My friend Mary did her first all age service this week and came up with a great ideas for responding to John 15:1-11 in prayer!
You will need: Lots of balloons, stickers, pens, string, a very long ribbon, grapes still in the bunch.
Show the children the bunch of grapes and link this to the teaching that Jesus is the true vine and we are like the branches growing off the vine. If we keep his commandments and love others then we will grow much fruit (have God's love and joy!). Taste the grapes and talk about how sweet they are. This sweetness reflects the sweetness and joy of what growing in Jesus' vine is like.
Speak about how it can sometimes be hard to do what we know God would want and that some people don't even know who Jesus is or that they can be part of the vine too.
Encourage the children to pray for help when they are finding it hard to do what God wants and for people to find out about Jesus. Get them to write or draw their prayers on a sticker and then stick the sticker to a balloon. Depending on how many people you have, people might want to do more than one balloon- you will need lots!
Gather a few balloons together into a bunch and tie them with string. Tie this bunch onto the longer ribbon. Eventually you will have a ribbon (vine) with lots of balloon (grape) bunches growing from it. We chose a gold ribbon to be our vine to represent how special Jesus is.
Hold the ribbon up and give the prayers to God, thanking Him that He is the gardener who loves us and helps us to produce fruit. We then tied the 'vine' to the organ loft so that it could stay as a symbol of what we'd been learning!