Use this children’s Sunday School lesson to teach kids about listening for and listening to God’s voice.
Needed: Bibles, blindfolds, drawing paper, crayons or colored pencils
Intro Activity: Listening for God
Have students find a partner. Blindfold one partner, spin them around, and walk them to somewhere else in the room. When you say “Go!” their partners call their names. The blindfolded partner tries to make it back to the caller.
When all the blindfolded students make it back to their partner, have them switch roles.
Play again if time permits, but make the students find a new partner for each round.
Remind students that we have to listen closely if we want to hear God speaking to us.
Ask students, Do you think it’s easy to believe in God or not easy to believe in God?
There are a lot of people who don’t believe in God. What do you think are some reasons people don’t believe in God: (Suggestions could include the fact that we can’t see God, they don’t know about God, they believe in something else, etc.)
Sometimes, people don’t want to believe in God because if they did, they would have to listen to Him and follow His rules, and some people don’t want to follow the rules.
(Read Acts 13:1-2.)
“Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’”
The Holy Spirit chose Barnabas and Saul to go tell other people about Jesus. Do you think God has chosen you for something? Do you think God could give you a special job like He gave to Barnabas and Saul? (Yes!)
We just have to remember to ask God and pay attention to find out what important job God wants us to do.
(Read Acts 13:3-6.)
“So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.
“The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus. When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues. John was with them as their helper.
“They traveled through the whole island until they came to Paphos. There they met a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named Bar-Jesus,”
Who was Bar-Jesus? (A magician and false-prophet.)
That means he pretended to be a leader who could teach people about God, but he was just lying and tricking people with his magic tricks. He wasn’t really a teacher from God.
(Read Acts 13:7-8.)
“who was an attendant of the proconsul, Sergius Paulus. The proconsul, an intelligent man, sent for Barnabas and Saul because he wanted to hear the word of God. But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith.”
When Saul and Barnabas tried to tell the Governor about Jesus, what did Bar-Jesus do? (He tried to get the governor not to believe in Jesus.)
(Read Acts 13:9-11.)
“Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, ‘You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind for a time, not even able to see the light of the sun.’
“Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand.”
What did Saul do to Bar-Jesus for trying to get the Governor to not believe in Jesus? (Saul told Bar-Jesus he was a follower of the devil and not God and made him blind.)
How do you think Saul got the power to make Bar-Jesus blind? (God gave him the power through the Holy Spirit.)
(Read Acts 13:12.)
“When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord.”
Saul and Barnabas helped the Governor believe in Jesus. Do you think God wants you to help people believe in Jesus? (Yes.)
Just like Saul and Barnabas, God wants us all to help tell people about Jesus so that they can believe in Jesus and go to Heaven when they die.
Game: Disciple Tag
Choose one student to be It. When they tag someone, that person links hands with them and joins their team. They continue adding people to their team, linking hands with each one until all but one student is part of their chain. That remaining student becomes It for the next round.
Play two or three rounds and then, explain that when we tell people about Jesus, we want them to believe in Jesus too. If they do, they become a Christian and join our team. Then, they help us tell more people about Jesus.
Craft: Learning to Listen
Give students drawing paper and instruct them to draw three scenes of them listening to God. They can then add more paper to their project to make a journal. Instruct them to write down any prayers that they say to God or anything that God says to them in church, through the Bible, or through their prayer time.
Holy Spirit, help us listen for Your voice guiding us, just like Paul and Barnabas did. Help us to follow what You say and to help other people believe in You. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
You can also find this lesson for Kindle or in print in my book, Paul: The Odd Apostle.