Intergenerational Activities on the Faith Practice of Wonder

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This resource is part of a series of interactive, intergenerational ideas for engaging people in faith practices through worship and/or midweek gatherings, brought to you by Worship Ministries and Faith Formation Ministries as part of the Faith Practices Project.

The faith practice of wonder helps us glimpse with surprise just how creative, faithful, good, big, and present God is.

Below you’ll find a variety of intergenerational ideas on this faith practice. Choose from and then use the ideas to shape a summer series, plan a midweek gathering, weave into an all-ages small group study or house church gathering, and more. 

There are so many ideas here that you probably won’t need them all. To help make choosing easier, we’ve organized them into three categories: 

  • Gather activities provide an introduction to the practice through reflection and connection. 
  • Grow experiences offer an opportunity to explore the practice in community in a way that can be repeated at home. 
  • Go resources encourage and equip participants to live out the practice. 

For a list of other scripture passages and songs you might also include during your gathering, see the list in Build-Your-Own Worship Service (or Series) on Wonder

GATHER

Pass around an ordinary brick and then invite people to buddy up and devise a list of all the ways that a brick can be used. Bring the whole group back together to hear each other’s ideas. Illustrations, diagrams, and demonstrations are welcome! What did you learn about bricks? What did you learn about wonder?

Imagination stations. Provide each small group with an assortment of supplies: cotton balls, toothpicks, a tissue, thread spools, a few blocks, foil, string, construction paper, a cup, chenille stems, etc. Read together a story of one of Jesus’ miracles. Invite groups to use the supplies to recreate a scene from the story. Tour each other's story scenes. What new wonderings do you have about the story? 

GROW

As you practice wondering your way into God’s story together, you may want to reassure participants that the goal is not to have all the answers, but to dwell together in the mystery of our great God. Note the ways in which this practice can lead to a richer experience with the story. 

Wonder your way into God’s story. Prior to reading a Bible story, invite listeners to picture in their minds a similar scene or situation from their own life. For example, hearing the roar of a stormy sea or going to an unfamiliar place. Read the story twice. Then do one of the following: 

  • Challenge everyone to jot down on sticky notes as many wondering questions as possible. For example, “I wonder why Jesus kept sleeping?” “I wonder if Ruth ever regretted moving away?” (Young children can partner with a grown-up and dictate their questions.) Attach the sticky notes to a space you’ve designated as your Wonder Wall. Read the questions together. What new things do you notice about the story?
  • Provide each small group with a flat stone on which you’ve printed “I wonder. . . .” Take turns passing the “wondering stone” and having the person who is holding the stone ask their wondering question. Remind the group: Don’t answer the questions; just spend time reflecting more deeply on the story together. 

Share God-sightings. What amazes you about God? Spend time sharing stories about “God-sightings” that have filled you with awe and wonder. These might be mountaintop experiences; they might also be everyday occurrences that point you to God, like a beautiful sunset, an unexpected kindness, or an encounter with a truth in God’s Word that struck you in a fresh way. If possible, begin this activity by inviting one or two people to share a story of an everyday experience that led them to glimpse with surprise how big God is.

Zoom in. Have you ever noticed that when you look at a painting from a distance, you see a scene, but that when you look close up, the brush strokes or dots reveal something more about the artist’s work? Provide each person with a magnifying glass and an option to take a closer look at several objects you’ve gathered from nature. What wondering questions bubble up in you?

Go for a wonder walk. In pairs or trios and with a camera or sketchbook to document your discoveries, explore things that are tiny, huge, colorful (or a particular color), new, old, rough, smooth, smelly, surprising, and more. Look from close up and from far away. Wonder about what you find together. 

GO

Send people home with faith practice resources they can use to continue the practices they’ve experienced during your time together. Some ideas: 

 

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