This session is the fifth 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 fifth session explores what happens when Tommy Twitchmouse’s son, Mike gets lost and needs to be rescued. Alongside this, we celebrate the promise in Romans 10:13 that “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Key Bible text: Romans 10:13
Tales of Tommy Twitchnose reference: Chapter 5, (Excerpt from pages 81-86)
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 recap 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. 81 “Albert gave Tommy a hand,” to pg. 86, “You can tell me the whole story later.”
Ask the group if this story about the mice reminds them of any particular stories or verses in the Bible. The theme of being saved is central to the Christian story and is illustrated by some of Jesus’ parables. You may want to introduce the word ‘salvation’ 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 how it relates to an incident involving Tommy’s son, Mike. 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 10:13.
Provide a story basket with a selection of emergency service toys such as toy ambulances, fire engines, helicopters and lifeboats. 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.
Jesus’ cross is central to the Biblical message of salvation, create space where participants can reflect on this together. You could provide a large wooden cross and invite members of the group to hammer their individual prayers to it or write their name on it. Alternatively, there are many individual cross craft activities you can source, from providers such as Baker Ross. Have an activity, or choice of activities ready, for participants to take some time to engage with, encouraging them to use this time to reflect more on what the cross means to them.
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.
As you pray together, pass a holding cross around the group and invite everyone to pray aloud. It could be a simple ‘thank you for the cross,’ or ‘thank you for saving me,’ prayer. Some members of the group may be ready to respond to the teaching of this session; give them the opportunity to pray or talk further as appropriate.
Provide copies of the text of Romans 10:13 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 everyone to take a few minutes each day to focus on their own relationship with Jesus, and to take the opportunity to pray, by themselves, growing their relationship with him. Encourage them to talk in their families about the way they are growing individually, and remind them that they will have the opportunity to talk further about this, as a group, next week.