Bible, Glitter and Glue

David and Mary Nelson

In each weekly episode, Bible teachers, David and Mary Nelson, will study and discuss an event from the Bible and then exchange ideas for creative teaching. read less
Religion & SpiritualityReligion & Spirituality

Episodes

Paul's Nephew Uncovers a Plot
4d ago
Paul's Nephew Uncovers a Plot
Paul was under arrest in Jerusalem because of false accusations by the Jews.  Paul’s Roman citizenship demanded a fair hearing, so the Roman commander in charge set up a meeting with Jewish priests and the Sanhedrin.  This meeting ended in chaos, with Paul back in protective custody.  Paul’s young nephew overheard some of the Jews plotting to kill Paul, so Paul asked him to tell the commander.  The commander had no choice but to arrange a large military escort to take Paul to Caesarea, the nearest headquarters of Roman rule.  One night, amidst all these events, Jesus appeared to Paul and told him to have courage because he would be going to Rome to testify about his faith.Emphasise that young people can do great things for God. Don’t wait until you get “older” to serve God.Bible verses used in this episode:Acts 22:30-23:351 Timothy 4:12Outline:Paul appeared before the angry Jewish council (Acts 22:30-23:10)Jesus visits Paul (Acts 23:11)Paul’s nephew reports a plot (Acts 23:12-22)The Roman commander sends Paul on to Governor Felix (Acts 23:23-35)Tips for teaching children:Talk about the effect Paul’s young nephew had on the situationMemorise 1 Timothy 4:12 and have the children list ways they can be an example of faith to others. Research online to learn about influential children in history and of our time.Tips for teaching adults:Have a few people in the class google “Ananias, the High Priest” and “Felix, the governor” to learn a few more things about them, including something of their possible character. Share some highlights with the class to know more about these characters in the story. Ask the class: “Who was your favourite uncle?  Why?”  The hero of this story is Paul’s unnamed nephew.  How have children been brave in your congregation? Find ways to honour the children of your congregation to make them feel special because they are.One more question: “Was Paul showing a lack of faith in Jesus’ promise when he sent his nephew to the Roman commander?”  Why or why not?”Full teaching instructions free from Mission Bible Class:Bible Lesson:  Paul’s Nephew Uncovers a Plot Scriptures quoted from the International Children’s Bible®, copyright ©1986, 1988, 1999, 2015 by Tommy Nelson. Used by permission.Excerpts from Mission Bible Class used by permission.For questions or comments email: mary@missionbibleclass.org
Paul Travels to Jerusalem
Apr 12 2024
Paul Travels to Jerusalem
At the conclusion of his third missionary journey, Paul followed the direction of the Holy Spirit in making his way to Jerusalem.  As he stopped along the way, many Christians warned him of the dangers awaiting him.  In Caesarea, a man named Agabus prophesied that the Jews in Jerusalem would harm Paul if he went there. Despite all of these warnings, Paul was determined to obey the Holy Spirit.  In Jerusalem, Paul met with an angry crowd and was arrested.  None of this stopped Paul from preaching about Jesus.Emphasise having the determination to do what is right even when challenges arise.Bible verses used in this episode:Acts 20:13 through 22:29Galatians 6:9Outline:On the way to Jerusalem (Acts 20:13-21:14)Farewell to Ephesian Elders in Miletus (20:17-28)Other stops and farewells along the way (21:1-6)In Caesarea with Philip and Agabus (21:7-14)In Jerusalem (Acts 21:15-22:29)Taking advice from James and others (21:15-25)An angry mob and an arrest-includes Paul’s sermon (21:26-22:22)Paul’s treatment as a prisoner (22:23-29) Tips for teaching children:Define “determination”: The feeling we have that makes us keep going even if things get difficultHelp the children understand that mistakes can help us learn lessons.  Sometimes, the bad things that happen to us help us learn to be stronger.Tips for teaching adults:Ask one of the more artistic members of the class to draw a blank map of Paul’s world and write in the places mentioned in the text where Paul and his companions travelled. The names of the places can be written on the map as the story of his journeys from Troas to Jerusalem is read.Paul meets with the elders from Ephesus and tells them things that are important.  This is is farewell address to them.  If you were to give a farewell talk to your church, what would you say to them? What would you want them to know and or do?Paul is given the opportunity to speak to a hostile group about how he became a follower of Jesus. What is your story? How did you become a follower of Jesus? How has your understanding of what was expected of you as a follower of Jesus changed since you began this journey?Full teaching instructions free from Mission Bible Class:Bible Lesson:  Paul Goes to Jerusalem Scriptures quoted from the International Children’s Bible®, copyright ©1986, 1988, 1999, 2015 by Tommy Nelson. Used by permission.Excerpts from Mission Bible Class used by permission.For questions or comments email: mary@missionbibleclass.org
Eutychus Falls From a Window
Apr 5 2024
Eutychus Falls From a Window
