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1) The usual service with a children’s talk 2) An hour of the lowest level of mental and spiritual input 3) All ages and levels of understanding worship.

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Presentation on theme: "1) The usual service with a children’s talk 2) An hour of the lowest level of mental and spiritual input 3) All ages and levels of understanding worship."— Presentation transcript:


2 1) The usual service with a children’s talk 2) An hour of the lowest level of mental and spiritual input 3) All ages and levels of understanding worship together, each person giving and receiving at his own level 4) A time to worship God with our whole selves through colour, light, movement and symbols as much as listening and reading 5) An attempt to offer worship and teaching which is accessible to enquirers, those on the fringe, as well as feeding and challenging the regular and informed worshippers 6) Singing modern songs with the guitar instead of using the hymn books and organ 7) The children doing the ‘jobs’ normally done by adults 8) Informal – collect a few ideas on Saturday night and let it just happen

3 ‘O God, grant us the serenity to accept what cannot be changed, the courage to change what can be changed and the wisdom to know the difference’ - R einhold Niebuhr Key elements: Keep it simple Most services contain too much material Aim to reach all levels of spirituality & understanding Be sensual Too much worship consists of listening and reading. Don’t be frightened to try new things Use people’s skills and talents

4 - Beginning! All services need a beginning! Welcome everyone and explain this is an opportunity for all ages, young and old, to worship God together. Explain the theme of the service, invite everyone to stay afterwards for refreshments and open in prayer… - Songs/Hymns - Short talk and teaching (inc: Activity/Drama) - Reading from the Bible - Liturgy: Confession & Absolution (Statement of Faith) - Intercessions and Lord’s Prayer - Ending (refreshments etc)

5 - General: Loving Father, we thank you for this opportunity to worship you together. Please help everyone here today to learn something new about you. Thank you that you know and love each one of us and you want us to belong to you. Amen Read Psalm 139 v1-6 & 13-14 God, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand. I'm an open book to you - even from a distance, you know what I'm thinking. You know when I leave and when I get back; I'm never out of your sight. You know everything I'm going to say before I start the first sentence. I look behind me and you're there, then up ahead and you're there, too; your reassuring presence, coming and going. This is too much, too wonderful…I can't take it all in! You shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother's womb. I thank you, High God - you're breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvellously made!

6 - Response & Litanies: Leader:God our Father, we have come to church this morning to meet with you. We want to speak to you and listen to what you are saying to us All:Please quieten our minds and help us to think about what we are doing Leader:There are things that we are sorry we did, because they were wrong. There are others things that we did not do, which we know we should have done All:Please forgive us for our mistakes, and help us not to make them again Leader:We thank you for life, and for sending Jesus into the world so that we can enjoy it even more. We are grateful to you for taking care of us from day to day All:Please accept our thanks and help us never to take your love for granted. Amen Leader:Come close to God, and he will come close to you. The Lord our God is worthy to receive glory, honour and power and praise for he has created us and redeemed us… All:Heavenly Father, in our worship help us to sing your praises, confess our sins, hear your word and bring our prayers to you, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

7 - Activity & Action Leader: We have come together in the name of Christ Encourage everyone to look around and nod or smile a greeting to all in the congregation Leader:To offer our praise and thanksgiving Lift up hands high as an act of praise Leader:To hear and receive God’s holy word Arrange the upward facing palms of your hands in front of your body, shaped as a ‘V’ formation like the open pages of a book Leader:To pray for the needs of the world Put hands together, palm to palm and fingers pointing upwards, as for prayer Leader:And to seek the forgiveness of our sins Hold out your hands in front of the body – palms up – ready to receive Leader:That by the power of the Holy Spirit Link thumbs and gently ‘flap’ the fingers imitating a dove – a symbol of the Holy Spirit Leader:We may give ourselves to the service of God Put both hands across your heart and move them outward in a gesture of self-giving

8 When choosing hymns or songs, look for… - Tunes with distinctive melody lines - A melody that is easy to learn - Repetition of words - Choruses - Short lines and verses - Christian words to well-known tunes

9 Scripture for an all-age service doesn’t always have to be read aloud from the big Bible at the front of church! Why not experiment with scripture…. - Try a different translation (TNIV, The Message, The Street Bible) - Why not read out of a children’s Bible? The Storyteller’s Bible or The Children’s Bible in 365 stories - Why not dramatise the reading? The Dramatised Bible or help people visualise the Bible verses… - Why not act out the story?

