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Amos 5.6-7,10-15; Psalm 90.12-17; Hebrews 4.12-16; Mark 10.17-31

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.


This week we explore what can get in the way of our relationship with God.



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

All age act of worship Session

Camels and needles

  • Have you ever heard or used a strange phrase to illustrate something? For example: ‘It’s like herding cats.’ There can be few if any people who actually herd cats, but we can imagine trying – cats are not known for doing what you ask of them! Other sayings include: ‘Go on a wild goose chase’, ‘Get a taste of your own medicine.’ Invite people to suggest sayings they know and/or use.
  • How about this one ‘Pass a camel through the eye of a needle’? What does that mean? Depending how you imagine this, it might be rather funny (you could show a video clip).
  • You probably know that this was a phrase that Jesus used. It is part of today’s reading(s), and although Jesus probably intended it to be amusing, and relatively easy to understand, he uses it to make an important point. That is what we shall explore in today’s worship.

Call to worship

Satisfy us with your steadfast love
that we may rejoice and be glad all our days,
and gain a wise heart.
Come and meet the Lord who loves us and is all we need.
Come, rejoice and be glad as we worship together.

A gathering prayer

Loving Lord, you know us better than we know ourselves.
As we come together to worship you,
help us to explore our relationship with you.
May your words and challenges strengthen and affirm us.
May your love sustain us and guide us.
May our worship be acceptable to you.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.


First impressions

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

Click on the image to view a larger version
or use the Jump menu to go to This week's images.
For artist's details, see this issue's illustrators.



  • What do you make of this image – its title is ‘With God all things are possible’?
  • What is the difference between what is possible and what is wise?
  • How might we encourage ourselves and others to develop a wise heart?
Share the Word
All age act of worship Session

Amos 5:1-15

Present the reading – Judging unfairly

Use this as preparation for the reading and to set the scene.

You will need: Judge (behind a desk with a gavel or something to represent a gavel, with wig if available), defendant with a bag of money



Judge [in a booming voice] : To sum up, the defendant stands accused of artificially boosting the price of wheat, selling it with dust and straw sweepings added in, and using loaded scales to get more money for less.

He stands accused of having done this in the full knowledge of the poverty of his customers, with the intention of pushing them into debt so that he can force them into slavery.

I have heard from eight witnesses who can testify to this, and evidence has been shown of the scales in question, and of the quality of wheat sold which has been added to by up to 50% chaff. Has the defendant any further information to add in his defence?

Defendant: Yes your honour.

Judge: You may proceed.

Defendant: May I have permission to approach the bench?

Judge:  Yes, you may come up.

[Defendant approaches the judge and pretends to whisper in his/her ear]

Judge [in a quieter voice]: How much? … Hmmm…. Double that, and it will go well for you. …

[Defendant hands over bag of money to the judge]

Judge: You may resume your seat.

[Defendant returns to his/her seat]

Judge [in a booming voice again]: The verdict is not guilty. The defendant is acquitted. Court is adjourned. [Bangs gavel; rubs hands together in glee.]


(NB This drama was written by a subscriber and was submitted and published online on 19 October 2021.)


Hebrews 4.12-16

Present the reading using three readers, standing left, centre and right at the front of the worship space.
Reader 1 speaks from a lectern with a large Bible on it.
Reader 2 stands beside a free-standing but portable cross, from the opposite side.
Reader 3 is in the middle and begins the presentation by reading verses 12 and 13.
Reader 1 picks up the Bible and carries it to the Communion table, places it on the table, then reads verses 14 and 15.
Reader 2 picks up the cross, carries it to and places it on the table, then reads verse 16. All three readers gather in front of and facing the table, then kneel or bow heads (as if approaching the throne of grace). After a pause, they all quietly return to their seats.


Mark 10.17-31

Accompany the Gospel reading with the YouTube video (sound on mute). The reader will need to rehearse this to get the timing right. Or you could use the video ‘as is’ with sound (and music).