In the last stages of his third missionary journey, Paul stopped in Troas and met with the church in an upstairs room.  During Paul’s very long preaching,  a young man named Eutychus went to sleep and fell out of a window and onto the ground below.  Paul miraculously brought the boy back to life.For a practical lesson, help students understand how to pay attention and participate with the church in listening when God’s Word is being preached.Bible verses used in this episode:Acts 20:7-12Outline:Paul preaches until midnight (Acts 20:7-8)The young man, Eutychus (Acts 20:9-10)Paul continues to preach until morning (Acts 20:11-12)Tips for teaching children:Discuss how to pay attention when God’s Word is being preached. Use paper or a notebook to write or draw what is being said.Participate in the worship service (Sing and pray).Look up verses in your own Bible.Before worship begins, ask the preacher what words he plans to discuss most. Keep a tally of those words during his sermon. If the word is Jesus, mark every time he says “Jesus.”  At the conclusion of worship, the preacher might be interested in seeing your list and might like to know how often you heard him say the word or words.Tips for teaching adults:One of the insights from our story today is that part of what Paul was doing in speaking at the gathering was using dialogue instead of monologue.  An effective teacher will include the class in the discussion, will ask questions that drive the class back to the text, will ask other questions that challenge the class to reflect on the text and reflect on their lives, and will ask questions that challenge them to do something with what they have learned. As a teacher, ask the class: “What can help you be a better listener when the word is being preached?  I think the class will come up with some good responses.  You may want to keep these good listening skills in mind: look at the teacher/preacherwork to concentrate and minimise distractionsopen your Bible and follow alongtake noteshave a water bottle to keep hydrated.Full teaching instructions free from Mission Bible Class:Bible Lesson:  Eutychus Falls from a Window Scriptures quoted from the International Children’s Bible®, copyright ©1986, 1988, 1999, 2015 by Tommy Nelson. Used by permission.Excerpts from Mission Bible Class used by permission.For questions or comments email: mary@missionbibleclass.org
Paul and the Dark Powers at Ephesus
Mar 29 2024
Paul and the Dark Powers at Ephesus
During his third missionary journey, Paul returned to Ephesus and spent three years there. He taught about Jesus in the synagogue and a city school. Some of the most unusual miracles in the Book of Acts occurred during Paul’s stay in Ephesus. They were so convincing that magicians and sorcerers burned their expensive sorcery books and turned to God. So many people stopped worshipping idols (and buying idol statues) that a silversmith named Demetrius led a riot against Paul.Jesus is more powerful than any power in heaven or earth.  Tusting in practices such as sorcery, magic, witchcraft, or horoscopes is trusting in another power above Jesus.Bible verses used in this episode:Acts 19:1-41Ephesians 6:10-18Romans 8:37-39Ephesians 1:18-23Outline:Paul teaches in Ephesus (Acts 19:1-10)The power of Jesus over the spiritual realm (Acts 19:11-20)Anger in the city of Ephesus (Acts 19:21-41)Tips for teaching children:Be respectful of the varying “rules” among families concerning exposure to negative spiritual influences.  Some children are not allowed to watch certain movies or read particular books, while the parents of others consider the same books safe “fantasy” reading.Collect horoscopes and predictions from magazines and coffee shop papers. You could also print these out from online articles. Guide children in cutting these out.  Write the scripture Ecclesiastes 8:7 in the centre of a poster and glue the clippings around the border.Sing songs about the power of God over satan.My God is So Big SongShake the Devil OffRoll the Gospel ChariotThis Little Light of MineTips for teaching adults:Online maps, photos, illustrations and articles (check copyright conditions in each)Map of Paul's 3rd journey.  Temple of Artemis (Wikipedia) The Day Dream Tourist blog.  Questions: In what ways did the spiritual forces of darkness manifest themselves in this story?  How was Jesus’ power manifested in the several stories in this chapter?  How can we, as followers of Jesus, guard ourselves against the spiritual forces of darkness?  I want to suggest 1) reading the Scripture, 2) prayer, and 3)Full teaching instructions free from Mission Bible Class:Bible Lesson:  Paul and the Dark Powers of Ephesus Scriptures quoted from the International Children’s Bible®, copyright ©1986, 1988, 1999, 2015 by Tommy Nelson. Used by permission.Excerpts from Mission Bible Class used by permission.For questions or comments email: mary@missionbibleclass.org
Priscilla & Aquila
Mar 22 2024
Priscilla & Aquila
