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by Alison Thurlow

Suitable for Key Stage 1/2


To consider what makes for a good team (SEAL theme: Relationships).

Preparation and materials

  • Find an image of the Twelve Apostles with their names and have the means to display it during the assembly as you read the story (optional).
  • Prepare an image showing the two suggestions listed in the ‘Time for reflection’ section at the end and have the means to display it during the assembly (optional).

Familiarize yourself with ‘The 12 Apostles Song’ by Ishmael, Kids Praise Party 1 (Spring Harvest, 2012), ready to sing it at the end of the assembly. 


1. Explain that today you want everyone to think about how we get on with different types of people and what that means in relation to teams.

2. Ask the children to turn to the person next to them and talk about things that are the same for both of them (for example, they are both in the same class, both have blue eyes, are both six years old and so on).

After a few minutes, ask them to volunteer a few of their answers.

3. Then ask them to turn back to their partners again and, this time, talk about the things that are different (such as their height, colour of their hair and so on).

Again, have the children share a few of their answers.

4. Go on to say that you might think that, because they are all members of the same school, they would be very similar, but the truth is they are all unique and different. Everyone has different interests, different tastes, different opinions, different habits.

The fact that they are all so different makes for a very interesting school because all those differences put together make a strong team, as long as they can all get on well together.

5. Say that you are now going to tell them a story from the Bible about Jesus picking his team – a team that is made up of lots of different types of people. In the New Testament part of the Bible, we can read many stories that tell of all the different types of people Jesus had as friends, but one story in Luke 6, which is in the New Testament, tells us that Jesus selected 12 very special friends to be his apostles.

Jesus chooses the Twelve Apostles

Jesus climbed to the top of a big hill with his disciples and, when they got to the top, he chose 12 of them to become his apostles. He said:

‘I have asked you to come with me today because I have chosen you to be my very special friends. In fact, I’m going to give you a special name, too: I’m going to call you my apostles.’

The 12 men looked at each other, wondering what Jesus meant, but not quite liking to ask him. Jesus seemed to guess what was on their minds because he went on to say:

‘I want you to travel round with me. I also want you to tell other people about me and I will give you the ability to do some truly wonderful things in my name.’

Display the image of the Twelve Apostles, if using.

The names of those 12 men were Simon Peter, his brother, Andrew, James and his brother, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, another James, another Simon, Judas and Judas Iscariot. For three years, they travelled around with Jesus, doing all the things Jesus had told them they would do.

6. Explain that we do not know very much about all of the Twelve Apostles, but we do know some things. Simon Peter and Andrew were brothers, as we just heard, as were James and John, and they were all fishermen; Simon Peter was also a bit of a loudmouth who didn’t always stop to think about what he was going to say; Matthew was a tax collector; Thomas often doubted things and asked lots of questions and Judas turned out to be not quite such a good friend after all, because he betrayed Jesus to the soldiers.

Other people were quite surprised that Jesus chose some of these men to be his special friends, but Jesus did choose them, differences and all! They became a great team – in fact, they became a world-changing team and learned to accept each other’s differences and worked well together.

Time for reflection

I have been wondering what we can learn from today’s story that could help us to become a strong team in this school. I have come up with two suggestions:

– learn to accept people who are different from you – it is having all the different sorts of people here that makes this school such an interesting place to be

– notice somebody who is good at something you are not so good at and say, ‘Well done!’ to them for what they are doing.

Ask the children to sit quietly for a few seconds to think about your suggestions and consider what they could do about them.


Dear Lord,
Thank you that you chose all different kinds of people to be in your team.
Thank you that there are so many different kinds of people here in our school.
Please help us all to be a strong team together.


‘The 12 Apostles Song’ by Ishmael, Kids Praise Party 1 (Spring Harvest, 2012) 

Publication date: June 2015   (Vol.17 No.6)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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