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Micah 6.1-8; Psalm 15; 1 Corinthians 1.18-31; Matthew 5.1-12

Children's session

Jesus draws huge crowds to listen to him. He declares God’s blessing with something of a reversal of fortunes on those who are suffering, and also on those who are merciful, pure in heart and peacemakers.

This week we explore opportunities for growth in life’s darker times.

Extra ideas including resources for very young children can be found by using the Jump to this week's menu on the right.


Prepare and reflect

Childrens Session

Read Bible notes on Matthew 5.1-12

The Beatitudes are an important part of Jesus’ teaching to his followers. Initially they may seem challenging but there is much to encourage, with the promise that God is with us and brings good things in hard times.
Can you think of times when you have been in any of those situations mentioned in the passage? How did it feel? Did you feel or experience growth either during or after the experience? 
This session helps children understand that at times life can be difficult, but God will be with us and offer good things. We often think that for things to grow they need light, but growth can take place in darkness. The same is true for our lives. We can often change and grow during difficult or dark times.
It will be important for children to understand that they can be honest and talk about difficult times with people they know and trust, in a safe environment.


Use the song, prayer and activity to gather the group and introduce the theme. (5 mins)

Childrens Session
Very young childrens Session

 Gathering song

Sing to the tune: Hickory, dickory, dock

We have a friend we can trust,
who shows us that faith is a must.
When things get tough, and life feels rough,
walk even closer to God.


 Walking the difficult times 5 mins S

You will need: a winding path with some difficulty according to the ages of the children. The ‘walls’ made from soft toys or soft clothing with some ‘roadblocks’ they must step over.

  • Children walk the path heel to toe, other than stepping over the roadblocks. Explain that sometimes, walking through life can be hard, but God promises to be with us and give good things.

Childrens Session

A gathering prayer for children

Sit in a circle and carefully pass round a large cross shape.

Here we are, Lord, ready to remember you,
ready to talk to you and learn about your love for us.
Open our eyes, minds and hearts, Lord.

Place the cross centrally for all to see for the duration of the session.

Underground goodness  W

You will need: potato, carrot, mushroom, stick of rhubarb (if available); four dark towels, tea towels or similar, blindfolds/scarves.

  • Place the items under separate dark-coloured towels or cloths. Each child puts on a blindfold and reaches under the cloth to guess what food it is. When all children have had a go, remove the cloths to reveal what was there.
  • Explain that each one needs the darkness to grow, just as we can grow in dark times.

Share the Word
Childrens Session

Read the story and pause at the  to share these points with the children (see Stop and share below). Then use the activity to explore the passage together. (10 mins)

Click on the image to view a PDF.


 Stop and share

  • Sometimes we might be sad or need help. God promises he will be with us. Being humble includes not showing off about things.
  • Being merciful and pure in heart includes being kind and not doing things that are wrong. Peacemakers are people who try and help others when they fall out.
  • People can say unkind things about Christians. God understands when we are upset.
  • Prophets were given a message from God to tell the people, but they were treated badly sometimes too.


Blessing balls   E

  • Help the children to understand the word ‘blessed’. Explain that it can be about understanding that God is with us and cares about us. Some of these blessings seem hard, but God is with us and will give us good things in difficult times.
  • Invite the children to sit with their hands curled into a ball. Each time they hear the word ’blessed’, they reach both hands out forwards with fingers spread out wide. Give a moment at the end of each 'blessed' so they can curl their hands back into a ball.
Explore and respond

Use these ideas to help the children make connections between the Bible passage and their lives. (20 mins)

Childrens Session

Joy jars E S

Create a bank of positive memories, photos or verses

You will need: empty jam jars, coloured tissue paper, glue, coloured pens, small pieces of paper.

  • Make ‘joy jars’ by gluing tissue paper to the outside of a jar and decorating it. Invite the children to write or draw things that give them joy in difficult times, e.g. things they have enjoyed, memories, verses. Add these to the jar. They could also add photos when they take their jar home.
  • The children can take out their memories and look at them when things are difficult.




'Up Times, Down Times' - FREE! download(s) from Same Boat Music.

Find more suggestions on the Hymns, songs & music page.

Childrens Session

Talk together and talk to God

Use these questions to discuss the Bible passage and then bring your thoughts together by praying to God.

Talk together

  • Can you think of a time recently when you were kind and tried to help others?
  • Have there been times when you have needed God’s help because things were difficult?
  • How could you support your friends if they had a disagreement?


Talk to God: It’s good to share  E S

Bring difficult things to God in prayer

You will need: coloured paper with a speech bubble drawn on for each child, pens.

  • Encourage the children to reflect on the things they find difficult and then write them in the bubble. They can then fold their paper in half so that no one can see them.
  • Invite the children to spend some time in quiet prayer or reflection. The leader should pray in general for the things written and unknown. The children can take their paper home and continue to talk with God and people they trust about difficult times. 


Childrens Session

Activity sheet


Scratch art  S

Make a symbol of good things coming out of darkness 

You will need: A5 scratch art cards, or make your own ahead of time, toothpicks or similar.

  • Invite the children to write their name on their scratch art card. The beautiful colours will shine through the dark. Talk about God’s promise to give good things in difficult times. 
Go with God

Consider together what you have explored, what that means for each of you and how it might influence your daily lives. (10 mins)

Childrens Session
  • Put out two glasses of clean water, for all to see. Put some teaspoons of soil into one, explaining that this is how things can be messed up when we live in our own way or do things that are not good, when we are not pure in heart. The clean glass stands for a life lived as God wants us to: being kind, helping others, being gentle, not showing off. Ask the children to think about the things that might be the mud in their water. Ask: What one thing would you like to work on, to live your life as God wants us to?


A sending out prayer for children

With a smile and a wave, we’re ready to leave.
Be with us Jesus, we believe,
you are the life, the truth, the way.
Please help and guide us every day.

Go with God 24/7

Encourage the children to put their faith into action

People find different things difficult in life. Reflect on what those are for you and invite God to bring hope and good in those times.


Before you finish, give out the ROOTS at home resource to encourage faith at home.

Childrens Session
Very young childrens Session


To the tune: This old man

As we go, we must show
all the ways God helps us grow.
We’ve a toolkit, stop and think, what would Jesus do?
He’ll always be guiding you!

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