15 minute Story planner
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor page 390 & 391
The author of The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories thinks Saul may have been ‘haunted’ by what happened to Stephen. You might want to remind older children about the story of Stephen (p 388 of The Children’s Bible). Look at Acts 22:20 to find out what Saul was doing while Stephen was being badly treated.
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
What’s the name of the street you live in? Often roads are named after things close by such as trees, a school or a church – perhaps there is a Holly Tree Lane, a Church Street or School Road near where you live.
One day God told Saul to go into the city of Damascus. Saul went to Straight Street. I wonder why it was called Straight Street…
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 (beware of copyright regulations)
An envelope with ‘The Leader of the Synagogue, Damascus’ written on it
The High Priest’s letter (see Printables)
4. Story activity - 6 mins
Option 1 - Enjoy the puzzles in this weeks Dead Sea Comic Caper (see Printables)
Option 2 - Tell the story while moving around the room
You will need: three big pieces of paper, a thick pen, masking tape, two chairs, and the props listed above.
Write on the big pieces of paper ‘Jerusalem’, ‘Damascus’ and ‘Straight Street’. With the children’s help stick a long piece of masking tape to the floor along the length of your room. Encourage a child to stand at one end of the tape holding the ‘Jerusalem’ sign, another child to stand at the other end holding the ‘Damascus’ sign and nearby, a third child to stand holding the ‘Straight Street’ sign. Place one chair next to the ‘Straight Street’ sign and another chair next to the ‘Damascus’ sign. Allow the children that are not holding signs to sit either side of the tape, leaving enough room for you to walk up and down. As you tell the story walk along the tape from ‘Jerusalem’ to ‘Damascus’ stopping just before ‘Damascus’ to recount the story of Jesus speaking to Saul. As you talk about Saul waiting three days, sit in the chair next to ‘Straight Street’ and as you talk about God speaking to Ananias, sit in the chair next to the ‘Damascus’ sign.
5. Reflective prayer - 2 mins
Father we think about Saul carrying the letters to Damascus. We know that at that time he was planning to do mean and unkind things to the Christians. However, only a few days later he was preaching about Jesus in the synagogues. Father we thank you for the amazing change that took place in Saul’s life.
We thank you for the boldness of Ananias who visited Saul and prayed that he would be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Father thank you that, in the same way the Holy Spirit was at work in the life of Saul, he is at work in the lives of Christians today. Thank you that your Holy Spirit is both a helper and a guide to Believers, and all over the world he is changing Christians from the inside out to be more like Jesus, more peaceful, patient and kind. Father help us to long for more of your work in our lives – help us to learn and grow to be the people you created us to be. 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...