Below is a workable outline for a Messy Church Event that you are welcome to use!
We adapted this idea, and obviously we made it our own.
There is a section for each table called “Talk About It” in which we try to get the “journeying groups” to engage in discussion and to really think about the theme and lesson of this specific “Messy Church”. We did add additional questions and I would encourage you to do so as well…this is just a primer, but this teaching method has a lot of potential.
Opening & Worship:
Started with some songs and a video:
Kids Tell: Abram & Sarai Story
* God calls Abram & Sarai to go on a journey with him.
- His wife Sarai can’t have children, this makes them sad.
- On the journey God promises Abram that he will have more children than there are stars in the sky or grains of sand in the desert.
- We are all members of this family.
- God’s promise starts with small things but can become incredibly massive (stars in the sky)!
- God calls us on this journey as well!Time to Depart On Our Journey! (Go to stations!)
#1 Camp Tent – S’mores
#2 “Stars” Table
#3 Postcards to Family table
#4 Edible Pyramids
#5 Family Portrait Table
#1. Camping Tent – Make S’mores
Need: Graham Crackers, Marshmellows and Chocolate.
Instructions: Make s’mores while talking about camping…
Talk About: The travel must have taken a long time, and they had to endure a lot out in the wilderness. Food wasn’t always so easy to come by, but Abram and Sarai still traveled and did what the Lord instructed of them while on this journey. Have you ever gone camping? What types of items do you need in order to successfully camp? What’s the longest that you’ve ever had to sleep in a tent and on the ground? How do you think this journey felt to Abram and Sarai who were well over 70 years of age at the time? Do you think they always had a good meal while traveling? How do you think they slept each night? Would this journey have been easy on Abram and Sarai?
“…So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah, and said, “Quickly, prepare three measures of fine flour, knead it and make bread cakes.” –Genesis 18:6
#2. “Stars” Table – Need: Black or dark paper, a bunch of star stickers
Instructions: Create a starry sky on your paper with the stars provided.
Talk About: While Abram and Sarai were on this journey, God promised them that they would have more children than there were stars in the sky! As you create your starry sky, imagine being Abram and Sarai as they have yet to experience the completion of this promise. What must they have felt? How would they have dreamt this promise would be fulfilled? Would this journey be easy for them? How many family members can you count in your family?
Scripture Verse: “He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars–if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Genesis 15:5
#3. “Postcards to Family Table”
Need: Post card/Cue Cards & Pens, Crayons & markers, coloring pencils.
Instructions: Design a post card to give to someone you love in your family, maybe someone living near you or maybe far away. Use the materials here to make it look beautiful.
Talk About: Families all have ancestors and extended relatives right? Sometimes families can be traced back for hundreds of years. Do you have any royalty in your family tree? Any ancestors who were criminals or famous? We may not don’t always get along, and sometimes we do. But family is family. And we are given time to connect and love each other. Imagine how Abram and Sarai must have felt when they went on this journey and had to say goodbye to their families? Do you think it was difficult to leave everyone behind? They couldn’t write postcards like we are doing right now, but I am sure that they treasured precious memories of the family as they hoped for the vast family God had promised to them in the future.
Someone Read Scripture Outloud: “God told Abram: “Leave your country, your family, and your father’s home for a land that I will show you.
2-3 I’ll make you a great nation
and bless you.
I’ll make you famous;
you’ll be a blessing.
I’ll bless those who bless you;
those who curse you I’ll curse.
All the families of the Earth
will be blessed through you.”
#4 Edible Pyramid – Table
Need: Bread, Lunch meats, spreads, peanut butter, jelly
Triangle mold to cut the bread or knife (adult supervision please?!).
Object: Make pyramid sandwiches but cutting triangles of bread in ever-decreasing sizes with different fillings until you have made a pyramid-shaped structure. Only make sandwiches that YOU WILL EAT!
The ancient city of UR, was a strange place. There were people there who worshipped nature gods in buildings called ziggurats – they looked a lot like the pyramids that we have seen pictures of in Egypt. Despite all of their strange practices, these people never had an encounter with a god. Abram, however didn’t need a pyramid dedicated to a god to meet the real God. Instead Abram first encountered God out in the desert.
Scripture Passage To Read Outloud:
“Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. 7 TheLord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring[c] I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him.
8 From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord.
9 Then Abram set out and continued toward the Negev.” – Genesis 12:6-9
#5 Family Portrait Table
Need: Paper, Outlines of Cars, Trains, Camels, horses, RV’s.
Poster paints, jars of water, paint brushes.
Instructions: Using the paper with the outlines of transportation (1 per) everyone can paint their family on a journey. Add extended family, church family and even friends. Think about who you will add to your vehicle.
Talk About: Abram and Sarai didn’t journey alone. Some of their family actually came with them. Abram actually had quite a large caravan of livestock, servants and family with him and Sarai on this trip. Do you think they always agreed while on this journey? Do you think it was always easy traveling with their family? What sort of challenges do you think they had along the way? Tell us about some of the trips you have made with your families? How long have your road trips been? Did you always get along?
Scripture Reading To Read Out loud:
“So Abram left just as God said, and Lot left with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran. Abram took his wife Sarai and his nephew Lot with him, along with all the possessions and people they had gotten in Haran, and set out for the land of Canaan and arrived safe and sound.” Genesis 12:4-6
Closing Time: Move to another location or gather in a central place in the same room:
Suggestion – hang stars in the room…finish your celebration there!
Sing a couple of songs (if you have time)
Final talk: Highlight our time, celebrate their accomplishments
So how was your journey today?
Were you able to glimpse a little of what Abram and Sarai must have gone through as they went on their faith journey with God? Abraham was very, very old, and he was married to Sarah. They were very, very sad because they had no children. But, as we have discussed while on our journeys today, God made Abraham a special promise. God said to Abraham, “Look up and count the stars – if you can. That’s how many people there will be in your family one day…
Ask – “How many stars can you count?” God told Abraham that his family would be so large that they would be as numerous as the stars above us…wow! That’s a lot of family! And you know what? God keeps His promises doesn’t He? Look around the room at all the people here today. Just take a moment and look. We are all a part of Abraham’s family. Does that surprise you? God told Abraham to go on that journey to an unknown place, and because Abraham and Sarah were obedient, God kept His promise to them. This family of God is vast isn’t it? Think about all of the Christians throughout the world both living and dead. That adds up to be millions and millions of people, and guess what? We’re all family because of Abraham and Sarah’s faithfulness.
Prayer Response (Option)
Encourage everyone to think of something to thank God for. Ask them to put up their hand to say what they are thankful for. As people give their responses, repeat it and invite everyone to say outlout “Lord God, We Thank YOU!”
“Lord, thank you that we are one big family of your people throughout the world and throughout history. Help us to live as one family, loving each other through thick and thin. Amen.”
(Adapted and Used – Source: Messy Church: Fresh Ideas For Building A Christ-Centered Community. Unit 1)