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Jonah 3.1-5,10; Psalm 62.5-12; 1 Corinthians 7.29-31; Mark 1.14-20

Outline act of worship for all ages

All-age worship ideas that offer an outline for worship. Individual items can be used alone or as part of your own worship design.

Use  the Jump to this week's menu on the right to find Prayers, Hymns and other resources; see also Sermon ideas and Thought for the week.

Worship under Covid-19 restrictions
See the general advice and tips on using ROOTS weekly resources for online worship and children's sessions, which includes specific notes on using this week's AAA worship outline - see below.

 

As Jesus begins his ministry, he asks four fishermen to come with him and immediately they say yes. For them to respond without hesitation requires a lot of courage; it is life-changing. They are prepared to leave what they know behind and learn to ‘fish for people’ with Jesus.  

This week we explore responding without hesitation to Jesus.

 

Gather

Use the activities and prayers to gather the group and introduce the theme

All age act of worship Session

Take time

  • In advance, prepare slips of paper each with a day and time (e.g. 4pm Thursday; 9am Tuesday), and place them all in a bowl.
  • Ask everyone to ‘take a time’. Invite them to recall and share with a neighbour what they were doing on that day at that time during the past week.
  • Ask them to evaluate – using a scale of one to ten – how aware of God they were at that moment. In our worship today, we will explore how we listen for God and live our faith when we all have such busy lives. Return the slips to the bowl.

 

Call to worship

Let us come from our everyday and our routine
and meet with God – the one who made us,
and who gave us our daily bread 
through the week just gone.

 

A gathering prayer

Loving Lord,
thank you that you meet us where we are,
in the middle and muddle of our daily tasks.
Help us to hear your call,
to recognise your voice,
and to respond to your invitation
to be with you now.
Amen.

 

First impressions

You could also use the image and following questions to help introduce the theme.

  • What do you feel about the idea that you are chosen by Jesus?
  • What is it about Jesus that would make you want to say, ‘yes’?
  • What might make you hesitate in your response to Jesus?
Share the Word
All age act of worship Session

Jonah 3.1-5,10

For this very simple drama/mime, you will need a narrator and Jonah. At the start of the reading, Jonah is slumped at the front of the worship space. As the narrator reads God’s words, Jonah gets up and walks to one side. Jonah’s words – which may be spoken by the narrator, or by Jonah having learned them by heart – are delivered in a loud ‘prophetic’ voice. Jonah then walks slowly all the way across the space as the reading continues.

 

Mark 1.14-20

You will need a narrator, and six actors: Jesus, Simon, Andrew, James, John and Zebedee. Others could be ‘hired men’. All except Jesus spread out along the front of the worship space and mime fishing (using props such as a rod or nets could be fun). As the narrator reads the passage, Jesus walks across the space and beckons first to Simon and Andrew, who ‘down tools’ and fall into line behind Jesus. Jesus then beckons James and John, and the same thing happens. Jesus and his disciples then walk off, out of sight, leaving Zebedee and any other ‘hired men’ looking puzzled and scratching their heads.

Explore and respond

A sequence of active worship ideas; individual elements can stand alone

All age act of worship Session

Active worship

A familiar game with a twist

A fun way to illustrate the challenge of distractions.

  • Invite two pairs of people to the front to play Pictionary™. Give each pair a pen and a flip chart (or large sheet of paper). Give one of each pair a word (whisper it or pass a slip of paper). Those two people draw something (not words!) to help their partner guess the word. When the correct word is guessed, they reverse roles.
  • Start with an easy word (e.g. table or aeroplane), but move quickly to more challenging examples (use things that are relevant or amusing in your context). Play five ‘rounds’ of the game to prevent it running too long.
  • While the game is being played, have another person stand behind the two teams reading a few simple sentences in a normal speaking voice – e.g. an address or a historical fact.
  • After the five rounds, announce that the winner will be the person/pair who can best remember what was read out behind them while they were playing the game.
    W E

 

Questions for discussion

Listening to Jesus in our daily routine.

