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Being Brave Enough to Ask

Who do we turn to when times are hard?

by Sophie Jelley (revised, originally published in 2007)

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To consider who we can turn to when we are angry, worried or scared.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need to be familiar with the story of Jesus calming the storm, which is found in the Bible in Mark 4.35–40.

    You may wish to have available the video ‘Jesus calms the storm’, in which case you will also need the means to show it during the assembly. It is 2.08 minutes long and is available at:

  • Optional: you may wish to prearrange for some school staff to share stories of things that they have been or are scared of for the Assembly, Step 1.

  • Have available some quiet, reflective music and the means to play it during the ‘Time for reflection’ part of the assembly. An example is available at: (2 hours and 17 minutes long)

  • Note: this could be a sensitive assembly if any of the children have distressing home situations or have been exposed to some genuinely scary events.


  1. Explain that you are going to ask a question, but you don’t want anyone to put their hand up to give an answer. You just want the children to think about the question.

    Ask the children if they have ever felt scared of anything.

    If appropriate, invite a few children to share their experiences. Many children will want to tell you about spiders, monsters, thunder and so on.

    Optional: ask the prearranged school staff to share their stories of things that they have been or are scared of.

  2. Explain that you are going to tell a story from the Bible, where a writer called Mark wrote all about the life of Jesus. This particular story is about a time when Jesus’ friends were scared.

    Alternatively, you may prefer to show the video ‘Jesus calms the storm’.

    Jesus Calms the Storm

    Some of Jesus’ closest friends were fishermen, so they were used to water and stormy weather. However, one day, they sailed their boat with Jesus on Lake Galilee, which is a beautiful place, but very big, so big it feels like the sea. As they did so, a huge storm suddenly came upon them.

    (Have you ever been caught in a sudden storm? It can be scary, but its even worse if you’re in a boat.)

    As the storm blew up, Jesus slept peacefully on, resting on a cushion in the boat. His friends were frightened and worried, so they shook Jesus awake and said, ‘Don’t you care if we drown?’

    Jesus simply got up and told the wind and the waves to be still – and they were! The disciples were amazed and said to each other, ‘What kind of man is this? He can even tell the wind and the waves what to do!’

    Optional: you could enact the story as you tell it, with the children miming the characters or being the wind and waves by providing sound effects.

  3. Christians believe that Jesus went back to heaven and that he is always there to help them at any time. If they ever feel scared about anything, they can remember this story; it reminds them that Jesus is always with them and cares for them, however worried they may feel.

  4. Emphasize to the children the importance of telling someone if they are ever worried or scared, just like Jesus’ friends told him when they were scared. Explain what they should do if they are worried about anything in school. You could refer to the school’s pastoral policies and possibly anti-bullying procedures if appropriate.

Time for reflection

Play some quiet, reflective music.

Ask the children to take some time to think about the following.

Sometimes, we have a storm raging inside us. Have you felt angry recently?

Pause to allow time for thought.

Have you felt worried recently?

Pause to allow time for thought.

Have you felt frightened recently?

Pause to allow time for thought.

It can be hard sometimes to be brave enough to tell someone when we have a problem. However, it is always better to share our worries because doing so can help to ‘calm the storm’.

Dear God,
Please help us when times are difficult and we feel like a storm is going on inside us.
Help us to be brave and to talk to someone who can help us.


Play some quiet, reflective music as the children leave. An example is available at: (2 hours and 17 minutes long)

Publication date: March 2020   (Vol.22 No.3)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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