What is a Toybox Tale?

The short answer: A Toybox Tale is a story told with action figures.* The story teller literally plays with the toys on a small stage moving them and doing their voices in front of a camera that is projecting the play to a screen (or TV) where the children watch.
You’ve never experienced anything like this before! Toybox Tales are created and performed live on a mini-stage and projected to a big screen. Watch Pastor Karl’s toys come to life and teach important biblical lessons at the same time.
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Played – Filmed – Projected – Recorded Simultaneously and then uploaded to this page to share with the world!

karl_playing1sm.jpg THE MAN WITH THE TOYS Pastor Karl, seen here “hard at play,” creating a tale from the Toybox in Kid’s Church. (And he looks so serious!)
brandentechie4_sm.jpg THE MAN WITH
Branden Stuck, the techno-whiz behind the scenes who makes this fun new teaching method possible!
*NOTE: Boys don’t play with dolls, girls play with dolls. Boys play with ACTION FIGURES!

Who is Pastor Karl?

karl_gusstanding.jpgFrom backyards to banquet halls, Karl has been entertaining and ministering to children around the world through puppets, magic, balloons, and other creative means since he was a kid!

Karl brings the Gospel to children in a unique, creative, and energetic way. In his training classes, Karl brings the joy of Children’s Ministry to life which results in practical ideas and principles that will recharge your ministry.

Karl has been a children’s pastor for over fifteen years. He began his ministry at the historical Moody Church in downtown Chicago, served in several other churches, including a church plant, and is currently serving at The Rock of Southwest Church in Littleton, CO. Karl holds a bachelors degree in Bible Theology from Moody Bible Institute, and a Masters in Children’s Ministry from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

karlbastian-july2005-medKarl is the founder of Kidology Inc., a non-profit organization committed to equipping and encouraging children’s workers through quality training and affordable resources. Kidology Inc.’s ministries have included the Kidology University, the largest Children’s Ministry conference in the Midwest, Kidology.org, the largest interactive children’s ministry site on the internet, and the Kidology Foundation, which provides grants to struggling children’s ministries and scholarships for students preparing for a career in children’s ministry.

Karl has had numerous articles published, has written and contributed to several books, and wrote the Awesome Adventure children’s discipleship series with his wife, but his greatest joy is still working directly with children.

To reach and teach as many children as possible with the Good News of God’s Love and in the process, to enlist, equip and encourage others to do the same.

Karl has been playing with toys since he discovered that his fingers could pick things up. In the summer of 2001, he was teaching at Camp Timber-lee in Wisconsin and the theme was Bible Beach Adventures. Each lesson was a story from the Bible that happened around water. For Moses and the crossing of the Red Sea, Karl risked ending up with pink storm troopers by using his Star Wars figures to tell the story complete with a glass baking dish of red Jell-o. The kids loved Obi-Wan Kenobi as Moses and Darth Vader as Pharaoh. Needless to say, it was a hit! But Karl was not to know just how much of a hit it was until the next summer (2002) when literally hundreds of kids asked him if he was going to do another action figure story. Sadly, the answer was no. The lessons had all been written and packed and it was too late for that summer. But Karl got to thinking… and the next thing you know, Toybox Tales was born! The key was getting it to be more visible. That first Toybox Tale was on a table in front of over 400 kids. Very hard to see the detail, but the technical genius of Branden Stuck, Karl’s right-hand-tech-man, solved the mystery. In the Fall of 2002, Toybox Tales premiered on the big screen — well, the ‘big screen’ in Kid’s Church anyway!