In Corinth, Paul met a couple named Priscilla and Aquila.  The three of them built tents together to earn a living.  Whenever he was not making tents, Paul taught people about Jesus.  After a year and a half, Paul, Priscilla and Aquila travelled to the city of Ephesus together.  Priscilla and Aquila stayed in Ephesus to make tents and tell people about Jesus, while Paul went on to Antioch.  A while later, when a great teacher named Apollos came to Ephesus, Priscilla and Aquila invited him to their house and explained baptism’s real meaning.  Apollos was grateful and went on to Corinth, where he continued to share the good news of Jesus.In whatever career or job we choose, we can play our part in helping others know about God.Bible verses used in this episode:Acts 18:1-28Outline:Priscilla and Aquila meet Paul in Corinth (Acts 18:1-4)Paul teaches and troubles in Corinth (Acts 18:5-17)Priscilla and Aquila travel with Paul and stay in Ephesus (Acts 18:18-23)Priscilla and Aquila teach Apollos (Acts 18:24-28)Tips for teaching children:Have the children make a tent using sheets and blanketsTalk to the children about what they would like to do for a job when they grow up.  In that job, how can they be a Christian, and how can they help others know about Jesus?Collect items relating to various jobs or careers (stethoscope, fireman’s hat, hammer, chef’s hat, etc.) Children can guess the job or career as you show each item. Next, ask the children to think about ways a person in that career might help others know about Jesus.  A carpenter might fix something at the church that is broken.  A doctor might pray with his patients.  A chef might cook food for a teacher so he or she can have the energy to teach more people about Jesus.  The children will help you think of more ideas. Tips for teaching adults:As the teacher, it will be helpful to Google “Epicureanism” and “Stoicism” or find material in a Bible encyclopaedia/dictionary and write down summaries of their philosophies, especially as Paul touches on aspects of them in the speech on the Areopagus.  Bring this info to class and share it with the class as a background to the story.  Wikipedia links: EpicureanismStoicismAsk the class these kinds of questions: What does Paul affirm about this ‘unknown God’ that he is now making known to them? What are the attributes of God?  What does he want them to know about the true and living God? Ask the follow-up questions: In what ways does this speech challenge us about who the true and living God is?  Full teaching instructions free from Mission Bible Class:Bible Lesson:  Priscilla and Aquila Scriptures quoted from the International Children’s Bible®, copyright ©1986, 1988, 1999, 2015 by Tommy Nelson. Used by permission.Excerpts from Mission Bible Class used by permission.For questions or comments email: mary@missionbibleclass.org
Paul in Athens
Mar 15 2024
Paul in Athens
Paul continued his second Missionary Journey by stopping in the wealthy and cultured city of Athens. Idols and altars of false gods filled the city. Paul addressed a group of philosophers meeting on a rock hill called the Areopagus (Mars Hill). Idols were humanity's attempt to make gods, but Paul preached that humans cannot make the true God. God has created humans, and all that is in the world. There is only one God, and it is wrong to put anything above him.God is the only one worthy of our worship. We should not think or act as any person or thing is more important than him.Bible verses used in this episode:Acts 17:16-34Psalm 145:2-3Outline:Paul teaches in Athens (Acts 17:16-21)Paul’s Sermon at the Areopagus (Acts 17:22-31)Responses to the Message (Acts 17:32-34)Tips for teaching children:Research online or in the library to find information about Athens.  Look for photos of the Areopogus, where Paul spoke.Talk about idols.  These could be statues and temples like in Athens.  In a general sense, anything we worship or think is more important than God can be called an idol.Tips for teaching adults: As the teacher, it will be helpful to Google “Epicureanism” and “Stoicism” or find material in a Bible encyclopaedia/dictionary and write down summaries of their philosophies, especially as Paul touches on aspects of them in the speech on the Areopagus.  Bring this info to class and share it with the class as a background to the story.  Links to Wikipedia:Epicureanism   Stoicism   Questions and Discussion topics:What does Paul affirm about this ‘unknown God’ that he is now making known to them? What are the attributes of God?  What does he want them to know about the true and living God? In what ways does this speech challenge us about who the true and living God is?Full teaching instructions free from Mission Bible Class:Bible Lesson:  Paul Preaches in Athens-Mars Hill Scriptures quoted from the International Children’s Bible®, copyright ©1986, 1988, 1999, 2015 by Tommy Nelson. Used by permission.Excerpts from Mission Bible Class used by permission.For questions or comments email: mary@missionbibleclass.org
The Noble Bereans
Mar 8 2024
The Noble Bereans
