Hello 😊 Hope you’ve had a good week off and enjoyed the break from me!! Despite lockdown being in place again for us, I had a good few days doing fun stuff with the other Peacocks and enjoyed the sunshine. 🤗
This week we carry on with Acts and we’re at Chapter 11 verses 19-30.
Things You’ll Need
- Pens, crayons, pencils
- Rocks to paint
- Paint to paint rocks
- Any of the printable activities
Get a piece of paper and a pen. Set a stopwatch or time yourself for 3 minutes and see how many encouraging phrases or words you can come up with! Here’s a few to get you started:
“That’s ace, you’re doing so well!”, “Amazing!”, “You’re so good at that.” And “Keep going, don’t give up!”
See who can be the most encouraging in your household 😊
In today’s passage, we meet Barnabas again. Can you remember what his name means? It means ‘son of encouragement’, hence your challenge! Maybe you could go a step further this week and see how many times you can use some of the words or phrases you came up with? 🤔
Here is the passage from the International Children’s Bible:
Acts Chapter 11:19-30
Many of the believers were scattered by the terrible things that happened after Stephen was killed. Some of them went to places as far away as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch. They were telling the message to others, but only to Jews. Some of these believers were men from Cyprus and Cyrene.
When they came to Antioch, they spoke also to Greeks, telling them the Good News about the Lord Jesus. The Lord was helping the believers. And a large group of people believed and turned to the Lord. The church in Jerusalem heard about all of this, so they sent Barnabas to Antioch. Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and full of faith. When he reached Antioch and saw how God had blessed the people, he was glad. He encouraged all the believers in Antioch. He told them, “Never lose your faith. Always obey the Lord with all your hearts.” Many people became followers of the Lord. Then Barnabas went to the city of Tarsus to look for Saul.
When he found Saul, he brought him to Antioch. And for a whole year Saul and Barnabas met with the church. They taught many people there. In Antioch the followers were called Christians for the first time. About that time some prophets came from Jerusalem to Antioch. One of them was named Agabus. He stood up and spoke with the help of the Holy Spirit. He said, “A very hard time is coming to the whole world. There will be no food for people to eat.” (This happened when Claudius ruled.) The followers all decided to help their brothers who lived in Judea. Each one planned to send them as much as he could. They gathered the money and gave it to Barnabas and Saul, who brought it to the elders in Judea.
There weren’t many for this passage!
An animated sketch one.
From Saddleback Kids for 7-11s.
Age 3-7s: After watching, reading or re-telling the story ask:
- Can you remember what Barnabas means? (Son of encouragement, explain)
- Who else was in our story today? (Saul)
In the story today, we hear how more people are hearing about the good news of Jesus in a place called Antioch (in Turkey) and becoming followers and so Barnabas and Saul stay there for a whole year to help teach the church there. It also told us that a man called Agabus felt the Holy Spirit tell them that there was going to be no food for a lot of people soon and so the church decided they would help. They gave money to Saul and Barnabas to take with them to help Christians in Judea when the famine came.
What a great story to show us that when we follow Jesus, we should be ready to help anyone in whatever way we can.
- How can you help someone this week?
- Barnabas was good at letting people know how well they were doing this and to keep going even when things were tough because he knew that’s what Jesus would do. Can you be good at that this week?
Age 7-11s: After watching, reading or re-telling the story ask:
- Does anything stand out to you from the story today? Any questions?
- What does Barnabas mean? (Son of encouragement)
- How does the passage describe him? (Good man, full of faith and the Holy Spirit)
- Where did Barnabas travel from to get to Antioch? (Jerusalem)
- Who did he go to find in Tarsus? (Saul)
- How long did Saul and Barnabas stay in Antioch? (1 year)
- What were they doing there? (teaching the church)
- Agabus prophesied that there was going to be a famine. How did the church respond? (They decided to send help to those in Judea)
The story today continues to tell us how even after the stoning of Stephen and people fled to other places to try to keep safe, they still told others about the good news of Jesus wherever they went. And that more people became Christians because of that. When Christians in Jerusalem heard that more people were following Jesus in Antioch, they sent Barnabas to see how things were going. We hear again of what a good guy Barnabas was and how he was full of the Holy Spirit and faith and that he was chuffed with how the church was getting on in Antioch and he encouraged them to keep going. More people became Christians and so he went to Tarsus to get Saul to help teach the church here. They stayed for a year, which probably meant they got to teach a lot of people a lot about Jesus and God and what it means to live for His glory. We also learn that it is here that the followers first get called ‘Christians’, which means ‘Christ-like’ or ‘follower of Christ’- a name that has stuck with us all this time! It might have been a joke to start with, but it’s used now to tell people what you believe.
Then we hear a prophecy that talks about a famine that’s going to come and hit hard. We see that the Christians heard this and decided to act by giving what they could to Saul and Barnabas to bring to those who would need it in Judea.
The challenges from the story today could be these:
- Do we still see telling other people about Jesus as important?
- Would we help teach someone about Jesus for over a year if they needed us to?
- Do you think people would call us Christian because we are like Christ-like in how we live and act or because they know our beliefs or both?
- If we heard a prophecy about the future, would we have enough faith to respond to it before it happened?
Some tough challenges there for us to think about! Sometimes it’s easy to give an answer but harder to do in reality. The good news is that when we’re honest with Jesus, He is more than ready to help give us more faith, more of the Holy Spirit and whatever we need to live more like Him, just like it says in the passage ‘The Lord was helping the believers’.
- As usual, there’s a few printable things to get on with if you fancy.
- Why not have a go at painting some rocks with your words of encouragement for the game idea? Something like these but with more colour?? You can leave them in your street or park for others to find and be encouraged!
- Perhaps you could make a card for someone you’d like to encourage? You could use one of the phrases you thought of at the beginning, find a helpful bible verse, or just send a lovely encouraging card to someone 😊
- You could think of your own idea to encourage someone and share it with us online at church 😊
What better than the following to mark the first time followers of Jesus are called Christians than this?!
(And it never gets annoying….)
Extra bonus points to anyone brave enough to give us a demo on Sunday!!!