10 A little man who became big in the Kingdom of God. Featuring the Art of Henry Martin Presented by

11 One day, Jesus went to visit the city of Jericho.

12 The people of Jericho were a very sad people. Why were they sad? They were sad because they had to pay taxes … and their taxes were very high.

13 The reason their taxes were so high was that there was a dishonest tax collector in the city. The tax collector’s name was Zacchaeus.

14 Zacchaeus would always collect more tax than people owed. He would give part of the money to the Roman government and keep the rest for himself!

15 Zacchaeus heard that Jesus was coming to Jericho. He wanted to see Jesus, but he was so short that he could not see above the heads of the people who crowded around Jesus. He saw a Sycamore tree nearby and decided to climb the tree so that he could see Jesus.

16 He climbed…

17 And climbed…







24 Until finally, he was perched high in the top of the tree!

25 When Jesus passed by, he looked up in the Sycamore tree and saw Zacchaeus. “Zacchaeus, you come down,” Jesus said. “I am going to your house today.”

26 Zacchaeus climbed down from the tree as fast as he could. Jesus went with Zacchaeus to his house and had dinner with him.

27 Some of the people were very angry with Jesus because he went to the home of Zacchaeus.

28 But once Jesus was in his home, Zacchaeus changed. He told Jesus that he would give half of his money to the poor - and if he had cheated anyone - he would pay them back. He promised to repay them four times the amount he had stolen.

29 That day a lot of people in Jericho were much richer -- and much, much happier.

30 Zacchaeus was happy too! Jesus had changed his life!

31 © 2004 by Henry Martin and Sermons4Kids All rights reserved

32 What is the one thing you want people to take away? What is the one issue you want to challenge people about? What is the one thing you want people to apply in their lives?

33 > Keep it short and simple > Use easy-to-understand language > Explain why we do it… Leader:Let us confess our sins to God and ask for his forgiveness. For all the wrong things we have done: in your mercy, All:Forgive us O God. Leader:For forgetting what we ought to have remembered, for failing to do as we promised, for turning away when we should have listened, for being careless when we should have been sensible: in your mercy, All:Forgive us O God Leader:For doing things we knew would annoy, for acting in ways we knew would hurt, for behaving in ways we knew would disappoint: in your mercy, All:Forgive us O God Leader:O God, when we look back we can see how foolish and wrong we have been. Help us not to do the same things again: through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. - Confessions:

34 - Statements of faith: Leader:We are not once a week friends All:We are the family of God Leader:We are not a cosy club All:We are the body of Christ Leader:We are not just strangers meeting All:We are temples of the Holy Spirit Leader:We are not here by accident All:Our Father has called us to worship Leader:We are not just filling up an hour All:Jesus wants us to know him better Leader:We are not just going through the motions All:The Holy Spirit has some special words for us Leader:So come; draw near to our God All:And God will draw near to us

35 - Statements of faith: Leader:Do you believe in God? All:We believe in God the Father who made us and the world. Leader:Do you believe in Jesus Christ? All:We believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who came to this earth to be our Saviour. He died for our sins on the cross, rose from the dead, ascended to the Father in heaven and will come again in his glory as the judge of all people. Leader:Do you believe in the Holy Spirit? All:We believe in the Holy Spirit, whom God gives to all who trust in Christ. He makes us more like Jesus, guides and strengthens us in our daily life, and helps us serve God in the family of the church Leader:May Almighty God strengthen this faith in us. Amen.

