Speaker: The Revd Tom Stuckey, Past President of the Methodist Conference (2005)
Theme: The Power of the Cross
Dates: Friday 3 to Sunday 5 November,
Lucy Moore is well-qualified to write and reflect on all-age worship, given her part in the first Messy Church initiative which has led to similar projects all over the country
In this, her latest book, she does two things. First, she looks at what it means to be an all-age Christian community, and how this ultimately enables and then grows meaningful all-age worship. Moore suggests that it is relationships - with God and with each other - that underpins how much this way of worshipping will satisfy the young, the old and the in between. If we are prepared to make changes in how we approach our relationships in church, that, Moore suggests, will lead us more quickly into helping people of all ages to worship happily together.
Drawing partly on her experiences of Messy Church, Moore then gives lots of practical suggestions and advice on what elements could be included in an all-age service. Simplicity, using the senses and emotions, story, participation and invitation are all aspects which can be explored. There are also suggestions about how to cater for the different learning styles of individuals, a concept which may not be familiar to everyone who leads worship or is involved in worship planning. Moore encourages us to think about the ways that individuals learn, which will ultimately be a major factor in whether everyone in an all-age service can participate and receive from God.
My one quibble is that Moore makes planning with a group of people sound easy and stress free, which hasn’t always been my experience of planning all-age worship in a group setting! However, that aside, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the opportunities it gives to reflect on the reasons that all-age worship is such an exciting and vital aspect of the church’s life. It will be invaluable to those who are currently on a journey of reflection and exploration in all-age worship.