses that can be used in the message, alternate interpretations, or exegetical considerations are all excellent things to put here.


Topic

Used in: Drama, Message Ideas, Experiential Learning

This is the most frequently used and one of the most important properties on this site. What we are looking for here are single words, longer sentences of description can be put in other properties. Try to use only one or two words, It is preferable to only use one term here, but multiples will work, separating the ideas by commas if needed.


Type of Drama

Used in: Drama

This is a dropdown field that allows you to select what type of dramatic experience you are submitting. This is limited to make searching easier. If you have something that really doesn't fit in any category, leave it blank. Once the page is saved, re-edit it and write what you want in the missing spot. The admins can then add it in as a legitimate property for this dropdown.


Unifying Theme

Used in Sermon Series

This property is generally a single phrase answer. It is whatever ties the series together as a series and not as seperate messages by the same person. It could be that it is a series based on the lectionary for Lectionary:Advent, or they are all from the Gospel of John, or they are all about Grace. It is up to you of course what this is.

Verse

Used in: Drama, Message Ideas

This property is designed solely or the verse or range of verses used in an idea. Even if you are referencing a completely chapter, please fill this out. Only use numerals, separated by dashes, ie 2-14, or 6-31. Please also do not put in chapters, chapters belong with the book of the Bible in our system (a limitation of the site design to make everything work together).


What Happens Then

Used in: Experiential Learning

This property is designed for a step by step description of your Experiential Learning Idea in action, and how to lead it. This is where you say how to pull it off and what is supposed to happen. Any format is admissable, as long as you provide enough information so that people can run your idea smoothly and understand what is supposed to happen.