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BIBLE PASSAGE: Matthew 6:25-34
BACKGROUND: This session focuses on how God loves and cares for each one of us, and how we can choose to trust him instead of worrying.
Worry can be a difficult feeling for young children to talk about as they may not have learned to describe how it feels for them yet. Using other words around feelings can be helpful and will allow them to explore what worry might feel like for them. However, rather than focusing on worry, keep drawing back to how much God cares for us and the fact that we can trust him.
Invite the children to sit together in a circle and encourage them to share stories from their week. Celebrate any birthdays or special events. It may be helpful to have an object or cuddly toy to pass around for the children to hold as they speak. Ask them: “Who cares for you?’ Thank God that he is with you and ask him to help you learn more about him today.
You will need: cooking oil; water; three clear containers; food colouring
Pour some cooking oil into a container and explain that it represents feeling worried. Worrying is when we feel scared or unsure because we don’t know what’s going to happen.
Pour some water and a few drops of food colouring into a second container. Explain that this one represents trusting God, remembering that we don’t need to be afraid because he is taking care of us.
Ask the children if they think worry and trust mix. Pour some oil and water into the third container together. At first they will seem to mix, but then they will separate. Trusting God with all our hearts and worrying don’t mix. We’re going to hear today about how Jesus told people that God wants us to trust in him and not worry.
You will need: a picnic blanket; pictures of birds, feathers and flowers; a mirror
Lay out your picnic blanket and invite the children to sit down. Then tell this story:
Jesus loved speaking to people. One day he was teaching a huge crowd of people how they could be more like God. They all sat down on a mountainside to listen.
Jesus talked to the people about worry. Who sometimes feels worried? Sometimes we can feel worried or scared because we don’t know what is going to happen, but Jesus told the people not to worry because God cared for them.
“You don’t need to worry about your life,” said Jesus, “or what you will eat or drink, or your body or the clothes you will wear. Look at the birds. They don’t worry and store away food. They don’t need to worry. Father God knows what they need and he feeds them. You are even more precious to God than the birds. Worrying doesn’t help. It won’t change the situation.” Show the children pictures of birds and feathers. Chat about which are the children’s favourites and what their feathers might feel like.
“And you don’t need to worry about clothes,” continued Jesus. “Look at the beautiful flowers in the field. They don’t go to work every day trying to earn money to buy lovely clothes. Has anyone ever seen a flower putting on clothes?! Even a king in his finest robe still wouldn’t look as beautiful as one of the flowers. If God cares for them that much, think about how much he cares for you.” Show your pictures of flowers. Chat about which ones are the children’s favourites and what they might smell like.
Jesus carried on: “You are more important than the birds and the flowers. God looks after the birds and the flowers, and he also loves to care for you. God doesn’t want you to worry. He made you and he loves you. Trust in him and connect your heart with his. Learn to be more like him and he will look after you.”
Pass the mirror around. As each child looks at their reflection, tell them: “God made you. He loves you and will take care of you.”
Ask the children these questions, encourag- ing everyone to take turns to contribute:
- What was your favourite part of the story?
- Do you have a favourite bird or flower?
- What makes you feel worried?
- How do you feel knowing that God loves you even more than the birds or flowers?
You will need: pictures of birds and flowers; collage materials including feathers, petals and dried flowers
Invite the children to choose a bird or flower picture and collage it. As you work, chat about how God feeds the birds and clothes the flowers. Remind the group that God also looks after us and cares for us even more. What does this say about what God thinks of the children?
You will need: a feather for each child Invite each of the children to hold a feather. Explain that we’re going to take it in turns to say something we’re worried about if
the children are happy to do so. Then we’re going to think about how we can choose to trust in God because he cares for us.
After everyone has had a chance to speak, invite the children to blow the feather away and thank God for caring for them.
“God, thank you that you look after us and that you love to hear what we’re thinking about and feeling.”
ANNIE WILLMOT is a children’s worker and mum to two boys. She loves nothing more than an honest conversation and a good cup of tea.
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