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

Young people'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 can be found by using the Jump to this week's menu on the right.


Young people Session

Read Bible notes on Matthew 5.1-12

Jesus outlines nine different ways that people can be blessed. Some of these situations are things that people can pursue, such as being peacemakers. Others, such as mourning, represent circumstances that are outside their control. Yet, taken together, these nine blessings teach us that we are blessed when we keep looking to God and serving others, even, perhaps especially, when life is difficult. 
When you read the Beatitudes which ones resonate the most with you? Are there any you find hard to comprehend?
Some of the Beatitudes can seem quite abstract. One way to help make them concrete is emphasising how the young people’s lives are richer and more Christ-centred when they live out the ethos of this passage.

Young people Session

Walk the line  5 mins W E

You will need: pens and paper.

  • Ask the young people how they can stay on the right path when things are difficult. What would be their rules for living a good life?
  • Working in small groups, invite the young people to write nine principles to live by.
  • Explain that the Beatitudes contain principles for living that Jesus gave his followers to see them through the good times and the bad.
  •  Play ‘Act Justly, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly’, Pat Barrett on Act Justly, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly.


First impressions

You could also use the image and following questions to help introduce the theme.

Click on the image to view a larger version
or use the Jump menu to go to This week's images.
For artist's details, see this issue's illustrators.


  • What surprisingly beautiful things grow in dark places?
  • Have you experienced growth during or after a difficult experience?
  • How might you support someone who is experiencing a tough time?
Share the Word
Young people Session

Halve it  5 mins  W E

  • Divide the group into two. One group should read aloud the first half of each beatitude, ‘Blessed are….’ and the other half will respond with the second half, ‘for they will…’
  • Discuss: What difficulties in life do we have to respond to? How can those difficulties help us grow?
Explore and respond
Young people Session

Be…attitude 10 mins W E

Discuss how we can grow when things are difficult

You will need: bowl, prepared paper tokens (see for Unfair questions game instructions below).

  • Play the Unfair questions game. Afterwards, ask the young people on a scale of 1-10 how frustrating was it when the team  got more points than you?
  • Life isn’t always fair, sometimes it can be very hard. Discuss: How can living out the beatitudes help us grow as individuals?

Unfair questions game instructions

  1. In a bowl put pieces of paper with the numbers 1-10 written on them plus a strip of paper that says -5 (minus five).
  2. Divide the group into teams and then take it in turns to ask them trivia questions (examples).
  3. When a team gets a right answer, a member come up, closes their eyes, and takes out a score from the bowl. That number is either added onto their score or, in the case of the -5, taken away. That means that two teams getting the same number of answers right could end up with different scores.
  4. Play a set number of rounds and then add the scores up.


Easy or hard? 10 mins W E

Explore living out values in darker times

You will need: information that you can briefly share about inspirational people,
e.g. Nelson Mandela, Gordon Wilson, Desmond Tutu, Corrie Ten Boom.

  • Ask for examples of inspirational people. How did these people live out the Beatitudes even when it was tough? Share an example that will resonate with the group.
  • Invite the young people to think about their lives and list places/times it might be easy to live out the Beatitudes and places/times when it is tough. Ask: What might the inspirational person advise in these tough times?

Light in darkness 5 mins W S

Thank God for blessings in dark times

You will need: pots of fluorescent paint, labels, black card.

  • Label the paint pots with the Beatitudes verses on them and display these. Give each young person a square of black card.
  • Ask everyone to paint the words of their favourite beatitude onto their card as a reminder that, even during dark times, walking with God is a blessing. Offer these thoughts in prayer.
  •  Play ‘Walk Humbly’ (video; chords), Trent, on Unfailing Love during this activity.


Check-inConnecting faith with everyday, real-life issues


Go with God

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

Young people Session
  • Explain that ‘living out the Beatitudes’ will look different for each individual, but they have the same hallmarks – humility and service.
  • Ask the young people to think about the different groups that they are part of, and write them down as headings on big sheets of paper.
  • Allow time for everyone to move around the sheets, writing down ways that they could reflect the principles of the Beatitudes in each situation.


Go with God 24/7

Say out loud a different beatitude each morning, to remind yourself to walk humbly with God that day.


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

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