Personal Ministries Resources

10 Ways for all Ages to Worship God Meaningfully

by Janet Rieger

Worship is a verb; not a noun. It's something we do.

We can't worship our loving Father God merely by watching other people doing it. Worship need not be a church program for spectators.

Worshipping God involves learning more about Him and about our personal relationship with Him. It involves our feelings about God and our feelings about our relationship with Him. It involves sharing those feelings with Him. And worshipping together with our church family involves all of us sharing our knowledge and experiences of God to praise him and encourage one another.

Here are some suggestions for planning opportunities for all the church family to worship meaningfully.

1. Study the spiritual needs of the congregation
Consider the children, youth and adults. Begin with situations that children encounter and you will address issues with which youth and adults still struggle.

2. Decide on the main message
Make the message relevant and practical, eg. Forgiveness: how to receive God's forgiveness and how to practice forgiveness towards others.

3. Employ the five senses.
We remember 83 per cent of what we see, but only 11 per cent of what we hear. After 3 days, we've forgotten all but 10 per cent of a lecture or sermon.

4. Prepare an introduction.
At the beginning of the service let everyone know that there will be significant spiritual truths presented.

5. Use stories
Jesus reached adults and children with powerful stories, everyday illustrations and humour. You can too!

6. Select the best stories to illustrate the message.
Use Bible stories and Jesus' parables that illustrate the chosen message, eg. for forgiveness: the unforgiving servant, Joseph and his brothers.

7. Use re-enactments
Look for well-written children's Bible stories and use the text for mime, spoken re-enactments or puppet presentations.

8. Use questions
Prepare effective questions to help children, youth and adults discover the spiritual reality in the story. Ask the adults more complex questions.

9. Give opportunity for a commitment
Build to a climax where all worshippers have the opportunity to make a commitment appropriate to the theme of the service. For example, "I will ask/offer forgiveness of/to someone this very afternoon and share my experience with my family."

10. Follow up
In a later service follow up by asking for volunteers to share their experiences of practising or receiving forgiveness.