Note: This is not original with me, but I do not remember the source. I’ve used it in various groups for about 10 years.
Object: Illustrate John 14:6 – Jesus as the only way to heaven. What you’re going to do is a live presentation of the Bridge to Heaven tract.
• one sturdy plank 2”x6” or better about 12-14 feet long (if this is a bit beat up all the better to represent Jesus’ condition before He was nailed to the cross);
• two pieces of scrap lumber—one sturdy (like the plank) but only 3-4 feet and another long enough (12 ft.) but very weak (easily breakable works best visually);
• two picnic tables (or other sturdy platforms);
• a banner or poster with John 14:6 printed on it; and
• nails & hammer, or a staple gun, or even just push pins.
Volunteer: I never select this child at random. He or she (I have used both sexes successfully) is fully aware of the steps involved, and what’s anticipated. I try to select someone who is lightweight and somewhat outgoing, but uppermost is safety first!
Set-up: The tables are placed end to end, but 8-9 feet apart. All the other equipment is handy but out of the way. (I like them out of sight when possible).
Presentation: (You talk your volunteer and the audience through each of the following steps.)
• Designate one table as Heaven the other as Earth; the gap between the tables is Hell.
• Have the “volunteer” human get on the table Earth.
• His goal is to get to Heaven without falling into the pit of Hell.
• First have him try to get to Heaven on his own by jumping – they refuse. (The distance is usually overwhelming anyway, but for fear of real injury by missing and striking the Heaven table, the volunteer is pre-briefed to refuse to try.)
• Show that many false religions have tried to bridge the gap using the two inadequate lumber props.
I usually use the short one first – “See it gets you part way there.” Hang it so it barely balances on the table and instruct the human to use it like a spring board. The human is no less inclined to make the journey. When done place the board in Hell.
Next comes the long, weak board – “It bridges the gap just fine,” but will bend easily toward Hell with a little foot pressure. Again the human is unable to make the journey. When done again place the board in Hell.
Now lay the plank on the Earth. Jesus came to the Earth to live with, identify with man, and save mankind. Present the Gospel while nailing the banner/poster to the plank. End with something like: “While here he promised salvation and that there was only one way.” Reveal the poster, reciting the verse, while placing the plank to bridge the gap.
Without instruction your human willingly crosses to Heaven.
Always end with an invitation.
Afterwards: Remain near the props when the audience is dismissed. Invariably some will want to try as well. I always begin cleaning up right away and refuse to allow them to try the stunt, but I do challenge them personally about their acceptance of Christ as Savior.