All-Age Service Plan: Lost? Alone? Come home!
This service plan is based on a story in Luke 15: the lost son.
Prayer / Worship Activity
Resources: lots of pictures of places and items that might signify safety or security, such as a house, a bank, a prison, a lock, a love letter, two people hugging or some grandparents. Try to think laterally as well as going for more obvious images
Place the whole congregation into small groups of about ten people of mixed ages. Give each group a set of the images you have selected. Ask everyone to choose a picture that symbolises safety or security. Each person, if they’re happy to do so, should tell the others why they chose their picture.
When everyone has finished, explain that you’re going to explore more about God being our home and security when we’ve wandered away from him. (You could use the same pictures later in the service, if you are doing the Option 1 Response.)
Resources: card cut into brick shapes, string or Blutack
You will need to have cut out brick shapes from card with the statement: ‘Where I feel at home’ written on each one. Write down or draw the place you feel at home and then hang, or Blutack them up, brick to brick, making a wall. Thank God for your church and ask him that it would feel more like home after the service today.
You are going to tell the story and help the congregation to engage with its meaning by using four stations around the room. Set up the stations and encourage people to move around them in their all-age groups. (You may need to increase the number of stations, and/or the number of resources at each station).
At each station have a print-out of the relevant Bible passages and questions or instructions, which one person in each group can read aloud to the rest of the group.
Luke 15:11-13: A son moves out
Have a bowl of chocolate coins and eat one each. While you’re eating, discuss these questions:
~~ The younger son had lots of money to spend. I wonder what I would have done with all that money?
~~ Is the son in a good situation?
Reflective Response to Story
Option 1 5 MINS
Make a PowerPoint about identity, using images of safe places like homes, groups of people together, love, Jesus calming the storm, a parent holding a baby’s hand, friends embracing, the ocean, pictures of space, animals and creepy crawlies. Loop the pictures and encourage everyone to look at the pictures and to think about how God sees them and how they might see themselves. You could stream ‘Secure in You’ from petesheath.com to play in the background as you watch the slides together.
Option 2 2 MINS
As you use the following prayer for reflection, encourage people to remember the parts of the service that have most stood out for them and what they feel God might be saying to them today:
When the leader says: ‘Father of the lost and the broken’, the congregation responds with: ‘Hear our prayer’.
‘In a world where there is never enough and we can so easily take more than we need, help us to remember those who have little or nothing. Father of the lost and the broken; hear our prayer.
When our problems try to hide us away from your amazing grace and unending mercy, and we forget how much you love us, help us to seek you again. Father of the lost and the broken; hear our prayer.
For the times when we will feel like we have no way home, remind us that your arms are always open wide. Father of the lost and the broken; hear our prayer.
When we leave this place and meet with our friends, may we take you with us so that the world will know how great you are. Father of the lost and the broken; hear our prayer.
10 MINS Group discussion questions
Remaining in your all age-groups, discuss the following questions:
~~Which part of the story did you like best?
~~Why do you think that Jesus told this story?
~~ Do you see yourself in the story?
~~Which part of the story do you want to tell your friends about?