Paul continues his 2nd Missionary Journey by visiting the cities of Thessalonica and Berea. Several people began to follow Jesus in Thessalonica, but others were jealous and caused trouble. Paul went on to Berea where the people received the message of Jesus with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures daily to see if what Paul said was true. Troublemakers from Thessalonica soon followed and caused so much trouble that the Christians escorted Paul to Athens for his own safety.d We should follow the example of the Bereans and study Scripture to understand what is true.Bible verses used in this episode:Acts 17:1-152 Timothy 2:15Outline:Paul and Silas preach in Thessalonica (Acts 17:1-4)Jealous Jews retaliate (Acts 17:5-9)Paul teaches in Berea (Acts 17:10-15)Tips for teaching children:Help the children learn how to use their Bibles.  Talk about it being a collection of 66 books gathered into one book.  Look at the table of contents together.  Teach them how to look up a Scripture reference (book, chapter, verse). Practice looking up verses using that same format.  Simple verses for the beginning Bible reader might be Genesis 1:1 and John 3:16. Tips for teaching adults:Questions to ask the class: 1) Why would Paul go to the synagogue first to preach about Jesus?  Who would be his audience? 2) What could they have been preaching about Jesus for the Thessalonians to understand them as claiming Jesus is a rival king to Caesar?  3) How serious is this charge about Jesus?As a teacher, it is good to develop your skills in studying the Scripture.  Here are some tips to keep in mind when reading, studying and preparing for your class: 1) Read the text in its context.  Don’t just pick out one or two verses out of their context.  Things make sense when put into their context.  Read the passage and then re-read it, thinking about how the text flows and how the parts of the text connect.  Try to get into the habit of reading paragraphs instead of single verses.  Context is everything.  Full teaching instructions free from Mission Bible Class:Bible Lesson:  The Noble Bereans Scriptures quoted from the International Children’s Bible®, copyright ©1986, 1988, 1999, 2015 by Tommy Nelson. Used by permission.Excerpts from Mission Bible Class used by permission.For questions or comments email: mary@missionbibleclass.org
Paul and Silas in Prison
Mar 1 2024
Paul and Silas in Prison
Paul cast an evil spirit out of a young slave girl, but her owners were angry and brought Paul and Silas before the city magistrates.  Even though they were both beaten and thrown into prison, they were heard singing hymns and praying to God during the night.  After an earthquake, Paul and Silas taught the jailer and his household about Jesus.  Before the night was over, they were all baptised.  The next day, Paul and Silas were released from prison.In Christ, we can experience true joy despite our circumstances.Bible verses used in this episode:Acts 16:16-40Philippians 4:4Outline:Paul helps a slave girl (Acts 16:16-18)Paul and Silas are arrested and imprisoned (Acts 16:19-24)Miraculous release from prison. Salvation for the jailer (Acts 16:25-34)Freedom and respect (Acts 16:35-40)Tips for teaching children:As you tell the story draw two stick figures (Paul and Silas) and draw chains on them. Guide the children in drawing vertical lines down the paper to represent the prison bars.Make and decorate a poster from the verse Philippians 4:4Make paper chainsTips for teaching adults:Read the story in the class.  Choose various people to read the different parts.  Choose a narrator, Paul, jailor, and city officials. Say this to the class: “Using your imagination, what were the songs they might have been singing?”  Why do you think they were singing and praying?  What would you have been doing at midnight if that was you?Why didn’t Paul mention that he was a Roman citizen before he was beaten?  Why only the next day?Full teaching instructions free from Mission Bible Class:Bible Lesson: A Jailer Becomes a Christian Scriptures quoted from the International Children’s Bible®, copyright ©1986, 1988, 1999, 2015 by Tommy Nelson. Used by permission.Excerpts from Mission Bible Class used by permission.For questions or comments email: mary@missionbibleclass.org
Lydia becomes a Christian
Feb 23 2024
Lydia becomes a Christian
After sailing to Macedonia, Paul arrived in the city of Philippi.  When he found a group of women gathered beside a river praying, he told them about Jesus.  One of the women was Lydia, a businesswoman who sold expensive purple fabric. When Lydia heard about Jesus, she was baptised.  Then, everyone in her household was baptised, too.  Lydia was so happy that she invited Paul and his friends to stay at her house.Baptism was a natural response to the message about Jesus.  Use this opportunity to discuss the meaning of baptism.Bible verses used in this episode:Acts 16:10-15Romans 6:3-4,Acts 2:38, 41Acts 22:161 Peter 3:18-22Outline:Travel to Philippi (Acts 16:10-12)Lydia and her household were baptised (Acts 16:13-15)Tips for teaching children:Paul travelled on Roman roads. Older children can research the Via Egnatia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Via_EgnatiaExperiment with making purple dye from natural products (flowers, purple cabbage, beets, berries).  Children will enjoy dipping white cotton cloth in these.Tie-die a T-shirt shirt purple.Baptism Craft: Cut a small figure of a person from thick paper and tape or glue it on a stick like a puppet.  Cut a hole in the bottom of a plastic cup, then push the stick down into the cup and through the hole.  The stick will stick out the bottom of the cup, and the “person” will be inside. Lift the stick up and down, and the “person” appears to go in and out of the waters of baptism.  Tips for teaching adults:If practical and possible, organise the class to study this lesson by a stream, a river, a lake, or even a swimming pool, whatever works best.  Be sure to spend time in prayer. Make it more special by sharing a meal.  Although baptism was not a major focus of this lesson, it is important to note that the text explicitly mentions Lydia and her household being baptised.  You can ask the following discussion questions: 1) What body of water were you baptised in? A baptistery, a swimming pool, lake, or river? 2) What are some memories you have of the place you were baptised?  3) Who has experienced being baptised at the same time with family/friends? What was it like then and now? Full teaching instructions free from Mission Bible Class:Bible Lesson:  Lydia Becomes a Christian Scriptures quoted from the International Children’s Bible®, copyright ©1986, 1988, 1999, 2015 by Tommy Nelson. Used by permission.Excerpts from Mission Bible Class used by permission.For questions or comments email: mary@missionbibleclass.org