If you cannot show the video, you could prepare a mime.

You will need: a narrator, Jesus, some disciples, a rich man and his friends.

The narrator needs to convey the different voices and pause as necessary for the mimed action to take place. ‘Staging’ can be very simple, e.g. Jesus and his disciples entering from one side, the rich man and his friend from the other. After verse 22, the rich man and friends leave the same way they came, while Jesus remains ‘centre stage’. Towards the end, during or after verse 28, Jesus and the disciples start to walk on, leaving on the opposite side to where they entered.

Explore and respond

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

All age act of worship Session

Active worship

Play Buckaroo!™

A way to think about having too many burdens

  • Play a game of Buckaroo!™ If you don’t have, or can’t borrow the game, you could show part of a video demonstration (e.g. from 4:00 to 9:40, or 10:00 to 11:10).

    The game involves loading a horse with lots of different items until the horse ‘bucks’ and sheds all the items.

  • Like the rich man who came to Jesus, or the overloaded Buckaroo!™ horse, if we carry too much ‘stuff’ it may cause a problem. Invite people to spend a few moments thinking about whether there are things in their lives that are, or risk becoming, so important that they might get in the way of their relationship with God or developing this relationship further.
  • In small groups, invite people to discuss and share one or two ideas for keeping their lives in proper balance. W E A


A simple worship activity

A hymn-based opportunity for reflection and devotion

  • Choose one of these methods to present the hymn ‘Take my life and let it be’:
    – listen to a recording of a choir singing it.
    – display a video clip of the song with words projected.
    – speak the words with the tune playing in the background.
  • Choose one or more of these reflective or devotional activities:
    – give out paper and pens; invite people to respond by drawing any kind of image they wish.
    – give out play dough or modelling clay; invite people to make a model that represents something they would like to offer to God.
    – give out paper and pens; invite people to write down specific things from their own ‘riches’ (e.g. time, resources, skills) that they can offer to God. W E S A


Make a wise heart

Explore the things that fill our hearts.

 You will need: A4 paper, scissors, pencils; copies of the instructions ‘How to make an origami heart’.

  • Give everyone a sheet of paper and a copy of the origami instructions.
  • First, ask people to write down things they hold in their heart, e.g. God, family, relationships, things they are passionate about.
  • When they have finished, invite them to follow the instructions and make a heart. W E S A


A prayer for all ages together

O God, thank you for my thinking (touch head with one hand) –
help my thinking to be more like yours.
Thank you for words to speak and songs to sing (put finger on lips) –
help me to speak kindly and truthfully.
Thank you for all I have (hold hands out palms up) –
help me to share it and use it a wisely.
Thank you for all the things I can do (walk on the spot) –
help me to make wise choices.
In all that we think and say and do,
bless us and guide us, O God. 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
  • Jesus’ words challenge us about things that get in the way of our relationship with God. Invite people to reflect on both the challenges and the suggestions that have emerged from today’s worship, and quietly to offer their thoughts to God in prayer.

  • Invite them to write or draw on their origami hearts (see Make a wise heart) something that will remind them of these thoughts in the days to come – something that will encourage them to work on having a wise heart.

  • Remind everyone that God loves us all as we are, and that we are all still and always will be ‘work in progress’. Then sing together ‘Take my life and let be consecrated, Lord, to thee’. W E S


A sending out prayer

Loving God, who sees us and loves us just as we are,
be with us and go with us,
guide us and challenge us
to draw closer to you,
and to be and live more like Christ.

Go with God 24/7

Encourage everyone to put their faith into action

Encourage everyone to put their faith into action. Choose something that you have that is important and precious to you, e.g. your car, time, baking equipment (any tools!), musical instrument. During the week, do or think or make something with your item that you can share with someone else – for example, offer a lift, give some time, bake a cake, share some music.  W E S A


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

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