Introduction to the All-Age Talks on this Website

"For yourself, concentrate on winning God's approval . . . " (2 Timothy 2.15)

Introduction

The most important element of your Family Worship is your own local context. It will inevitably, and rightly, be shaped by the style of worship with which your parish is comfortable, the gifts and experience of individual church people, the nature of your church building and the place of the Family Service in your pattern of services. Your parish will have a particular range of people available, both within the church community and beyond, and it can be enormously beneficial to tap into this pool of gifts to enhance what your Family Service can offer.

All of the teaching suggestions on this website are based on activities that have been tried and tested in other parishes' All-Age or Family Services. Many of them have their roots in ideas that are taken from other resources like the Bible Reading Fellowship's Barnabas website, but they have almost always been adapted these ideas to suit local circumstances. What unites the teaching activities on this website, whether they are based on original ideas or on other sources (all of which are acknowledged, where relevant, with thanks), is that they are straightforward enough to be used with confidence by inexperienced lay leaders, or clergy who are unused to working with children. None of them requires intensive preparation or complicated props.

Most importantly for a monthly service with fluctuating attendance, none of them relies on participants' having prepared their contributions in advance, which can give rise to worries about whether those people will actually turn up on the day. It is unavoidable that family commitments, illness or other circumstances do sometimes arise to distract people from church, and it can be reassuring to stick to teaching activities that can be adapted to whichever congregation happens to be in church that month. For instance, a passage that was intended for four readers could easily be shared between fewer if necessary. It's also possible to press adults into roles that were originally designed for children, if the congregation is particularly small.

Here you will find activities that should work as stand-alone packages, which can be plugged straight into your Family Service. You will probably find that other people's ideas work best when you mould them to the gifts and resources that you have available, and after a while you will become familiar enough with a range of resources to know which are best suited to your church.

Bible commentaries or other books can help to shore up your own understanding, and it can be interesting to see what comes out of an internet search around a particular Bible passage. In addition, there are many helpful websites, which provide ideas for teaching activities.



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