Paul's Macedonian Vision
Feb 16 2024
Paul's Macedonian Vision
Paul suggested to Barnabas that they re-visit the churches they had established on their 1st missionary journey.  Before leaving Antioch, he and Barnabas disagreed over who they should take with them, so they took different people and went to different places.  Paul re-visited churches and attempted to enter new areas to teach people about Jesus.  The Holy Spirit actively guided Paul and his companions, and one night, Paul had a vision of a man from the region of Macedonia standing and begging him to come and help. By entering Macedonia on this, his 2nd missionary journey, Paul will now taking the Gospel to Europe for the first time.Bible verses used in this episode:Acts 15:36 through 16:1-10Outline:A Rough Start to the Journey (Acts 15:36-41)Timothy joins Paul in Strengthening the Churches  (Acts 16:1-5)Missionaries Led by the Spirit (Acts 16:6-10)Tips for teaching children:Learn about missionaries.  You might interview one, send letters, or print pictures of places where missionaries work.Trace Paul’s missionary journey on a map.Sing  I Can Be a MissionaryTips for teaching adults:Look at a map of Paul’s 2nd mission journey to put his travels in context.  The show notes will have a link to the Viz Bible maps A good question that calls for some imagination is:  What might Timothy’s growing up be like in a mixed race and faith home? What challenges might he have faced?  What about those today growing up in a home with different ethnicities and faiths?  How can the church best serve them?Guide the class into exploring the possible dynamics of Barnabas and Paul not budging on their view of John Mark.  Who was right?  Why?  Who was wrong? Why?  Why do you think Paul was so adamant against John Mark joining them on this journey?  What is helpful to us as we read and reflect on this incident and its results?Full teaching instructions free from Mission Bible Class:Bible Lesson:  Macedonian Vision Scriptures quoted from the International Children’s Bible®, copyright ©1986, 1988, 1999, 2015 by Tommy Nelson. Used by permission.Excerpts from Mission Bible Class used by permission.For questions or comments email: mary@missionbibleclass.org
An Angry Crowd in Lystra
Feb 9 2024
An Angry Crowd in Lystra
The Holy Spirit directed the Antioch church to send Barnabas and Saul on a mission trip to teach people about Christ.  This trip is often called “Paul’s First Missionary Journey”.   One of the stops on this journey was the city of Lystra, where Paul healed a man who had never been able to walk.  A frenzied crowd first worshipped Paul and Barnabas as gods, then turned on them and stoned Paul.  Despite this, Paul miraculously stood up after the crowd left as if not injured.  After revisiting some of the previous stops, Paul and Barnabas returned to the Antioch church to tell them all of the things God had done.Bible verses used in this episode:Acts 14:8-23Outline:Response to a Miracle (Acts 14:8-13)Paul’s Sermon (Acts 14:14-18)Paul’s stoning and exit (Acts 14:19-20)Strengthening the churches (Acts 14:21-23)Tips for teaching children:Find Antioch, Lystra, Derbe and Iconium on a mapMake a relief map out of salt doughTalk about how the crowd became angry and stirred up.  Relate this to Proverbs 22:24-25Illustrate how one bad person can make a crowd turn bad. Build a tower of cards or blocks.  Pull out one piece from the bottom and watch the tower fall apart.Tips for teaching adults:Even though we only covered part of the 1st journey in this episode, I suggest you read the whole of ch.13-14.  In a class, the best way to do this is to divide the text up and assign different readers.  Reading the whole story makes it more compelling and helps to understand the context. Consult a map that outlines this 1st mission journey.  There is an excellent series of maps here: https://viz.bible/journeys/ © Copyright 2018 Robert RouseAsk a few people to calculate how many kilometres/miles they travelled on this journey.  Ask a few others to Google the average travel time on foot between the cities mentioned in chapters 13-14, considering the average travel time with a small group with supplies.Here are a few questions you can ask: 1) What can we learn about God from this story? 2) What can we learn about how to tell others the good news from this story? 3) Why is strengthening churches and forming leadership important to Paul’s purpose in planting churches? What can we learn from this for our churches today?Full teaching instructions free from Mission Bible Class:Bible Lesson:  An Angry Crowd in Lystra Scriptures quoted from the International Children’s Bible®, copyright ©1986, 1988, 1999, 2015 by Tommy Nelson. Used by permission.Excerpts from Mission Bible Class used by permission.For questions or comments email: mary@missionbibleclass.org