36 - Interactive prayers: The Teaspoon Prayer…  Have a short time of chat and discussion focusing on what the congregation might want to say to God using these three words.  Finally have a short time of open prayer weaving together all the topics mentioned in a closing prayer.  Why not give younger children a plastic teaspoon to take home to remind them of these three basic categories for prayer. T = ‘Thank you’ (saying thanks to God) S = ‘Sorry’ (apologising for the things we have done) P = ‘Please’ (asking for God’s help, healing etc)

37 - Interactive prayers: Hand Prayers… Give a piece of paper to everyone and ask them to draw around and cut out the shape of their own hand. On the four fingers they should write: - Something to praise God for - Something to thank God for - Something for which they would like to ask God’s help - Something they would like to say sorry about Children can fold down the fingers if they wish to keep their prayers secret. This leaves the ‘thumbs up’– a reminder that God has heard our prayers. Conclude by praying leaving pauses for children to bring their own prayers to God silently. The thumb : Thumbs up! Thank God for something – friends, pets etc The fore finger: The ‘pointing’ finger - say sorry for getting angry etc The Middle finger: The ‘Strong’ one - Pray for God’s help – bullying, home etc Wedding finger: Give thanks for the people who you love and who love you Little finger = Pray for the weak and poor etc 1 2

38 - Interactive prayers: Prayer pauses… Father God, we thank you for all the people in our church and we ask that you will help us to grow closer to each other and closer to you. Picture the person sitting on either side of you. Ask that God will be especially close to them. We also remember those people who are not with us today, perhaps through illness or because they are on holiday. Let’s remember them in our own prayers now. Father God, we thank you for the place where we live and we ask that you will help us to spread your love to our friends and neighbours. Let’s think of one or two particular friends and ask that God will help us tell them the Good News. Father God, we thank you for the time we have spent together and we ask that you will be with us throughout this week. Let’s think of the things that we are going to do lin the days ahead and bring them before God now. Lord, thank you that you listen to all our prayers spoken and unspoken. Amen.

39 Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven.

40 Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.

41 Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours. Now and for ever. Amen

42 - Creative prayers: - Fun and engaging… - Involves a variety of senses… - Gets people moving about… - Extremely powerful and moving! - Experience something different…

43 One of the most effective ways of exciting and enthusing children and teenagers about a church service is making sure that they are involved – beyond being members of the congregation (especially those 11+) as many all age services have a focus on primary-aged children. Asking them or a young family to welcome people into church Asking various children’s/YP’s groups to lead intercessory prayer Ask one or more children/YP to read the Bible passages Include children/young people in the collection etc Asking a Sunday/youth group to prepare something before the service that is shared and contributes to the services theme - artwork, poem, special reading, drama sketch, quiz etc Playing instruments/singing in the worship group

44 “There is a tendency to believe that young people know it all, but this is untrue and young people say it’s untrue. What young people say is that they have much to learn but also adults have much to learn from them…. Young people do not want to destroy and rebuild, neither are they intent on being given everything. Rather their desire is to have an experience of the Church which is meaningful to them and to walk a pilgrim journey with their peers and other adults” Worship is central to the Church. If the younger generation are going to be at the heart of the Church, they need to be part of planning, leading the worship. This sharing and dialogue can not only improve the lot of young people but can challenge and refresh the worship for the whole congregation - Pete Ward: ‘Youth A-part’ CHP 1996

45  Experiment with what you have got: › Keep it simple. Most all age services contain too much material. › Be clear about your aims – What? Who? How? › Reach all levels of spirituality and understanding › Plan and prepare well and always go for good quality › Be creative! Use visual aids, lighting, movement, touch as well as listening! › Use other people’s skills and talents, not just the priest or worship leader’s › Keep it short and sweet! (45 minutes max!)  Plan & publicise Special Festivals & Services  Is it working? Try different times, days, formats… Creating fun, friendly, interactive and loving environments allowing all to receive at their own level


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