6 Keys to Effective All Age Worship #5 – Give them a Take Away!

5. Give The A Take Away!
But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. James 1:25
The Argentinian pastor, Juan Carlos Ortiz, wrote a book called, “Disciple” in the late 70s.  It detailed the beginnings and the impact of the Argentinian revival.  Thousands gave their lives to Christ, stadiums across the nation were packed as people hungrily came to hear the life giving message!  In the book Ortiz talks about preaching to his own congregation and, during this period, he felt convicted to keep preaching on the same thing until he saw his congregation putting it in to practice.  Not just the same theme, the same thing – every week – the same sermon.  He details that it took some people weeks to realise that what they were hearing was the same as the week before (and the week before that).  His question was this, “Is what we are saying and doing on a Sunday making any difference to the way we live in the light of the Gospel the rest of the week?” It might seem extreme to keep going at the same message week after week – but, if we are after “life in all its fullness” then our work cannot simply be to preach a blinder on a Sunday or deliver an out of this world “All Age” experience.  What will people go away with?  What will people be encouraged to do with what they go away with?  How do we help people not forget what they have heard and seen? Give them a Take Away. Ok, this is Key 5 of 6 so we are nearly done, but – if you change nothing else about what you do with All Age Worship – please consider this one.  Give people something to take away with them that they can do during the week – an action, a thought, a prayer, something they can do with others, something they could do by themselves . . . What can you give them that will help them root what has been explored in the day to day of Monday onwards? # Get yourself to a Cash and Carry.  Go to a Cash and Carry, “Bookers” or “Costco” somewhere like that (whatever the equivalent might be in your country where you can buy in bulk cheaply) and buy a LOAD of take away boxes.  The kind you might find at a take away burger or fish and chips place.

Consider your theme.  OK, what is your theme for the All Age Worship?  Prayer?  The Love of God?  A message from a story like Zacchaeus?  The parable of the Lost Coin?  Now distill it down, what are some of the component parts of the message?

Put FOUR things in the box.  Right, thinking about the theme or story for the All Age Worship – put the following FOUR things in the box ::

:: Memory Verse – We have done these a fridge magnets, but a piece of card with the memory verse on will do – yes, a memory verse!  I could have done a key just on that, but I am including it here.  You should have a STAND OUT verse during your All Age Worship that nails the theme.  That just says it.  This is so important, it could be argued that people know less and less of the Bible as they are relying on the people speaking to them from it on Sundays.  Highlight a key verse by including it in the box, encourage people as they take it away to read it through the week, put it somewhere we everyone in the house can see it. :: A Prayer – Write a brief prayer that can be read out loud as part of the worship in the Household.  If this isn’t already being encouraged, make sure there is a bit of explanation or you give a few hints and tips – meal times are good, aim for times when people in the household are “gathered” and not all about to dart off and do their own thing.  Try and encourage this not to be a rushed thing. :: An Activity – What could people in the household do together that “re-enacts” something to help them remember and recall the teaching, the story, the theme?  For example, with the story of Zach – it could be something as simple as “Go and climb a tree together and take a photograph.”  With the lost coin in Luke 15 it could be “Play hide and seek” or “Hide something in the house that others have to find.”  It is not about being complicated or clever – it is about finding something simple that will not take ages to do – all with the aim of bringing to mind the message. :: A Symbol with a thought – Again, with either the lost coin or the story of Zach – you could have in the box a coin (or something that represents something of value – a picture of a treasure chest for example).  Then with the symbol, have a couple of questions to provoke thought through the week.  “Thinking again about the story of Zach, as you look at this treasure box – what do you value?  What is priceless to your family?  What matters most to you?  How will you treasure that this week?”

Build in time to explain the box.  This might seem daft, but – if you have not done this before, just a brief explanation – you want to make sure people do take them away with them at the end and know why they have them!

That is it.  This is not something new – often we give take aways when we do talks or sermons – to children and to adults – it is what we call the “application” bit.  The thing is, often these are given in a cerebral way, people are left to their own devices (which is of course fine) BUT, in all age worship we have begun to prioritise worship together, prayer together, looking at scripture together . . . this is what the people of God should be doing – not just on a Sunday, but throughout the week!  In small family groups, mixed ages and generations gathered – maybe for no more than 15 minutes – to reflect, think, pray and do something meaningful together.  A “Take Away” reminds everyone the message is not a nice thought for Sunday, it is something that has to be lived, worked out, real in our lives . . . whatever our age! Tomorrow Key #6!