Choose any of these children's learning activities.
Prayer. “Dear Lord, please help the believers to gather people in their homes, tell them about Jesus and worship you.”
Let an older child or teacher read or tell by memory the story of the Philippian Jailer from Acts 16:22-36. It shows how a family worshipped God in their home.
After telling the story, ask these questions. [The answers appear after each question.]
· How did the magistrates treat Paul and Silas? [Verses 23-24]
What were Paul and
Silas doing in prison at midnight?
Why did the jailor want
to kill himself?
How did the jailor find
salvation for himself and his family?
· At what hour of the night was the jailor and his family baptized? [Verses 25 & 32-34]
Dramatize parts of the story of the jailer and his family.
· Arrange with the leader of the main congregational worship for the children to present this brief drama.
· Use your time with the children to prepare the drama. You do not have to use all the parts.
· Let older children help the smaller ones to prepare the drama.
· Let older children or adults play these parts:
Jailor. Find strings to represent two chains, and something to represent a sword.
Narrator. Summarize the story. Prepare a stack of rocks or books on the edge of a table.
· Let younger children play the parts of Silas, Magistrate, Prisoners, and Jailor’s family
Narrator: Tell the first part of the story, from Acts 16:22-28. Then say, “Hear what the magistrate says.”
Magistrate: “Jailer! Put Paul and Silas in prison. Beat them. And guard them carefully!”
Jailor: Wrap their ankles with the ‘chains’ (Do not tie knots.). Then say, “I will chain them in the inner cell and guard them with my life.”
Paul and Silas: Sit under a table and sing a song.
Jailer: “Earthquake!” (Shake the table so the rocks or books fall.)
Paul and Silas: Take off the ‘chains’ and stand up.
Prisoners: “We are free! The doors are open.”
Jailor: Raise the sword. Say, “Oh no! The prisoners got loose. I must kill myself!”
Paul: Shout, “No, sir! Do not kill yourself. We are all here!”
Narrator: Tell the second part of the story from Acts 16:29-33. Then say, “Hear what the jailor says.”
Jailor: “Bring a light! I want to see Paul and Silas.” Then kneel before Paul and Silas and ask loudly, “What must I do to be saved?”
Paul: “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you and your family will be saved.”
Jailor’s family: “We want to believe in Jesus, too.”
Jailor: “Please let me clean your wounds. Then we will all be baptized tonight.”
Narrator: Tell the third part of the story from Acts 16:34-36. Then say, “Hear what the jailor says to Paul and Silas.”
Jailor: “I am filled with joy because my entire family has believed and been baptized. Come, we have food for you in my house.”
Magistrate: Knock on the table top and say, “Good morning, Jailor. You can let Paul and Silas go free now.”
Jailor: “Brothers, thank you for bringing my family the good news of Jesus. Go in peace!”
Narrator or older child: When the drama is over thank everyone who helped with it.
Questions. If the children dramatize this story for the adults, let them also ask the adults the questions that you answered (above).
Ask the children: What are examples of ways that we can worship and serve God in our homes?
Draw a simple picture of a house that is typical in your town. Let the children copy it and show the pictures to the adults at the worship time and explain that we can worship God at home or anywhere.
Memorize John 4:24.
Poem. Let three children each recite two of the verses from Psalm 136:1-6. Ask the entire group to repeat after each phrase,” His love endures forever”.
Let older children write poems or songs about meeting in homes to worship.
Prayer. “Dear Lord, thank you that we can worship you anywhere and at anytime. It does not matter if we are a very small group. Thank you that you bring our entire families to you. Help us to worship you with our whole heart.”