New Year’s Devotion for Elementary Kids: Pressing On


In this New Year’s devotion, kids will explore what it means to move on from the past and keep their eyes on Jesus each and every day!

Scripture: Philippians 3:13-14

You’ll need:

  • Bible
  • a sign with last year’s date
  • a sign with this year’s date
  • tape

New Year’s Devotion

For this New Year’s devotion, hang your signs on opposite walls and clear the area between the walls of any obstacles.

Have kids face last year’s sign.

Say: Let’s reflect on the past year. Raise your hand if you’ve done what I call out.

  • Who went to a different state last year?
  • Who got a new brother or sister last year?
  • Did anyone do something you were proud of last year?
  • Who did something you regret last year?

Say: We’ve all done things we regret. Maybe we did something embarrassing, or maybe we really hurt someone by our actions. Sometimes the memories of those regrets stick in our minds and make us feel bad. Getting stuck on what we did in the past can really mess up how we feel about the future. I’ll show you what I mean.

Looking Back

Have kids continue facing last year’s wall and walk until they’re standing right up against it.

Say: Your goal is to race across the room, but you have to walk backward, keeping your eyes on last year. If you bump into anyone, fall down, or peek behind you, you have to sit right where you are. So be careful!

Allow a few minutes for kids to play. Declare a winner and then have kids sit in a circle.


  • What was hard about racing backward?
  • Tell about a time you were focused on a mistake or bad choice you made—and it caused a problem for you.
  • How can remembering our bad choices help or hurt our future?

Say: It’s good to learn from the things we’ve done wrong. But when we hold onto guilt or bad feelings, we forget that God has forgiven us. We can get stuck in the past, thinking God doesn’t love us anymore. But the Bible has something important to say about holding onto the past as we go through life.

Pressing On

Read Philippians 3:13-14.

Have kids all start back at last year’s wall.

Say: Let’s put this verse into practice. Rather than focusing on what’s behind us (last year), let’s look forward to what’s ahead. Turn around and race toward the sign for the new year. Ready? Go!

When all the kids are at the new sign, declare them all winners.


  • What does it mean to “press on” for God?
  • How can you live for Jesus this year?

Say: A lot of people make resolutions on New Year’s Day. We vow to do things such as get more exercise, read more, or eat healthier foods. Those are all good goals. But the most important goal we have is a lifelong one: to live for Jesus. If we live every day with our eyes focused on him, we’ll have fewer regrets each year. And we’ll also know that Jesus forgives us for the wrong things we do when we ask him to. So don’t dwell in the past—just keep your eyes on what Jesus has in store for you this year!

For more children’s devotions, check out Amazing Science Devotions for Children’s Ministry. In this resource, you’ll find 10-minute devotions that lead kids in a “wow!” experience with God’s Word. Want more New Year’s ideas? Check out these posts!

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