MEETING AIM: To help people understand how all are important to and have a part to play in the body of the Church.
BIBLE PASSAGE: 1 Corinthians 12:12-31
BACKGROUND: Society can often seem to be a hierarchy where some can struggle to find their place. Sadly, churches can appear to be the same. Some in the church in Corinth thought themselves better than others, but Paul writes to set them straight. All are important in the body of Christ, all have a part to play. This service tries to help people of all ages understand their value and the role they can play.
OPTION ONE: Fingerprints
You will need: poster paint; large sheets of paper; clean-up equipment; marker pens
As people arrive (or at stations around your meeting area at the start of the service), ask people to make a finger, thumb or palm print by dipping their fingers or hand into the paint and pressing it onto the paper.
When they have cleaned their hands, invite them to write their name next to their print. Comment on the uniqueness of each print.
OPTION TWO: Web of connection
You will need: string or wool
Ask people to get into small circles of people and give one person in the group a small ball of string or wool. They should pass the ball to another in the circle, while keeping the end of the string or wool. They should say what part they play in church or what gifts God has given them as they do so. This continues until everyone is holding part of the string and a web of connection has been made in the middle of the group.
If people would like to do this alone, they could make a cat’s cradle style web between their fingers or between three or four chairs.
You will need: tennis balls; two buckets Ask for five volunteers and invite them to the front. Explain that you’re going to create a ‘machine’ out of your volunteers, in order to move tennis balls from one side of your stage area to the other. Stand the volunteers in a line, with a bucket full of balls at one end and an empty bucket at the other.
Give each volunteer a role to play in the machine. For example, the person standing next to the balls should bend down, pick a ball up and turn 180° to face the next person in the line. This person should crouch down with hands out ready to catch the ball; the first person should drop the ball into their hands. Continue in the same vein until the ball reaches the final volunteer and they can drop it into the bucket.
Get your machine to practise this and then challenge them to move all the balls from one bucket to the other as quickly as they can. Read 1 Corinthians 12:12-21. This talks about one part of the body dropping out because it is not like another. Ask the middle person in your ‘machine’ to drop out, because they don’t do the same action as the first person in the line. Invite the volunteers to move the balls again; all the balls should end up stuck because the third person isn’t there to pass them along.
These verses also talk about a body being just an eye or just an ear. Ask all your volunteers to gather around the bucket and perform the action done by the first person. You should end up with all the balls on the floor!
Comment that, just like your machine church only functions when everyone plays their part and everyone is able to contribute. Read verses 22 to 31. Ask the congregation: “What role do you have to play in church?”
You will need: copies of the questions below; Bibles
Break into small groups – made up of one or two families, or different mixed-age groups – and give each group a copy of these questions and a Bible:
- What’s your favourite part of the Bible passage?
- What was the church in Corinth like if Paul had to say these things to them?
- What role do you play in church?
- How can we involve those around us who don’t get the chance to be part of the church?
Give the groups time to chat about these questions, referring to the Bible passage if they need to.
You will need: roving mic (if needed) Get some feedback from ‘Small groups’, using a microphone to hear people’s contributions if your meeting space is large.
Set these three activities up in different parts of your meeting space. Explain what each one is and encourage people to go to the one that will help them process what they have discovered most effectively.
OPTION 1: Paper chains
You will need: strips of paper; pens; sticky tape Encourage people to write down their names, together with the role they play in church or the gifts that God has given them, on a strip of paper. When everyone in the group is ready, ask them to share what
they have written and why. As each person shares, connect the strips of paper together into a chain to symbolise the interconnected nature of the body of Christ. Hang the chains up for all to see.
OPTION 2: Discussion
Assign some volunteers to help guide a discussion about the story and what it might mean for the congregation today. How can we all take part in the body of Christ?
OPTION 3: Contemplation
You will need: paper; felt-tip pens
Give everyone a piece of paper and ask them to draw around their hand. On each digit, ask them to write something that they offer as part of the body of the church.
Then, in the palm, invite them to write down what they will do to ensure they can take part.
Bring everyone back together and ask if anyone would like to share what they did, thought about or discussed during the response time. Thank everyone for taking part and say an appropriate blessing to close the service.
Supporting documentsClick link to download and view these files
- PDF, Size 0.9 mb