MEETING AIM: To understand the role of risk and relationship in God’s work.
BIBLE PASSAGE: Acts 23:12-22
BACKGROUND: In this passage we read about the plot to kill Paul; this is a window into seeing the risks that he took for the gospel, but also the risks that those around him took to support him. Here, we particularly look at the role of friendship in God’s work, recognising the risk that Paul’s nephew took to protect Paul, and realising and remembering that God calls us to be brave and good friends to one another today.
Start your time together with some simple refreshments and chat about what your children have found exciting today (or yesterday, if you’re doing this in the morning). Ask them to think about why the friends they have are so special to them. Encourage them to share stories and explore this idea!
You will need: noisy objects (such as large bunches of keys, jingle bells or tubs of dried beans); string
Tie lots of noisy items to one of your children. They stand at one end of your room, while everyone else stands at the other, facing the wall. The jingly person has to get as far as they can across the room without everyone else hearing them. When they make a noise, the others turn around.
Change around the roles and play again. See who can get furthest across the room without being heard!
You will need: Bibles or copies of the passage from The Message
Begin by reading the story with your children. You might want to try The Message paraphrase of this passage for this activity, to make it more readable for your children.
After you’ve read through the passage, challenge your children to direct the rest of the family in creating a news report of this story. Encourage them to go through the passage again so they can get the details correct. Encourage them to use their imaginations! They could feature an undercover reporter, or interview Paul and Paul’s nephew. Give them ten minutes to plot and plan and then ask them to perform their news report.
Chat about the story using these questions:
•What do we already know about Paul before this story?
•Who were Paul’s enemies in this story?
•Who were Paul’s friends in this story?
•Where do you think God was at work in this story?
•What do you think Paul’s nephew risked to get the news of the plot to Paul?
•What do we learn about being a friend in this story?
You will need: a selection of notecards or letter-writing paper; envelopes; chocolate bars; sticky tape
Explain that part of our job as Christians is to support other Christians, like Paul’s nephew did.
Show the family the notebooks and paper. Ask them to choose someone to encourage with a note. Get them to think about someone they admire, or someone that they see doing important work for God, and encourage them to write this for them. Then get them to choose a chocolate bar to tape the letter to and give with their encouragements! Either post these or deliver them on a daily walk.
You will need: different colour cotton thread; patterns to plait friendship bracelets (these are easy to find online)
In the story, Paul’s nephew took a big risk to make sure that Paul was safe. By being a good and brave friend, Paul’s nephew also enabled Paul to keep ongoing with the work of spreading the news about Jesus. Say that by being good and brave friends, we too can play really important parts in God’s work.
Explain that friendship bracelets are normally things we give to our friends, but today you’re making bracelets to encourage yourselves to be the kind of friends God wants us to be. Discuss what makes a good friend. You might want to think about the different ways we are friends when we can’t see each other face to face. Get your family to think about what kind of friend they want to ask God to help them be, and ask them to choose different colour threads to represent different parts of their prayer. Play some worship music while you plait, and pray quietly as you work that God would help you become a good friend to those who need one.
At the end of the music, say a prayer that asks God for help to become the best and bravest friends we can be, and to thank God for our friends.
Supporting documentsClick link to download and view these files
- PDF, Size 0.18 mb