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This assembly idea is based on Luke chapter 14, the parable of the great banquet. The weakness I found with a few other ideas out there is that I don’t think the kids really connected with the issues.

So, the core of the story is that we are supposed to be horrified that anyone should say they didn’t want to go to the best party ever.  That anyone would turn down such an invitation in Jesus day (well…we are in Jesus days but you know what I mean) would have been a great insult. And to insult a king was not a good idea.

 

I wanted the kids to have investment in the party idea.

They would need to design the party, and hence influence the shape of the retelling of the story.

Overview of the assembly idea for the parable of the great banquet

The children in small groups come up with the most awesome party idea

As each idea is suggested they create a line at the front of the assembly

The story is told, repeatedly and increasingly quickly, recapping what is at the great banquet

Details

Explain that you will be telling a story but you want some help to share it. Imagine that there is a massive party you are organising and money is no object. Who might you have as special guest? What decorations? No limits

Give two minutes for discussion in pairs

Have feedback. As each person feeds back, have them come to the front of the school and perform an action to remind everybody what is on the list. I suggest no more than 6-8 people (I had 12 and it got unmanageable and lots the energy)

As each person is added, perform it like a shopping list game adding the new person to the one previous, and pointing to them so that it gets faster and faster. This becomes the refrain

Because the children have come up with the ideas, they now have investment in the story

Tell the story, something along the lines of…

There once was a billion billionaire, who had a servant.  He told him to create the best party ever and money was no objective. After a while the servant came back and said he had worked it out…there would be…

Refrain

Wow, said the billion billionaire, you mean there will be..

Refrain

Yes, said the servant.

In that case, go and find my friends…

So the Servant did so. The first he came to he said,

You can sing this part if you can: kool and the gang celebration…’we got a party goin on right…’

And we’ve got…

Refrain

But the friend looked uncomfortable.

Well I can’t really, he explained. I’ve got to drive my new car.

But, said the servant, you can’t you do that any time…

Shaking his head the servant went to the next friend

 

Notes…

So you are probably getting the idea now. Modern context ideas I use are:

Drive a car

Waiting for a parcel from Amazon – a fidget spinner so really fun but pretty worthless

And not believing that there really is a party going on.

The servant should get more and more frustrated with the friends.  Then the billion billionaire gets really cross so that he invites everyone.  Keep putting in the refrain, but be aware if the kids start to drag a bit because they you need to hurry the story along more.

I must have gotten the balance right, because when the final person said they didn’t want to come there were gasps from the kids. Oh, and to show how strange there ideas were…

Mo Farrah as special guest

Disco ball

Flashy lights

Huge mansion

Waterslide

Massive bar of chocolate

Pink fluffy unicorn….

At the end you will need to make the point

Jesus told a similar story and it is about heaven and God. God invites everyone to his party. But people give their excuses. To busy right now…or that they are waiting for something else…or even just don’t believe it.  I wonder what you think?  But you don’t have to wait until you die to enjoy heaven, you can right now.  You know how excited you can get on the way to a party? Well when you know you are going to heavens party, that is what it can be like knowing Jesus. It’s exciting, and theres something fantastic even in the waiting. It’s like having the party bag before you get to the party instead of at the end, and the party is yet to come!

Finish with a prayer. Something around thanking Jesus for inviting us to heavens party.

Picture credit

“Balloons” by Nahid V is licensed under CC BY 2.0