Change text size: A A A Change contrast: Normal Dark Light
Numbers 21.4-9; Psalm 107.1-3,17-22; Ephesians 2.1-10; John 3.14-21

Share the Word

Adult & All Age

Share the Word

Ways to present the readings

All age act of worship Session

Numbers 21.4-9

Use ‘hot seating’ to explore the complaints of the people of Israel. Place a seat centrally, and invite someone to be Moses, sitting in the ‘hot seat’. Ask everyone else to imagine that they have been wandering in the wilderness for a long time. They are tired, bored, hungry and thirsty. They need reassurance that they have made the right choice in following Moses. Invite some people to express their complaints to Moses (e.g. ‘I’m sick of these snakes’; ‘my feet hurt’; ‘are we nearly there yet?’). Moses tries to argue that things aren’t as bad as they seem (you could provide cards to prompt Moses about the things that God has done – such as provided food and drink, led them out of slavery). 

After a while, give Moses a representation of a snake (a drawing, a toy snake, or a draught excluder!) to hold up. Encourage people to notice that when they look up and focus on the snake, they are no longer looking at themselves or comparing themselves to each other.


John 3.14-21

Using a flip chart to record responses, ask people to suggest words associated with darkness and light. Create two mind maps or word clouds – one for the ‘light’ words and the other for the ‘dark’ ones. Are there positive and negative ideas in both sets? Which set contains more positive concepts? Are there any surprises? If light meant too much heat (scorching), would that put us off going to it? If darkness meant cosy (bedtime), would that make us reluctant to leave it? 

Yet, darkness is sometimes used to represent something bad, and light something good. In the Gospel reading, Jesus’ followers (those for whom John wrote his Gospel) are faced with a choice: to carry on getting it wrong (being in the dark) or to look with gratitude at Jesus and to do good deeds (being in the light). We are given the same choice. Let’s hear the reading!


Go to:

Children & Youth

Share the Word

 Ways to present John 3.14-21

Activities marked with an asterisk  next to the activity title are in addition to the resources in the Ready to go sessions. Suggested timings for these activities are also shown. NB The inclusion of additional activities varies from week to week.



 A version of the story for very young children

Very young childrens Session

In a story bag place a small globe, a heart shape, a small cross and a torch.

God loved the world so much. (take out the globe)
So much that he sent Jesus his only Son, (take out the heart)
so that everyone who believes in Jesus will live with God for ever. (take out the cross)
Light has come into the world, (take out the torch)
and we can trust in God’s promise for ever. (turn on the torch



Childrens Session

Read the story and pause at the  to share these points with the children (see Stop and share below). Then use the activity to explore the passage together. (10 mins)

 Click on the image to view a PDF.  


Stop and share

  • Talk about ‘being in the dark’. As well as physical darkness, we often use this to mean not knowing or not understanding something.
  • Explain the reference to the bronze serpent – this was made by Moses and was said to have the power to heal someone from a poisonous snake bite.


Listen in the light        W E S

You will need: a candle.

  • Make the room as dark as possible. Ask the children to close their eyes and cover them with their hands.
  • Read the story again and, each time the word ‘light’ is said (it comes 7x), tell the children to do something to make the room a little lighter:
    1. Remove one hand from over your eyes.
    2. Remove the other hand from your eyes.
    3. Partly open your eyes.
    4. Fully open your eyes.
    5. Open curtains or blinds.
    6. Switch on the room lights.
    7. Light candle.
  • Talk about how it felt hearing Jesus’ words as it became lighter in the room.



Young people Session

Eternal promises    5 mins    W E

You will need: pens, copies of the passage, dictionaries.

  • Give out a pen and the printed passage to each young person.
    As you read the passage through slowly, invite them to draw an upwards arrow next to any words they think are about eternal life.

Play the track ‘In God We Trust’, Hillsong Worship on Open Heaven/Run Wild, as you read.

  • Then discuss together what the word ‘eternal’ means and find some definitions from dictionaries or online.
    Ask: Do any of the words from the Bible passage make a good definition? 


Spiritual styles abbreviations
W Word E Emotion S Symbol A Action
Read our Spiritual Styles articles
See less
General information and website help
020 3887 8916
Roots for Churches Ltd
86 Tavistock Place
Registered Charity No. 1097466
Subscription services
020 3887 8916
Roots for Churches Ltd
Unit 12, Branbridges Industrial Estate,
East Peckham TN12 5HF
Stay in touch
The ROOTS ecumenical partnership
Bringing together Churches and other Christian organisations since 2002
© Copyright 2002-2023, ROOTS for Churches Ltd. All rights reserved. Print ISSN: 2040-4832 and 2635-280X; Online ISSN: 2635-2818.
This resource is taken from and is copyright © 2002-2023 ROOTS for Churches.