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Paul – total turnaround

Bible heroes and villains series

Gather

Have pictures and maps of the road to Damascus and the journey Saul was on. You could also have maps of Paul’s missionary journeys.

Introduce the theme

Ask the group to think about times when they have changed their mind. What makes you change your mind?

Gathering activity

Play sharks.

Put a mat or parachute in the middle of the room to be an island. 

The group are in the sea around the island, and move around in the style of whatever sea creature you call out – fish, crab, octopus, etc. 

When you call ‘tide turns’ they must change direction. When you call ‘sharks’ they have to get on the island quickly. The last on the island is out. 

People could also be out for not changing direction quickly enough.

 

 

Open the Word

Read Acts 9.1-18, which tells of Saul’s dramatic turnaround. 

Saul was destroying the early Christian Church, but God stopped him in his tracks, and his life was never the same again. Paul became the first large-scale missionary, carrying the gospel across the empire to Jews and gentiles alike. We too can have our lives turned around when we meet Jesus, and channel our efforts into serving God rather than fighting against him.

 

 

Respond

Get the message out

Make model boats.

You will need: paper; card; plastic tubs and boxes; sticky tape; a bowl of water.

Invite the group to make collective or individual boats using the items provided. Explain that their boat should be ‘seaworthy’.

Once all have completed their task (give them a time limit) have a competition to see who has made the most seaworthy craft by floating them in a bowl of water. 

Explain that Paul’s new relationship with God took him all over the empire spreading the gospel. When we follow God we don’t know where we will end up. 

Journeying

You will need: a large sheet of paper (lining paper would be ideal); A5 sheets of paper; pens; scissors.

Beforehand, draw a road along the sheet of paper, to represent the road to Damascus.
Invite the group to draw or cut out pictures of themselves walking.

On the sheet of paper write ‘Help us to keep walking in the right direction’. 

Invite group members to stick their self-portrait onto the paper and pray together that God will help you walk in the direction he wants.

End with the closing prayer:

For the times when we have been less than heroic,
Lord we are sorry.
For the times we have not used our hero talents,
Lord we are sorry.
Give us the courage not to hide our potential
but to be generous,
not to dismiss others but to celebrate their gifts.
Encourage us to follow the example of ____ and have a go at being heroes.
Amen.

 

Session material on Bible heroes:

Session material on Bible heroes:


Material on Bible 'villains'

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