15 minute Story planner
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor page 390
1. Setting the scene - 2 mins
Find the New Testament section in a Bible.
Show and talk about ‘The Early Church FlashCards’ cards one to four
2. Starter question - 1 min
Did you know that millions of letters are posted every day? All around the country thousands of men and women work hard, not just to deliver letters, but to sort them too. Overnight many letters are taken to sorting offices where they are organised into bundles. The next morning the letters are pushed through the letterboxes of houses, schools, offices and shops.
3. Tell the story with props - 4 mins
Click on the images at the beginning of this post to download more web resources
- A map of the Holy Land at the time of Jesus with Jerusalem and Damascus clearly marked
- The High Priest's letter (see Printables)
- A torch
- Names of Paul’s letters (see Printables)
- Envelopes (before the session stick on the names of Paul’s letters)
4. Story activity - 6 mins
Option 1 - Enjoy the puzzles in this weeks Dead Sea Comic Caper (see Printables)
Option 2 - Discover where Paul's letters are in the Bible
You will need enough Bibles for one each or one between two or three children, pens and ‘page number’ slips (see Printables).
Before the session place the ‘page number’ slips in the envelopes with the names of Paul’s letters written on.
1. Tell the story using the props.
2. Ask the children to work in twos or threes to find Paul’s letters in a Bible.
3. Hand out the envelopes containing the slips.
4. Ask the children to write the correct page numbers for the corresponding books on the slips i.e. if ‘Romans’ begins on page 1128 and finishes on page 1143 write p1128–p1143 on the slip of paper and place it in the ‘Romans’ envelope.
Option 3 - Follow the directions
You will need two chairs and a blindfold. Ask for a volunteer. Explain that the volunteer will be wearing a blindfold. Place two chairs at one end of your teaching space, about a meter apart. Tell the children that the chairs represent the gateway into the city of Damascus. Explain that the blindfolded volunteer needs to walk from one end of the room towards the chairs at the other. They then need to manoeuvre through the ‘gateway’ without touching either chair. To help the volunteer one or two of the other children could shout directions. Make sure the volunteer understands what they have to do before they are blindfolded.
5. Reflective prayer - 2 mins
Father we think of Saul leaving Jerusalem an angry man but arriving in Damascus ready to be changed. Father we remember that when Ananias laid his hands on Saul not only was he able to see once more but he was filled with the Holy Spirit. Father we thank you that with the powerful help of the Holy Spirit Saul went on to do many, many wonderful things for you.
Thank you Father God that just as the Holy Spirit changed Saul in an amazing way he is able to work in our lives too, comforting, guiding and changing us from the inside out. Thank you that with the powerful help of the Holy Spirit all Christians everywhere are able to learn and grow to live the way you created them to live. Father we understand that although we may never do the amazing things Saul did you have wonderful plans for each of our lives and you love us more than we could ever imagine. Amen.
With younger children, or during a shorter session you may wish to select just one or two phrases from the reflective prayer.
Alongside telling this story, make the craft...