The Church in Antioch
Jan 26 2024
The Church in Antioch
Barnabas was already known as a great encourager, so when the church in Jerusalem heard about all of the new Gentile believers in Antioch, they sent Barnabas to help.  He encouraged the Antioch believers, and even more people followed King Jesus.  Then he travelled to Tarsus and found Paul so that Paul could come and help, too. This was a great mission-minded church.  Followers of Jesus were first called Christians at this church.Bible verses used in this episode:Acts 11:19-30  Acts 12:25-13:3  Outline:Barnabas and Saul and the Christians at Antioch (Acts 11:19-26) Sending Help to Jerusalem (Acts 11:27-30)Ready for Mission (Acts 12:25 through 13:3)Tips for teaching children:Sing the song “I am a C-H-R-I-S-T-I-A-N” Discuss the meaning of courage and how encouraging someone is to give them courage.Look up Jerusalem, Antioch and Tarsus on a map.Tips for teaching adults:Discuss some of the issues that may come up in a multi-cultural / multi-ethnic congregation.Discuss the name “Christian” and how it is used today.  In what contexts is it used negatively or positively?  Is it the best name to designate followers of Jesus?  Why or why not?  Full teaching instructions free from Mission Bible Class:Bible Lesson:  The Antioch Church Scriptures quoted from the International Children’s Bible®, copyright ©1986, 1988, 1999, 2015 by Tommy Nelson. Used by permission.Excerpts from Mission Bible Class used by permission.For questions or comments email: mary@missionbibleclass.org
Cornelius Becomes a Christian
Jan 19 2024
Cornelius Becomes a Christian
Until the conversion of Cornelius, the gospel message had been preached almost exclusively to Jewish people.  Any Gentile (anyone not born into a Jewish family) who wanted to follow Jesus would have first converted to Judaism.  But the good news of Jesus was for everyone and not just the Jews.  God used a vision of animals on a sheet and a miraculous pouring out of the Holy Spirit to reveal this important truth to the Apostle Peter and those he was teaching.  Following this, Peter baptised Cornelius, a Roman centurion, making Cornelius the first Gentile to become a Christian.God wants everyone to hear about Him and become Christians.Bible verses used in this episode:Acts 10:1-11:181 Timothy 2:4Outline:(Acts 10:1-8) In Caesarea: An angel comes to Cornelius in a vision and tells him to send for Peter.(Acts 10:9-23a) In Joppa: Peter has a vision and then decides to accompany messengers (Acts 10:23b-48) In Caesarea again: Cornelius is convertedCornelius welcomes Peter into his home Peter makes a speechThe Holy Spirit came upon Cornelius and the other Gentiles he had gathered.(Acts 11:1-18) In Jerusalem: Peter explains everything to the Jewish ChristiansTips for teaching children:Define the words “Jew” and “Gentile”Make a collage of pictures. To do this, you can first have children copy the words of 1 Timothy 2:4 on the centre of a paper or poster.  Surround these words with pictures of people.  These pictures could be ones you have gathered from magazines or downloaded from the internet and printed.  Children will enjoy cutting these out and glueing them to the poster.  If you prefer, the children can draw pictures of people instead of cutting and gluing.Tips for teaching adults:This is a long story, but it needs to be read in class.  Divide the story into sections.  The best way is to do it according to the different scenes in the story.  Look for scene changes.  For instance, scene 1 would be 10:1-8, scene 2 would be v.9-16 and so on.  Choose a reader for each scene, and have the reader stand in a certain place in the room to read.  This would represent the different scenes in the story.  Then, read the story. Ask the class to reflect on the two primary characters: Cornelius and Peter.  What boundaries did Cornelius cross to become a devout follower of the God of the Jews?  How had his life already changed?  What boundaries did Peter have to cross to interact with Cornelius? Ask the class these questions: What are some good things about boundaries?  What are some bad things about boundaries? Follow up with: What boundaries do you still need to cross for the sake of the gospel?   What boundaries must our congregation cross to take the gospel to people?Full teaching instructions free from Mission Bible Class:Bible Lesson:  Cornelius Becomes a Christian Scriptures quoted from the International Children’s Bible®, copyright ©1986, 1988, 1999, 2015 by Tommy Nelson. Used by permission.Excerpts from Mission Bible Class used by permission.For questions or comments email: mary@missionbibleclass.org
Peter Raises Dorcas from the Dead
Jan 12 2024
Peter Raises Dorcas from the Dead
