Scripture: Acts 15:40-17:15
- Students will learn Paul and Silas had a younger member in their missionary team named Timothy.
- Students will learn sharing the news about Jesus sometimes meant Paul and Silas were thrown in prison or had other negative consequences from people who did not want to obey God..
- Students will learn God may use circumstances and people to show them places to travel and move to share the good news about Jesus with others.
- Students will complete a service project where they will create car activity bags for children when they visit their family members in jail.
Guiding Question: How does encouraging children show them God’s love?
Materials: Small-medium sized canvas tote bags, fabric markers, small toys/puzzles/games etc.
Procedure: Review the story of Paul and Silas in jail from the scriptures above. Explain how even in a tough situation, Paul and Silas found joy because they knew God. Other prisoners did not know that same joy because they did not know God. Ask the students how being joyful in God in negative situations can help others learn about God. Explain that God can use any situation – good or bad – to share the Gospel. Tell the students that there are many children today who have one or more family members in jail. There are groups and ministries that work to help take these children to visit their family. Explain that often the prisons are far away and could take several hours to get to.
Introduce the service project. Tell the students that they are going to create car activity bags to provide a local organization that takes children to visit family members in jail. (Have researched and spoken with this group or ministry prior to the activity in order to best meet their needs). Have the students decorate the tote bags and write encouraging words/phrases on them. Then, have the students fill the bags with different activity items.
Additional Questions: How can students minister to those in a jail or rehab facility?
Supplemental Activity: Contact local prisons or rehab facilities to gather information about their rules regarding outside letters and who they would be given to. If letters are able to be received, have the students write encouraging letters to those at the facility you choose.