God in us all-age prayer activity

IMG_3593At our last cafe church we talked about many different aspects of God’s character and how we all respond to Him in different ways depending on our own personalities. We also talked about part of God being in us when we believe and it being our job to show other people something about who God is.

That secret truth, which is for all people, is that Christ lives in you, his people. He is our hope for glory.  So we continue to tell people about Christ. Colossians 1:27-28

Here is the simple prayer activity we did together as a whole church family…

You will need: Sparkly card cut into irregular shapes, glue, a large piece of paper

Give everyone a piece of card and ask them to hold it with the sparkly facing up. Think about who God is to you- creator, friend, strength, love, saviour, miracle worker. Thank God for being in your life.

Turn the card sparkly side down and think of people you know who don’t know that they are loved by God. Ask God to help you to show them His love and what He is like

Turn the card sparkly side up again and compare it to the shape of the person next to you. The shapes will be different but both shiny, just like we are all different but still have God shining within us.

Ask everyone to glue the back of their piece of card and to bring it to the large piece of paper. Work together to make a picture of our community, with each piece knowing part of God and shining His love into the world.

Epiphany Session for Junior Church

Next Sunday will mark the Epiphany- the day we celebrate the time that the Wise Men reach the stable to visit Jesus. Here is a session you can use with a Junior church group of mixed ages to celebrate the occasion!

IMG_0003

Story: Read the story of the wise men visiting Jesus from a children’s Bible. The Lion Storyteller Bible is a definite favourite!

Activity: Make a ‘star’ with a torch and black paper. Check out this link to see how it’s done. Switch the lights  off and follow the star around the room!

Talk about:

What part of the story did you like best?

Which character did you like the best?

Which part of the story is about you?

What is it like to go on a long journey?

Have you ever searched for something?

What did it feel like when you found it?

What present would you give to a baby king?

Activity choices: Choose one or more of these and use the creation time to speak to the children about the story and anything that struck them during the talk time.

  • Use Lego, recycling junk or play dough to make a gift for the baby or to recreate part of the story.
  • Make a collection of ‘wise men’ by decorating paper towel rolls. In the carol ‘We Three Kings’ we sing about ‘three kings’, but in the Bible there is no number given so there could have been any number!
  • Cut star shapes out of card and use them as stencils to paint, draw or chalk round
  • Make Model Magic or clay stars and decorate them.

Prayer

You will need: A large sheet of paper and lots of sticky stars

Pray for

  • People who are travelling a long way- that God will look after them
  • People who are looking for something- that they find it
  • People who want to find out more about Jesus.

When you say ‘amen’ to each prayer, get everyone to stick a star sticker on a big sheet of paper.

 

Reflective Fuzzy Felt Crosses

IMG_3521This is a really easy way to help children take time to reflect and think about God.  We use these at our church as part of the ‘pray-ground’ resources that are laid out on some tables at the front of church.  Children can come and use these resources at any point during the service and they are especially popular during sung worship times.

You will need: Coloured felt sheets, scissors

Cut cross shapes out of some felt sheets.  Next cut some smaller pieces of felt in different colours.  Lay out the cross shapes and felt pieces on a table or on the floor and invite children to decorate the crosses with the pieces. Encourage children to use the time to speak to God in their heads or to think about God. If you are sitting with them, this might be a good opportunity to speak to them about what they are thinking. Be prepared for some very deep God connections!

Joseph Messy Church Crafts

This month we looked at the story of Joseph at Messy church.  It’s quite a long story so we pulled out some of the main themes and events and had a lot of fun!  Here are some of the crafts we got up to…

joseph 1A coloured coat made of a length of brown paper (with a head hole cut out!).  We decorated the coat with pens, coloured paper, bubble wrap, felt pieces and lolly sticks and then used it as a costume when we told the story.

Joseph 3Coloured coat fuzzy felt: Felt coat shapes and scraps to decorate.

joseph 7Edible coloured coats: Wraps cut into coat shapes and decorated with icing and sweets.

joseph 5Egyptian collars made from paper plates and sticky shapes

Joseph 2Joseph’s jail made from Lego bricks

joseph 4Plaited straws (our attempt at wheat sheaves!)

joseph 6Paper plate cow faces.

Have fun!

Prayer planes

Here is a fun way to give your prayers wings!

You will need: (per person) strips of paper 21cm x 3cm and 15 cmx 3cm, a straw, sellotape, pens or pencilsIMG_3461Choose what you’d like to pray for and write two prayers- one on the long strip and one on the short strip.

Use sellotape to make each strip into a circle and attach the circles to opposite ends of the straw, as in the photo above.

Now hold your ‘prayer plane’ and launch it as you would a paper plane (with the smaller circle at the nose end of the plane). These planes have the potential to fly impressively far.  As you let go of the plane, ask God to take your prayers.

Experiment with different sizes of prayer circles to see if you can get your plane to go further.

Have fun!

God’s Strength: Paper Challenge

This idea was inspired by something I read in a great book by Heno Head Jr: Simple Science Object Talks. I would totally recommend the book as it has some amazing ideas to help children to connect with God and to explore the meaning of Bible stories.  I’ve used this activity in primary school assemblies but it would work just as well in an all age service or in a children’s group.

IMG_3272

You will need: I sheet of A4 paper per child, sellotape, toilet roll tubes or kitchen towel tubes, mugs or books.

Challenge children to use 1 sheet of paper to make a construction that will hold the mug or book off the floor. DO NOT show them the tubes!

Invariably, the children will find this an impossible task!

Now take a sheet of A4 paper and bring out the paper towel tube.  Wrap the paper tightly around the tube and sellotape the edges to make a paper tube covering the card tube.

Show how the mug will balance happily on the tube, but admit to the fact that you are cheating because you used tube and you didn’t let the children use one!

Now take the paper tube carefully off the card tube and ask if the children think that the paper on its own will hold the mug.  They will probably say no.  Put the mug on top and it will balance.

Talk to the children about the fact that when things are hard and we try to do it by ourselves, sometimes we don’t get far and things seem to collapse around us. When we ask for help, we can do things we never thought possible.  Think about the verse from Philippians 4: 13 “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” As Christians, we can ask Jesus to help us and nothing is impossible to him.  Share times when you have asked Jesus for help and pray for people who are faced with difficult situations.