Dorcas (or Tabitha) was a woman who “was always doing good and helping the poor” in her city of Joppa. When she died, everyone was very sad, and they called Peter to come to her house. When Peter arrived, all the widows were crying and showing the clothing that Dorcas had made for them. Peter sent all of them out of the room and then, by the power of God, made Dorcas come back to life.Bible verses used in this episode:Acts 9:36-43Galatians 6:10Outline:Dorcas dies (Acts 9:36-37)Peter raises Dorcas (Acts 9:38-41)Many in Joppa believe in Jesus (Acts 9:42-43)Tips for teaching children: Find the cities of Joppa and Lydda on Google Maps.  These are in the area of modern-day Tel-Aviv, Israel.  Joppa is now Jaffa and Lydda is now Lod.For a craft, sew something.  Make it simple, like sewing a button onto fabric.Visit a facility that provides clothing to people in need. Collect used clothing to donate.Tips for teaching adults:Message everyone before class (give them plenty of time) and ask them to bring a clothing item someone had made – something knitted, sewn or crocheted.  It could be a dress someone, a cardigan or sweater, someone knitted or a pair of booties someone crocheted for them as a baby.  Any piece of clothing will do. During the class, ask the members to show their clothing items and explain why each is special to them.  Share the story if there is a story connected to it. After this, talk about the story in Acts 9 and the importance of leaving a good legacy to be remembered.Challenge the class with these questions: “How do you want to be remembered?”  and “What are you doing to be remembered this way?”Full teaching instructions free from Mission Bible Class:Bible Lesson:  Dorcas is Raised from the Dead Scriptures quoted from the International Children’s Bible®, copyright ©1986, 1988, 1999, 2015 by Tommy Nelson. Used by permission.Excerpts from Mission Bible Class used by permission.For questions or comments email: mary@missionbibleclass.org
The Conversion of Saul (Paul)
Jan 5 2024
The Conversion of Saul (Paul)
Saul (later known by his Roman name, Paul) threatened and hurt followers of Jesus.  On the way to persecute disciples in Damascus, Saul experienced an encounter with Jesus that changed his life. Following his baptism, Saul immediately began preaching the truth about Jesus, making the astonished Jews in Damascus plot to kill him. One night, the disciples snuck Saul over the city walls in a basket. He went on to Jerusalem but was not safe there either.  Saul's life was immediately and completely changed by Jesus.  He continued to preach about Jesus for the rest of his life and often suffered because of it.  Bible verses used in this episode:Acts 9:1-31Outline:Saul’s Conversion (Acts 9:1-19)Preaching in Damascus (Acts 9:20-25)Saul and the Jerusalem church (Acts 9:26-31) Tips for teaching children:Define “persecution”.  Persecution means being hurt for believing something.Display a map so children can find the places mentioned in this story (Jerusalem, Damascus, Caesarea and Tarsus).  This can also include the regions of Judea, Galilee and Samaria.Make a craft with a figure of Saul inside a basket.Draw an outline of the shape of a man (Saul).  As children learn about Saul, they can add words or pictures to the inside of the outline.Tips for teaching adults:Tell the story of how you became a follower of Jesus.  Ask students to share their story.  Are there any similarities between the stories?  Are there any significant differences? Ask the class: “In what ways has your understanding of what it means to follow Jesus changed since you became a follower?”  Be sure to give the class time to think about this.  Full teaching instructions free from Mission Bible Class:Bible Lesson:  Saul (Paul) Becomes a Christian Scriptures quoted from the International Children’s Bible®, copyright ©1986, 1988, 1999, 2015 by Tommy Nelson. Used by permission.Excerpts from Mission Bible Class used by permission.For questions or comments email: mary@missionbibleclass.org
Phillip & the Ethiopian Official
Dec 9 2023
Phillip & the Ethiopian Official
Title:Philip followed instructions from an angel of the Lord and went to a very important man riding in a chariot. The man was a chief official of the Queen of Ethiopia. He was reading from a scroll of Isaiah but could not understand it. Philip joined him in the chariot and explained that the Scripture was talking about Jesus.  The man began to believe in Jesus, and when the chariot passed by some water, the official asked Philip to baptise him (and he did!)Bible verses used in this episode:Acts 8:26-40Outline:An angel directs Philip where to go (Acts 8:26-29)Philip taught and baptised an important man from Ethiopia (Acts 8:30-38)The two men each go a separate way (Acts 8:39-40)Tips for teaching children:Show the locations of this story on a map. Make a chariot or scroll craft.Invite a Bible teacher, elder, preacher or other church leader to attend your Bible class as a guest.  Ask them to talk about helping people understand the Bible.Sing the song: Roll, Roll, Chariot Roll. Tips for teaching adults:To get a feel for what the eunuch was reading and the challenge of Phillip, have the class read out loud a larger section from the place he was reading from.  Have the class read Isaiah 52:7–56:8.  You can divide the text into sections and have different members read a section.  Ask the class, “How would you preach Jesus using only this section from Isaiah? Or using only the book of Isaiah?”Show the locations of this story on a map. Here is a more detailed map showing Philip's travels.  Full teaching instructions free from Mission Bible Class:Bible Lesson:  Philip Teaches the Man from Ethiopia Scriptures quoted from the International Children’s Bible®, copyright ©1986, 1988, 1999, 2015 by Tommy Nelson. Used by permission.Excerpts from Mission Bible Class used by permission.For questions or comments email: mary@missionbibleclass.org
