Use this children’s message: Pressing On with kids ages 6 to 12.
You’ll need a Bible, a sign that says “2016,” a sign that says “2017,” and tape
Hang your signs on opposite walls, and clear the way between the walls so there aren’t any obstacles. Have kids stand and face last year’s sign and reflect on things they’re proud of from 2016, such as winning something or helping others. Then have them think about things they regret from 2016, such as fights with others or times they lied.
Say: Sometimes the memories of our regrets stick in our minds, and getting stuck in the past can really mess up how we look at the future.
Have kids continue facing last year’s wall, but move to stand right up against it.
Say: Your goal is to be the first to cross the room, but you have to walk backward, keeping your eyes on last year. If you accidentally bump into anyone, fall down, or peek behind you, you’ll have to sit down right where you are, so be careful! Allow a few minutes for kids to try to cross the room.
Then ask: Tell about a time you made a mistake or bad choice that changed how you behaved later.
Say: It’s good to learn lessons from the things we’ve done wrong. But when we hold on to that guilt, we forget that God has forgiven us. Read aloud Philippians 3:13-14.
Have kids go back to last year’s wall. Say: Let’s race again. Rather than focusing on what’s behind us (last year), let’s look toward what’s ahead. Turn around and head toward the sign for this year. This time, you can face forward, so you can watch where you’re going and be careful not to fall or bump into anyone.
Encourage kids to make it a lifelong goal to live for Jesus, with their eyes focused on him.