The disciples were in their daily routine when Jesus came and called to them. With so much to do, and pressure from others to complete work and make money, it would have been easy for them to have ignored him.

  • Where in our daily routine is Jesus speaking to us? Are we missing his voice as we struggle to complete all that is expected of us by family, colleagues and friends?
  • If we were to hear him, what would we expect him to say?
  • Would we be willing to change what we are doing if he asks us to?

 

A listening exercise

Explore how we listen to each other and to God.

  • Working in pairs, ask one person to talk about a recent holiday or trip out, and the other person actively to convey ‘not listening’ – e.g. avoid eye contact, check phone, look out of the window. After one minute, swap roles. Invite feedback about how it felt to talk without being listened to.
  • Now repeat the exercise, but with the listener making an effort to show that they are truly listening. Reflect on how much easier it is to speak when someone is listening. In pairs, discuss how you might indicate that you are listening to God when you pray.
  • Agree at least one practical step or action for each person during the coming week. (If circumstances allow, the following week you could check out how this went.)
    E

 

A simple worship activity

Pray for the week ahead.

  • Display a calendar or diary and turn to the page for the previous week. Invite people to recall again the past week (see Gather). Was there any place or time where you felt that you ignored or dismissed God speaking to you?
  • Now turn the calendar/diary to the week ahead. Invite people to look ahead and think about people that they will have contact with in the coming week. What problems, anxieties or worries might you be facing? What might stop you from hearing God’s voice?
  • Gather these thoughts together and offer them in prayer.
    E S A

 

Two pen and paper exercises – choose one.

Finding time in the daily routine.

  • Give everyone a sheet made to look like a page from a ‘day-to-a-page’ diary, and a pen. Invite people to fill in the diary sheet with as much detail about their regular/typical daily routine as they can recall.
  • When complete, invite people to look for spaces. That is: where are the times/moments in their day where they can pause and pray, listen to a hymn, read from the Bible or Bible notes?
  • Invite them to review how they actually use such times; or if they found none, how they might make some.
    W A

Looking for God in everyday decisions.

  • Give everyone a small sheet of paper and a pen. Ask them to draw a line down the middle of the paper.
  • On the left-hand side, invite them to write down any decisions or commitments they have made recently, and what they hoped to gain from each one (e.g. to lose weight, to make better use of time).
  • Next, ask them to think about what following Jesus more closely in daily life might look like in practice, and on the right-hand side, to write down at least one or two achievable resolutions or commitments.
  • Take the paper home and review it from time to time.
    W

 

A prayer for all ages together

Thank you, Lord,
that when it is stormy all around us, (wave hands vigorously)
your love is changeless. (hands over heart)

Thank you, Lord,
that although we are broken people, (mime pushing people away)
your love is changeless. (hands over heart)

Thank you, Lord,
that your compassion overwhelms us, (hold fists out in front of you)
and your love is changeless. (hands over heart)
Amen.

 

Activity sheet

Go with God

Consider together what you have explored, what that means for each of you and how it might influence your daily lives

All age act of worship Session

Consider together what you have explored, what that means for each of you and how it might influence your daily lives.

  • Repeat the Gather exercise, but this time invite people to reflect on what they might be doing at that time in the coming week.
  • How likely is it that they would hear Jesus’ voice at that time, and in that place?

 

A sending out prayer

Loving Lord,
thank you that you meet us where we are,
in the middle and muddle of our daily lives.
Help us to hear your call,
to recognise your voice,
and to respond to your invitation
to follow you whatever we might be doing.
Amen.

 

Go with God 24/7

Encourage everyone to put their faith into action.

Set an alarm for the day/time on the slip of paper you had at the end of today’s worship. When the alarm sounds, consciously and deliberately listen for Jesus’ voice speaking to you in that moment. If you can, share your insights when you meet next Sunday.
W E S A 

 

ROOTS at home resource

Give out the ROOTS at home resource to encourage faith at home.

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