This session is the fourth in a series designed especially for all-age homegroups, those who meet intergenerationally with members from babes in arms through to great grandparents included and is based on the fiction book, Tales of Tommy Twitchnose by Terry Waite, with links to the book of Romans. The activities and discussion points are designed to include all members, as they feel able.
This fourth session explores how Danny learns the consequences of his actions when he ignores instructions and goes off on his own. Alongside this, we explore the warning in Romans 12:2, that we are to live following God’s pattern for living and not follow the ways of ‘the world,’ doing thing our own way.
Key Bible text: Romans 12:2
Tales of Tommy Twitchnose reference: Chapter 4, (Excerpt from pages 69-72)
Where possible, begin the time together with a shared meal, or if this is not possible, some light refreshments. Talk about your experiences from the past week. Use this time to introduce an all-age atmosphere, by gathering all members together in a shared time of food and friendship.
Reintroduce the book, Tales of Tommy Twitchnose and the central character, recapping what you have looked at so far. If you have provided copies of the book for families to read at home in between sessions, you can involve families in recapping the story so far. Read from pg. 69 “He pointed to a long bench,” to the end of the chapter on pg. 72.
Ask the group if this story about the mice reminds them of any particular stories or verses in the Bible. The theme of going off and doing things our own way is a key theme throughout the Bible, beginning with Adam and Eve when they disobeyed God’s instruction. You may want to introduce the word ‘sin’ here and talk more about what it means.
Remind the group that over the course of this series, we are going to be looking at some of Paul’s teaching in the book of Romans and explain that this was a letter Paul wrote to the church in Rome to encourage them to continue to follow Jesus’ teaching in their lives. Through this series, we have discovered that Paul could have written this letter for Tommy Twitchnose to read and learn from, and today we see that Danny may also benefit from reading it! Paul could also have written it for us to read and learn from too! Thankfully, we are able to read this letter in the Bible and discover more about what it means for us to live as followers of Jesus today. Encourage the members of the group to have access to their own Bibles and read together Romans 12:2.
Provide a story basket with a selection of toys which relate to making choices, such as finger labyrinths, or marble mazes. You could also provide some picture story book Bibles, and perhaps some toy mice, perhaps.
Invite the group to discuss some of the following questions as are most appropriate. Be intentional about including all ages in this time of discussion, so far as you are able, rather than expecting the children to listen quietly while the adults talk. Allow the conversation to flow naturally, rather than rigidly following the questions below.
Play some games together which explore making choices. You could play a version of would you rather, where players have to give a response to a series of questions, for instance, would you rather swim with dolphins or ride wild horses? Eat chocolate or cheese? Etc.
Alternatively, if you have more space available and want an activity that is more physically active, set up a maze for people to find their way around, using simple obstacles, or using ropes or tape on the ground, or simply go for a walk around the local area together, inviting participants to make choices about which way you go, each time you get to a junction. As you walk around together, talk about some of the choices we make in our own lives about which way to go.
Some groups enjoy a time of shared sung praise together, whilst for others this is not helpful. Treat this time as optional, depending upon the needs of your group. For younger children, this can be a great time for joining together with the adults in praise, perhaps using percussion instruments, scarves or ribbons as you sing.
Provide some paper and pens and invite everyone to draw around their foot. Remind the group that during this session we have explored what it means for us to live life God’s way, following his footprints and invite the group to write or draw a prayer in the foot shape, or simply hold it as you pray together, that God would help us to lay down our own way of doing things and follow his ways.
Provide copies of the text of Romans 12:2 for members of the group to take away and put up on display somewhere they will see it and be reminded of the things you explored during this session. Encourage families to take a few minutes each morning to talk about some of the things they may find challenging in the day ahead and commit that day to God. Encourage them to check in again in the evenings and talk about how their day went. Remind them that we get to reset each day; no matter what we have done, God always promises to forgive us and give us the chance to start again.