Hey everyone, how’s it all going? Got any jokes? 🤣
This week we carry on with the book of Acts and we’re up to Chapter 6 1-7. This short passage sees the early church deal with a bit of conflict within itself.
Things you’ll need for all activities this week:
- Colouring pens/pencils/crayons
- ‘God’s Story: Stephen’ rhombicuboctahedron(!) printed out. (A head start on next week’s passage.)
- Colouring sheet printed out
Which of the following would you choose?
1. It’s nearly your birthday. Who should make you a cake?
- Your next door neighbour’s 2 year old
- Your parents/carers
2. There’s a huge tree that needs chopping down. Who should do this?
- A builder
- A qualified tree surgeon
- A nurse
3. There’s a football match about to be played. Who should make sure the rules are followed?
- The fans
- The goalie
- The referee
4. Your bedroom is a mess. Who should tidy it up?
- Your parents/carers
- The postman
Here is the passage from the International Children’s Bible:
Acts Chapter 6 :1-7
‘More and more people were becoming followers of Jesus. But during this same time, the Greek-speaking followers had an argument with the other Jewish followers. The Greek-speaking Jews said that their widows were not getting their share of the food that was given out every day. 2 The 12 apostles called the whole group of followers together. They said, “It is not right for us to stop our work of teaching God’s word in order to serve tables. 3 So, brothers, choose seven of your own men. They must be men who are good. They must be full of wisdom and full of the Spirit. We will put them in charge of this work. 4 Then we can use all our time to pray and to teach the word of God.”
5 The whole group liked the idea. So they chose these seven men: Stephen (a man with great faith and full of the Holy Spirit), Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas (a man from Antioch who had become a Jew). 6 Then they put these men before the apostles. The apostles prayed and laid their hands on the men.
7 The word of God was reaching more and more people. The group of followers in Jerusalem became larger and larger. A great number of the Jewish priests believed and obeyed.’
Both videos are quite dry and may need a bit of explanation.
This is from ‘The Visual Bible’ and shows that bible passage acted out, basically.
This one is similar in it’s use of language but is an animation. It also goes beyond verse 7 to verse 15.
This is an audio version. Stop it at 1:10 if you don’t want the whole of Chapter 6.
Ages 3-7: For the younger ages of the group, you’ll probably want to paraphrase the story, but the older ones will be able to read this with you 😊
It’s a fairly straight forward passage, but the things to highlight for younger children is that firstly, there were some people who weren’t being treated fairly and secondly, that in church everyone has a job to do, or a part to play. Even the youngest of us can contribute somehow to church life. When we were back in the building, we could all help tidy up and pack away, for example. Over Zoom, we can share the things we’ve made, share our prayers and thoughts on the Chat facility. When we’re not meeting as church, we carry on doing our job as a Christian to show Jesus to everyone.
- Have you ever felt left out? What happened?
- Have you ever seen something, or heard about something that wasn’t fair for others? Maybe you’ve been treated unfairly before. What happened? Did it get sorted out?
Perhaps your child/ren have been aware of the Black Lives Matter campaign, or other matters of equality. In the passage, we see the group of Greek speaking Jews were speaking up at their widows not getting the same share as the other Jewish widows. Link this to the BLM campaign.
- What did the apostles do to make sure all the widows were treated fairly?
- What do you do to make sure people are treated fairly and included?
The 7 men were given a new job to do for church- they had to make sure every widow, no matter what language they spoke or where they came from, would be treated the same. They will have had to make sure all the food and things was shared equally and they might have had to listen to people’s ideas and complaints about it all and sort out arguments.
- What job could you do for church? (Help your child/ren see how even at their age, they can contribute and serve. Remind them we are the body of Christ and all have a part to play.)
Ages 7-11: This week, the passage is straightforward (and short!) enough for children to read themselves.
- Have you got any thoughts, questions or does anything stick out to you about the passage today?
- What was a problem that the early church was having in this passage? (widows being treated fairly in the distribution of food, with Jewish background believers not treating the Greek background believers fairly)
- How did the 12 disciples suggest this problem be solved? (by appointing 7 men, some from Jewish and some from Greek backgrounds to be in charge of the daily distribution of food)
- Why do you think they had to be ‘full of the Spirit’ to do this job?
- What did the 12 disciples want to focus on? (praying and preaching the word of God)
In the passage, the 7 men were given a new job to do for church- they had to make sure every widow, no matter what language they spoke or where they came from, would be treated the same. They will have had to make sure all the food and things was shared equally and they might have had to listen to people’s ideas and complaints about it all and sort out arguments.
- Have you ever been treated unfairly? Talk about what happened and how it felt. Was it resolved?
Perhaps your child/ren have been aware of the Black Lives Matter campaign, or other matters of equality. In the passage, we see the group of Greek speaking Jews were speaking up for their widows not getting the same share as the other Jewish widows. Link this to the BLM campaign.
- Do you try to make sure people are treated fairly?
- Have you heard of Marcus Rashford? What do you know about him?
He is using his influence as a top footballer to help those who are being missed out at the moment. He is trying to make sure all children in this country have food, and those who would usually get a meal at school, still get one. He knows that there are children who live in families that can’t afford to eat 3 meals a day and he has seen a way that he can help, he has seen a role that he can do to help.
- Can you think of any roles, jobs or ways you can help serve church and your community? When we were back in the building, we could all help tidy up and pack away, for example. Over Zoom, we can share the things we’ve made, share our prayers and thoughts on the Chat facility. When we’re not meeting, we carry on doing our job as a Christian to show Jesus to everyone.
We are all part of the body of Christ and when we all play our parts, doing the things we are best suited to, as well as things we can all do, much more can be done to spread God’s love and salvation through Jesus.
- Print and colour this picture of Stephen helping to feed the widows
- Print off the ‘God’s Story: Stephen’ rhombicuboctahedron(!) (It’s the name of an object that has eight triangular and eighteen square faces, don’t cha know…) Start colouring each section so you can start assembling it for completion for next week! (Next week we look at the story of Stephen and this craft is quite time consuming, so it’d be good to get a head start with it 😊
- On a piece of paper, write the name of the 7 men chosen. Write/draw 7 ideas of ways you can serve God, be it at church or elsewhere!
- The charity FareShare has a great website with ideas for fundraising and how you could support them.
For ages 7-11: A quiz to test your knowledge of the passage! (I personally don’t like the phrasing of the 2nd answer. You might like to have a chat about how all the roles are important.
SONG: Here’s a song from Ian (one of my faves 😁)