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ROOTS response to Covid-19 pandemic

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Related Bible reading(s): John 12.1-8
Spiritual styles abbreviations and further information

Warm up            5 mins E

Provide a variety of common objects, e.g. a tin of food, a book, a magazine, a pen, a small toy, a toilet roll, a cushion, a bread roll, some air freshener, a coin. Challenge the young people to take it in turns to balance as many of the objects as possible on their body at once. Award a prize to the winner.

Action Bible            15 mins W

Read aloud John 12.1-8, then encourage the group to use toy figures and water as perfume to act out the story.

Questions to discuss

  • What emotions were felt by the key characters at different points in the story?
  • Do you think Mary should have given the money to the poor instead?
  • What extravagant acts of worship might be a modern-day equivalent of Jesus’ anointing?

What’s that smell?            10 mins W

Before the session starts, spray a leader in lots of perfume/cologne. Really overdo it, but don’t mention it. At this point in the session, ask the young people if they have noticed anything unusual in the room today. Talk about the fragrance and refer to verse 3 in the reading: ‘the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume’. How do we show our adoration of Jesus? Does our adoration change the atmosphere around us?

Getting the balance right            10 mins WA

Beforehand, ask the church treasurer for a simple copy of the church’s annual budget. Print out copies for everyone and explain financial terms as necessary. Do the young people agree with how the church spends its money? How would they change it? Make sure you pass on their suggestions!

Preview songs on YouTube, buy online and download.

Alabaster Box, Julie Meyer on Paint Your Picture
Beautiful One, Tim Hughes on When Silence Falls
Kaleidoscope, Urban Rescue on Wild Heart


Multisensory challenge            10 mins E

It is important to use all our senses in our worship of God. Blindfold the young people and challenge them to use as many senses as possible in trying to identify the following items: a jar of instant coffee; a pot of flavoured yoghurt; a bar of chocolate; cinnamon bark; a bottle of fizzy drink; a lemon. Sight is allowed, but only at the end!

Did Judas have a point?            10 mins WA

Discuss the idea and purpose of social action with the group and why we have a responsibility to engage with it. Talk about your local area and possible places of need. Plan a prayer walk to visit those areas and decide on a possible social action project.

  • What do you see here: extravagance, showing off, or something else?
  • How extravagant is the worship in your church?
  • How do you express your devotion to Christ?

Jesus’ presence            5 mins S

Burn some incense sticks and sit in silence as the fragrance fills the room. Encourage the young people to simply soak in Jesus’ presence. Alternatively, play some music, e.g. ‘Alabaster Box’ by Julie Meyer (see Listen).

Silent prayer walk            15 mins+ SA

Go on a prayer walk around your local area. Before you set off, explain that you will be stopping every few minutes to spend some time in silence. Encourage the young people to observe their surroundings and use the time to imagine themselves in other people’s shoes. Afterwards, share the experience and how God might be calling each person to respond.


Look for an opportunity each day to worship God and to act for the good of others.

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