Basket Your basket is empty

The Prodigal Son - a big story with participation

Download PDF

 

On your marks:

Here's a loud big-audience story. It's a version I used at a children's festival in Rochester Diocese, and it would work in a school assembly or church service where you want everyone to feel involved.

Get set:

It's a very simple retelling of the Lost Son story from Luke 15, during which you ask the audience to join in chorally with the actions. If you want to organize them a little, you could ask half of the group to play the part of the older boy and half to play the part of the younger boy, but it will keep everyone involved better if everyone plays both parts. It will rely on you throwing yourself into the storytelling and acting it out with them with lots of energy. You might like to explain that any walking, jumping or dancing needs to be done without going anywhere, that is, on the spot! If space doesn't allow for this, you could use your fingers as actors and act it out on the palm of your hand, just sitting down where you are.

Go!

There was once a farmer who had two sons. They all worked on the farm together.
ALL DIG

But one day the younger son got fed up. He threw down his spade
THROW IT DOWN
and stomped up to his dad. He said:
'DAD!
I CAN'T WAIT FOR YOU TO DIE!
GIVE ME MY SHARE OF YOUR MONEY NOW!'

And his dad handed over the money. The boy jumped for joy.
JUMP
He shouted:
MONEY! MONEY! MONEY!

And he set out on a long journey away from home.
WAVE GOOD-BYE

He got to a great city in a foreign land and went on a wild spending spree. New clothes… MODEL CLOTHES
Lots to drink… MIME DRINKING
Wild parties… MIME DANCING

Until the money ran out. And all his friends left him,
WAVE GOOD-BYE

And the only job he could find was cleaning out pigs,
HOLD NOSE IN DISGUST

And he had nothing to eat.
RUB TUMMY

And he slaved there miserably for ages until one day he came to his senses.
HIT FOREHEAD

And wondered how he got into such a mess.
RAISE SHOULDERS IN A QUESTION SHRUG
He decided to go home and say sorry to his dad and maybe his dad would let him work for him again.
RAISE FINGER AS IF YOU'VE HAD A GOOD IDEA
And so he set out on the long journey home.
WALK ON THE SPOT

But his dad was looking out for him. And when he saw his son walking miserably towards him, he felt so sorry for him, that he dropped his spade and he ran to him. His son fell to his knees.
FALL TO KNEES
He tried to say sorry,
OPEN MOUTH
But his dad pulled him up and gave him a big hug.
MAKE FACE AS IF BEING SQUASHED
He shouted: ‘Get him some clean clothes! Put a ring on his finger! Get him some new shoes! Get lots of food ready so we can party! My son was dead but now he's alive! He was lost but now he's found!'

And everyone began to party.
PARTY ACTIONS

Everyone except the older son, who was still digging away. When he found out why they were having a party, he was furious.
PULL FURIOUS FACE
He stamped his foot
STAMP
and stayed outside, sulking,
STAND IN A SULK

Until his dad came out to see what the matter was.
The son said,
'DAD!
IT'S NOT FAIR!
I'VE WORKED FOR YOU ALL THIS TIME
AND HE GETS THE PARTY!
IT'S NOT FAIR!'

But his dad said, 'Son, you're always with me, and all that I have is yours. But we had to have this party because your brother was dead and now he's alive. He was lost and now he's found.'

And everyone shouted, 'Hip hip—
HOORAY!'

Download PDF
Share this:

Thank you for downloading this idea from Barnabas in Churches

We are only able to make the ideas on this website available free of charge because of donations from individuals, churches and organisations. Please consider whether you could support this ministry.

Support us

Make a donation

Keep in touch

Sign up to our email

Not now