Suzybower's Blog

Creative ideas for church and youth ministry.

Archive for alternative worship

Christmas service in a stable

It’s that time of year again…

Time to dig out last year’s fairy lights (what they take away in authenticity, they more than make up for in aesthetics),

Dress up in excessive layers of clothing,

And last but not least heat up the hot spiced apple, and mince pies,

then trek over to a nearby farm for an advent service in a stable.


The service plan was pretty similar to last years but with more carols (and more people!) added this time. Check it out here.

Many thanks go the horses who made the whole thing possible by being willing to sacrifice their stable for the evening. We couldn’t have done it without you.

Baggage: creative worship

This idea popped into my head the other day whilst I was trying to focus on doing my expenses. The illustration or creative worship session is themed around the idea of baggage and burdens (but I haven’t actually used the idea yet, so the plan is fairly loose).

As people arrive there are loads of different bags in the centre of the room which people sit round (suitcase, tesco bag, backpack etc.). At some point people have to choose a bag to represent the burdens they are carrying. They could perhaps walk around with it for some of the session/service. Then at some point they place their baggage down at the foot of the cross and leave it there:

Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.

1 Peter 5:7 (and Psalm 55:22)

I spoke to someone else about this the other day, and they said it could be quite powerful if some people’s bags were too heavy to carry and others had to share the load. This could add more of a corporate element to the time. But I guess that if you’re loading the bags up with bricks or something, you may just have to make a short health and safety announcement – you don’t want people putting their backs out!

Let me know if you have any further thoughts or reflections on this idea as I would like to put it into practice sometime.

Some fab websites

So here are some of my fav websites for resources and inspiration. I’ve put them in broad catagories, but of course there is some cross over, so you’ll just have to check them all out.

Kore – ‘Engaging with culture, exploring new ideas, creatively equipping the church’. Great for videos, music, creative ideas etc.

Engage – ‘Resources and training for innovative, creative worship’.

Hold this space – Exploring’alternative worship, public spaces, ritual, justice and spirituality’.

Proost – ‘Inspiring resources that fuel faith’. High quality, non-cheesy videos, music, audio etc.

Damaris – Interaction of culture and faith through the three main streams of church, schools, and media.

Re:Jesus – Art, music, theology, even the occasional quiz.

Embody – random collection of things. Meditation, creative stuff, life coaching type quizzes. Just lots of interesting stuff really.

Prezi – Use this to create amazing presentations. – Assemblies, lesson plans – loads of other brilliant resources for schools work.

The source for Youth Ministry – I haven’t used this one much as I only found it recently, but they have lots of resources and youthwork session plans.

Insight – Reflections and resources on youth ministry and leadership.

Youth group games – does what it says on the tin. A lot of games/icebreakers etc. with a good search engine to locate what you’re after.

Folksy – beautiful things.

Green Basics – it’s all about the treehugging.

Incredibox – pretty hilarious.