Sunday 28th June
Theme: Conversion of Saul
Target Age Group: 3 - 9
Approximate Time: 20 – 30 mins
Signs give us information which helps us make the right decisions but when we choose to ignore them we can put ourselves or others in potential danger. Likewise when we ignore God’s plan and commandments we can hurt ourselves, others or offend God. However, today’s story of the conversion of Saul is the story of someone who was directly setting out to hurt the body of Christ and yet Jesus came and found him. Though Saul was living blindly, the encounter with Jesus enabled him to see. We ask God to help us to see him in our lives ad desire to please him too.
Icebreaker: 2 Truths and a Lie
Come up with three statements about yourself. Two of them need to be true and one of them false although you ca say them in any order to confuse people. See if they can guess which one is false.
Starter Activity: Warning Signs
Have a look at the power-point slide and see if you can guess what the following warning signs are telling you?
As a challenge for the rest of the day – if you go out over the weekend, take notice of how many signs you see. What types of signs are in your area and what information do they give you?
Point: Warning signs are there for our safety and protection. They give us the vital information we need to make the right choices but if we ignore them, the consequences can be severe. Think about the signs you have just seen. What might happen if you chose to ignore them?
Song: Trading my sorrows
Play the song ‘Trading my sorrows’
Scripture: Conversion of Saul in Acts 9:1-19
Read the story of the conversion of Saul I Acts 9:1-19
Or watch the story using the following link;
1. What was Saul asking the High Priest for at the start of the story?
2. What happened to Saul on the way to Damascus?
3. What does Jesus say to Saul?
4. What does the Lord ask Ananias to do?
5. Why is Ananias nervous?
6. What happens after Ananias prays for Saul?
Signs are everywhere and they give you the information you need to make the right choices. But if we ignore those signs, things can go wrong and we can put ourselves in danger. For example, if a driver ignores a red traffic light, he is in danger of crashing the car. If we ignore the red man, we are more at risk of being hit by a car. Imagine you ignore a one-way sign and find yourself going the wrong way down a one-way system – you would need a dramatic turnaround as quickly as possible otherwise you would be in real danger of crashing.
In today’s story, Saul was a man who missed the signs and, as a result his life was going in the wrong direction. He was a teacher of the Jewish law and yet had completely missed the signs in scripture that said that a Messiah would come. In fact, he was so convinced that the early Christians were wrong about Jesus that he was arresting, locking up and even killing those who said Jesus had risen from the dead. Yet on the road to Damascus, Saul encounters a blinding light that knocks him off his horse and a voice from heaven that says, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’ Even then, when he comes into direct contact with Jesus, Saul is still struggling to understand the sign and asks; ‘Who are you, Lord?’
Amazingly, given his record of persecuting and killing Christians the Lord still has a plan for Saul’s life. In verse 15, the Lord says to Ananias; ‘This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel.’ We would be surprised wouldn’t we if the next vicar St Jude’s appointed was someone with a track record like Saul’s. In fact, like Ananias, we would probably be a bit concerned. But Ananias shows heroic faith and trust in God and goes to visit Saul, declaring ‘Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’ The passage describes that immediately scales fell away from Saul’s eyes and he could see again. Saul can now both physically see, and spiritually, he can now see the truth about Jesus.
Like Saul, we are all of great value and worth to God. We’re kind of like a coin, made in the image of our king with God’s image stamped on our hearts. God calls us to have a relationship with him that is pure and holy but when we do things that are wrong it hurts either ourselves, others or hurts God. It spoils our relationship with God and makes it hard for us to see him. But, like he did for Saul, God desires to reach into our lives, to rescue us from our harmful habits and give us a fresh start. Jesus has already paid the price for our sin but we do need to recognise where we’ve gone wrong and ask God to help us go in the right direction. We don’t need to wait for a blinding lights, voice in the sky moment either. We can have God’s love and guidance today because, like Saul, God loves you and has a plan for your life.
Song: Amazing Grace (My Chains are gone)
Play the song Amazing Grace (My Chains are gone) by
Craft Activity: Saul masks
You will Need: Lollipop sticks, 2x Face Mask Templates (Or draw your own), Felt tips / colouring pencils, Glue, scissors
If you have access to a printer, print the face templates ad then draw / colour two identical masks (one for Saul and one for Paul). On Saul’s mask you may wat to draw a sad mouth and blind eyes whereas on the Paul mask you might want to draw a smiling face and bright eyes (As shown). You can either cut the faces out and stick them to different lollipop sticks (As shown) or you could glue them to opposite sides of the same lollipop stick so you ca flip it round to show Saul’s conversion.
Prayer Activity: Open the eyes of my heart, Lord
Play the song ‘Open the eyes of my heart Lord using the following link. Join in with the actions and use this as your prayer response to God today
You may also want to spend some time praying for people you know that don’t yet know God and pray that their eyes are opened in a similar way to Saul’s.