Resources - General ideas


I have started to document our ideas and thinking, and you may like to see that as well.  The menu item 'Think' will take you there, or go here to the Thinking page!

On this page you can find ideas about:

  1. Some general ideas
  2. Use of Language
  3. Using things e.g material, instruments, voice, noise etc.
  4. Worship
  5. Hardware / software including projection
  6. Bibles and Books
  7. External links


Also take a look at our alphabetical list of resources.


Some General Ideas

We have had to learn the hard way, and here are some things that we have learned!

  1. Try to make things as concrete as possible.  We are so used to using complex language and/or strange rituals in our services.  This is of little or no use in this context.
  2. We needed to discard many of our previous ideas of what church is, and what a church service should be.  Flexibility is key!  We needed to be courageous in what we did, and get to the point that we fully realised that what we were doing was for God and for the people, and if that meant that it would look chaotic, then so be it.
  3. Have fun!
  4. Be tolerant of as wide a range of behaviours as you possibly can.  We start from the premis that we will cope with all behaviours. So far this has worked.  In the early days it was hard work when we were in competition with a noisy person.  We quickly came to realise that they were at worse trying to communicate with us, and at best were worshipping God in the only way they could.
  5. Involve them all if at all possible.  We make sure that everyone who wants to is able to pray, get involved with drama, hand things out, help pack up, use instruments and or flags.  This often results in apparent confusion and mayhem!  Don't worry!
  6. Try not to get discouraged!  This is hard work but incredibly rewarding.  They will misunderstand you, forget what you are teaching, get confused, fall asleep, stop coming, say they are bored and so on, but keep going - who else is going to?!
  7. Do all you can to avoid embarrassing people by asking them to do what they cannot.  In our group virtually no-one can read or write, so we avoid those activities where at all possible, or are very selective as to who we ask to help.
  8. I am using responsive prayers of all sorts a lot more now, and they seem to be effective. They range from the serious to the noisy and fun!  Some Celtic material - heavily altered of course - can be a good source of material.


Using things

As far as possible use things to back up what you are talking about.  So if you are talking about the cross, have a small wooden one that you can pass around, especially allowing those who cannot see very well to touch and feel it.

Use examples that can be backed up with tangeable items. We have used things like

  • Sand trays
  • Stones
  • Flowers
  • Potted plants
  • All sorts of household items ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous


We also us an overhead projector - see this page. Our reason for this is:

  • To add a visual element to what we are saying
  • The visual element enhances the words and  helps understanding
  • To add some comic element where appropriate

As for language, we try to use the same photo/clipart for the same concept.  In a sense we are developing a limited vocabulary of pictures



Our experience is that we have never managed anything that is anything like anything! Our worship times are noisy, tuneless, instruments are out of time, people wander around, flags are waved all over the place and so on.  But God is there!

Many of our folk can only mange a feeble shake of an instrument, some can only shout, some sit and watch.  We now enjoy this wide range of activity, and visitors comment that this is the only church they go to where everyone is involved!

We have available flags, banners, soft material, and various percussion instruments.  Unless it is very disruptive, we simply allow all-comers!  This is their way of worshiping God, so let it rip!

We also sometimes use Makaton signing.  We are not too skilled in this but it can be popular.

As for the songs themselves, we use a lot of the PROSPECTS songs.  We try to select songs that are simple and straightforward, but this can be hard.  Some children's songs are appropriate, some are not.  We need to remember that our folk have a learning disability, but they are not children.

Interestingly we have found that many so-called children's songs are popular.  Equally some of the main stream songs, even though they are wordy and jargon-ridden, are equally popular!  You will have to try a range and see what is liked.


Bibles and Books

We do not use one version routinely.  For our group we are of the opinion that all versions are far too complex.  We do tend to write our own versions as we go along. However you might like to look at the following:

  • "Easy to read version" published by World Bible Translation Center. ISBN 1-885427-38-7. I still think that on occasions it is not concrete enough, and there are too many difficult words and constructs.
  • New International Readers version.  (NIRV)  Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
  • The Passion Translation.  (TPT)  The Passion Translation®. Copyright © 2017 by BroadStreet Publishing® Group, LLC.
    Used by permission. All rights reserved.
  • "The Message" by Eugene H Peterson, published by NAV Press. This has a heavy American bias, but is an excellent starting point nevertheless.  It is too complex as it stands
  • "The Street Bible" by Rob Lacey published by Zondervan. ISBN 0 00 7107900. Bits of this are excellent to get you thinking, but do be selective!
  • The Lion Story Teller Bible - Written by Bob Holman. ISBN 0 7459 36075 - Lion Publishing 1995 Hardback; 2001 Paperback

Remember that all these translations and many more can be looked at here:  Bible Gateway


Other books we use to help us.  None are perfect but they all give us some ideas sometimes:

  • Telling More Tales, by Dave and Lynn Hopwood, published by CPAS ISBN 1 8976 6097 9 (1998)
  • Telling even more tales, by Dave and Lynn Hopwood, published by CPAS. ISBN 1 902041 11 9 (2000)
  • Multi-sensory Prayer by Sue Wallace, published by Scripture Union. ISBN 1 85999 462 (2000)
  • Multi-Sensory Church, by Sue Wallace, Published by Scripture Union. ISBN 1 85999 667 1 (2002)
  • Multi-Sensory Scripture, by Sue Wallace, Published by Scripture Union. ISBN 1 84427 166 8
  • Play on Words by Kevin Mayhew. ISBN 1 84003 623 0
  • Easter cracked published by Scripture Union, ISBN 1 84427 189 7 (2005)
  • A Church for all ages - A practical approach to all-age worship. by Peter Graystone and Eileen Turner.  Published by Scripture Union. ISBN 0 86201 859 5 (1993)
  • 100 ideas for all-age worship by Sue Relf. Published by Kingsway Publications, ISBN 0 85476 763 0 ( 1998)
  • New Parish prayers edited by Frank Colquhoun.  Published by Hodder and Stoughton.  ISBN 978-0-340-90841-9 (1982)
  • The wee worship book, published by the Wild Goose Worship Group, The Iona Community, Pearce Institute, Govan, Glasgow, G51 3UT(1989)
  • Multi-Sensory Ideas for Worship, by Irene Smale, Published by David C Cook, ISBN 978 1 84291392 5 (2009)

I also search on the internet and occasionally find some gems!



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English Language online tools

Online Easy English Bible

Simplish - an automatic simplifying and summarising tool



Open LP Projection Software