Simon the Sorcerer
Dec 2 2023
Simon the Sorcerer
Philip was one of the original seven helpers in the church.  When he preached in Samaria, a well-known sorcerer (or magician) named Simon believed and became a Christian. Simon had only ever done clever magic tricks, so he was amazed when he saw real miracles performed. When the apostles came to Samaria, Simon noticed that they laid hands on people to give them the power to do miracles. Simon wanted to have that power. He offered to pay lots of money if the apostles would sell him the same power they had. One of the apostles, Peter, told Simon that no one can buy the power of God. God gives the power.Bible verses used in this episode:Acts 8:5-25Psalm 77:14Outline:Philip preaches in Samaria (Acts 8:5-13)The Apostles preach in Samaria (Acts 8:14-25)Tips for teaching children:Draw a line down the centre of a sheet of paper from top to bottom to form two columns.  At the top of one column, write “Philip”, and at the top of the other, write “Simon”. Ask the class to read over the Scripture again and jot down what we learned about each of these men.  Once this has been completed, then go on to compare and contrast their teachings, actions and motivations. How are they similar? How are they different? Who do we want to be like?Research to find a simple magic trick.  Perform the trick for the children and then explain how you did it.  Discuss the difference between a trick and a miracle. Tips for teaching adults: As the teacher, here are some questions to ask that will help the class think about and reflect on the text:From this text, what do we learn about Philip? What is significant about Philip going to Samaria to preach the good news of King Jesus?  Ask the class to think about what they know about Jesus and the Samaritans from the Gospels and how this relates to this story in Acts 8. Think about ethnically diverse people trying to worship together. What are some challenges these new Samaritan believers may face being embraced by the well-established Jewish believers?What have you done to embrace others who are ethnically different from you?In the days before the class, contact a couple of class members and ask them to research the ‘Samaritans’.  They should consider the Samaritans' origin, history, beliefs, symbols, and relationship with Jews.  Ask these members to be prepared to share their findings in the next class time.  To help with the research, provide the following links:International Standard Bible Encyclopedia OnlineBible Study ToolsFull teaching instructions free from Mission Bible Class:Bible Lesson:  Simon the Sorcerer Scriptures quoted from the International Children’s Bible®, copyright ©1986, 1988, 1999, 2015 by Tommy Nelson. Used by permission.Excerpts from Mission Bible Class used by permission.For questions or comments email: mary@missionbibleclass.org
Stoning of Stephen
Nov 25 2023
Stoning of Stephen
Stephen preached to people about Jesus and God. Some of the Jews got so angry about this that they told lies about Stephen and had him taken before the Jewish court (Sanhedrin). Stephen bravely preached a sermon about how people like them had rejected God before.  And now they had rejected Jesus, the one God wanted Israel to follow as their leader and king. Some of the Jews became so angry at Stephen that they threw stones at him until he died. Stephen was the first martyr of the Christian faith.From this time forward, followers of Jesus were treated very badly, and many left Jerusalem to live in other places.  Everywhere they went, Christians told about Jesus.Bible verses used in this episode:Acts 6:8- 8:41 Corinthians 1:8 Outline:Stephen is arrested (Acts 6:8-15)The Sermon (Acts 7:1-53)Stephen is killed (Acts 7:54-8:1)The Christians suffer (Acts 8:2-4)Tips for teaching children:Explain the word "martyr" (A person killed because of religious or other beliefs).Use the thoughtful illustrations found at Free Bible Images to help children better understand the story.Guide the children in painting rocks.  You could write “remember Stephen” or “Acts 7” or “be brave” on them.Tips for teaching adults:Try out this excellent resource for leading small group Bible classes: Serendipity Bible  (available on Amazon) Ask the class to consider the sermon (Acts 7) and respond to the following questions: What are some of the themes of the sermon? Where did God appear to Abram, Joseph and Moses in relation to the land of      Canaan? What might be significant about this?In the past, when God sent leaders to his people, how did they respond? (refer to verse 35) Note to the teacher: To ask better questions, you should...Ask questions encouraging students to probe the text of Scripture you are studying. Avoid questions that require a “yes” or “no” response.  Instead, ask open-ended questions, questions that require explanation and elaboration. Ask questions that challenge the class members to reflect on the text and reflect on their lives.  Full teaching instructions free from Mission Bible Class:Bible Lesson:  The Stoning of Stephen Scriptures quoted from the International Children’s Bible®, copyright ©1986, 1988, 1999, 2015 by Tommy Nelson. Used by permission.Excerpts from Mission Bible Class used by permission.For questions or comments email: mary@missionbibleclass.org