Scripture: Acts 9:1-20
Memory Verse: Anyone who belongs to Christ is a new person. The past is forgotten, and everything is new. II Corinthians 5:17
Welcome and Introductions:
Greet the children and introduce yourself. Wear your nametag.
Explain the purpose of this workshop:
In our everyday lives, God touches us. No matter where we are or what we are doing, God sees and knows all. Today we are going to learn about Saul, a man who was feared by the Christian community a long time ago, because he tortured and killed believers. He wanted to help the Roman Empire get rid of Christianity. He was on his way to Damascus, a large city, when God spoke to him. When God spoke, this man’s life changed.
1. Open the Bibles to the scripture. Read the scripture as the children follow along OR read from a Bible storybook that tells the story in an engaging way.
2. Provide an opportunity for questions, in case the scriptures are not understood. (using the link in the preparation section may provide you with more details on the story of Paul)
Recall how Paul was a man who supported the Roman Government in trying to get rid of all Christians. Paul was on his way there to stop the spread of Christianity. God knew the type of person Paul was. God knew his strengths and changed him so he could use his strength to spread Christianity, not stop it!
Explain to the children they are going to create a journey map of their world and show the safest, most direct path to Jesus. Show the kids some examples of activity pages from coloring books that ask you to trace the best path from the top of the page to the bottom without running into dead ends or obstacles.
1. Brainstorm things you do, places you go and people who help you make good choices and stay on the right path: Jesus, church, Sunday School, parents, being helpful, do something kind, make friends, school, sports, activities, school, etc. Create a list of ideas on chart paper.
2. Now make another list of dangers, people or activities that are wrong: bullies, drugs, cheating, fighting, television, bad language, etc.
3. Hand out sheets of paper, pencils, makers, and crayons. Use clipboards (Faith Challenge room), or journal books as a hard writing surface.
4. Draw a picture of yourself at the top of the page.
5. At the bottom of the page, draw a picture of Jesus.
6. Draw a winding path from the top to the bottom. This is the path of good choices. Along this path, draw road signs or places you go and people who help you: Jesus, church, parents, friends, school, sports, activities, etc. See list of ideas on chart paper.
7. Draw other paths with dead ends or obstacles on the path. Label these or draw pictures of enemies or dangers along the paths.
8. Older Kids: Draw one path of obstacles and bad choices that leads directly to Jesus without a dead end. This path represents what happened to Paul. It can happen that people we know turn away from bad choices and decide to change. Jesus changes people as he changed Paul. (Discuss this concept: that God can change enemies into a friend of Jesus).
9. Color and add details.
Exchange papers in small groups or pairs. Let the kids find and trace, with a finger, the best path to Jesus.
All: Ask for volunteers to share their maps with the group. Ask the group one or two of the following questions for reflection on how their life might be changed if they had to encounter “enemies” along the way? Enemies are all the things that keep you from Jesus. How might we help people along the way? Helping someone carry heavy bags to their home, helping someone cross the street, not using bad language when they hear others say bad things, selecting people for their team, etc. could show how they are practicing what is right for Christians.
God changed Paul from an enemy of Jesus and his followers into a friend and believer. In the story Ananias had to accept Paul as a new friend and help Paul as God asked him to. Have you ever known someone who changed from an enemy into your friend? How did you feel about this? Was it hard to forgive that person and accept them as a friend? God can help us accept new friends if we pray to God and trust God.
Play “Laser Light Tag”. If time permits: conduct this activity as an example of how we can “see” with the “light” of God.
The children are to decide on a motion: pretend they are playing a musical instrument, playing a sport, eating food, what ever their daily activities consist of. While doing their motion, the kids are to try and avoid the light. The workshop leader tries to “catch” a child by shining a flashlight or laser pen, for a few seconds, on one child in the chest or back. That child must shout: “Blinded!” and freeze. To unfreeze, the person closest to the frozen child touches him or her and says “You can see - Anyone who belongs to Christ is a new person. The past is forgotten, and everything is new.”(memory verse) The unfrozen person must then do some different motion to show they are changed. Everyone else resumes their motion and the workshop leader tries once again to “catch” a child in the light.
If the child ignores or does not notice the light shining on him/her, someone else may touch that child and shout: “You are blinded by the Light!” The touched child must then freeze and stay frozen through the next round of play. At that point, both children may be unfrozen with a touch from persons nearby with the words: “You can see - Anyone who belongs to Christ is a new person. The past is forgotten, and everything is new
Keep playing until everyone has had a chance to be frozen and had to change their motion. You can spice up the game with older kids by telling those who have been “caught” in the light and frozen, to sit down. The remaining children play until only one or 2 are left standing.
Remind the children as they play this game, that the light represents God’s light in our life, and God does change our lives daily.
Prompts for journal writing: The students are to complete the Good News Journal Page. Younger students may need assistance in getting the word search going. Pass out the reflection sheet on Paul on the Road to Damascus and read the rhyme to the class. Ask for volunteers to read the rhyme out loud. Read the rhyme once again and as you do, ask the students to close their eyes. If there is still time, have them to begin working on the word search.
Prayer: Suggestions for the closing prayer – Dear God our great creator, thank you for being our great protector and making sure our lives are good. Thank you for Kirk, our ministers and teachers. We appreciate our families who believe in us and help to protect us too. Thank you for the summer we have had and may our school year be one that is positive and rewarding. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.
Tidy and Dismissal: Ask children to help tidy up. Close/lock the door and turn off the lights. The pillows in the Puppet room need to be placed back in the closet if you used them. You might want to store your story props in the closet as well, since others use this room.
Teacher preparation in advance:
1. Read the scripture passages and attend the Faith Quest Leaders Bible Study
2. Prepare an opening prayer for your lesson.
3. Post the memory verse.
4. To see a resource to assist you in “retelling” the story try this web site: http://www.execulink.com/~wblank/roaddam.htm
5. Create a journey map to share with the class or find an example from an activity book.
Suggested Supply List
· Legal size white paper for making maps – supply closet may have the paper, or you could cut chart paper into four/six sections.
· Extra markers (the Shepherd has some)
· Journal sheets copied for the class.
· Flash light for “Light tag”
· Activity book map or maze to use as an example.
· If you get to church early enough each Sunday – use the pillows found in the Praising Puppets closet.
Lori Houck, Kirk Faith Quest Bible Study Leader
On the Road to Damascus Execulink on the web
Kid Corner Bible Study