Philip and the Ethiopian
Bible Skills and Games Workshop
Children will learn about Philip through an interactive game like “Where in the World is Carmen San Diego”.
For scripture and objectives - see above.
- Who’s Who book of Bible people
- Bible Dictionary
- Giant floor map or signs for individual cities as indicated
- Small notebook for each child
- Pencil or pen for each child
- Certificate for completing training
- Widow: black clothes/shawl, picture of “husband”, tissues
- Spy (1 or 2): Fedoras and long trench coats
- Simon (Magician): Top hat, magic wand?
- Queen (Candace): Crown, robe, cape, gold belt, etc.
- Philip: Bible Times Costume
- Ethiopian: “Ethiopian crochet hat with ‘dreadlocks’”
- Angel: white robe, gold belt
(Helpers can play more than one role as needed.)
Make a giant map on the floor. Be sure to have Jerusalem, Gaza (the desert road), Samaria, Azotus and Ethiopia on the map along with other cities. (A person should be standing/sitting on the Azotus tag, or it should be hidden until later in the lesson.)
Hello. Please come in and have a seat. I am Agent M (the first letter of your name). I am the head of a super-secret spy agency called BIBLE, Brilliant Investigators (of) Bible Land Events. I’ve called you here today to ask you to join my team of top-notch investigators. I’ve heard about you. My sources tell me that just over a year ago you investigated prophecies about a very famous birth and discovered truths about the one called the Messiah. My sources tell me you were great! Well, today we’ll see just how good your investigative skills are.
Your mission is to figure out who the person is that we are investigating, and then figure out where he or she is. You will gather clues from informants and fellow spies. You will need to use some reference tools to figure out the answer to the clues. You will work together to see if you can find the person before time is up.
[Be sure to watch the time. If it gets late, please give the answers to the children. Be sure to allow time for the “wrap up” portion of the lesson.]
I have just received a hot tip from a friend of my grandmother. Her husband just died. That makes her a widow. I’ll go see if I can find her. [M goes to get Widow. Widow should be in black, crying or looking at a picture or in some way making it obvious that she is a widow. M greets her and encourages her to tell the kids what she knows.]
WIDOW: (sniffles, sobs) I know the person you are looking for. He was Greek, like me. I met him in the same city where Solomon built the temple. Look up “temple” in A Dictionary of the Bible & Christian Doctrine to learn the name of the city. [Say the clue, then hand the clue card to one of the kids. Widow can then leave.]
Which book should we use to figure out this clue? [Help kids find A Dictionary of the Bible & Christian Doctrine if they need it.] This Bible dictionary works like a regular dictionary. The words are in alphabetical order. [Help kids find clue in the Dictionary as needed. Ask one of the older kids to read the definition.]
Where was the temple built? Where do you need to go? (Jerusalem)
Outside, you will see a map on the floor. Find Jerusalem on the map and you will find an informant who has another clue. Come see me if you have any trouble. And remember, STAY TOGETHER!
[If kids go to wrong person, the person should direct them back to HQ by saying something like, “I don’t know what you are talking about. Perhaps you had better go to M for help.”]
(In Jerusalem) SPY #1: Welcome to the city! You’ll have to be careful here. Most of the Christians are being forced out of the city by Saul’s persecution. I saw the man you are looking for, though. He left Jerusalem already. He was the first man to preach the Good News to non-Jews. He went to a place north of Judea, South of Nazareth, East of the Mediterranean Sea and West of the Jordan River. [Say the clue, then hand the clue card to one of the kids.]
[Kids should use the giant floor map to find Samaria. If not, when they come to HQ, look at the wall map and help them by finding the 4 places listed in the clue. You may need to help them know which way is North, South, etc.]
(In Samaria) SIMON THE MAGICIAN: I’m Simon. I used to be a magician. I was baptized when I learned about Jesus from the person you are looking for. I saw the apostles perform miracles. I wanted to be able to do them, too, so I tried to buy the power from Peter. You will need to go back to HQ to figure this clue out. The last time I saw the man you are looking for, he was off to meet a man from the country of Queen Candace. Be sure to look in the NEW TESTAMENT part of Who’s Who in the Bible to find out where she is from.
[Back at HQ, help the kids find the book and look up Candace to find out Candace is the name for queens of Ethiopia. Show them Ethiopia (in Africa) on the wall map and send them out to find Queen Candace in Ethiopia.]
(In Ethiopia) CANDACE: Greetings, travelers. I do not know the man whom you seek, but I have heard that he met with my official recently. My official is in charge of my entire treasury, and I have utmost esteem for him. He wanted very desperately to celebrate the Feast of the Passover as Jews do every year. I allowed him to make a pilgrimage, but I would not allow him to take any children. There is a story that a boy named Jesus went one year with his family and got lost. By the time they found him, everyone there was amazed at this boy’s understanding and answers to the priest’s questions. Find the place where he got lost and you will probably find where my official went. A Concordance will help you.
[Back at HQ, help the kids find the concordance and look up the story of boy Jesus in the temple. You may need to suggest key words to look up such as priests, Passover, etc. Help the children understand they need to go to Jerusalem.]
(In Jerusalem) ANGEL: Hello followers of God. God has revealed to me the man you seek. I directed him to follow the desert road from Jerusalem to Gaza to meet a man who had been to Jerusalem to worship the Most High God. If you hurry, you will find the man whom he met in Gaza.
(In Gaza) ETHIOPIAN: (Seems in his own world.) I am SO happy! I have just learned about the Christ! I am saved! I am a new creation! (Notices children.) Hello! Hello! Forgive me, I am little overwhelmed with joy today! But you are looking for the man who taught me aren’t you? Perhaps he will share with you this same Good News he shared with me. But I do not know where he is. A traveler who passed me just before you came along said they had seen him in Azotus, but I do not know where that is either.
[If children return to HQ, help children find Azotus on the small map, then go to where it should be on the floor map.]
(In Azotus) SPY: Greetings, fellow Christ followers! I hear you are looking for the Evangelist. He is travelling around preaching, but I have encouraged him to buy a home and settle down in the same city where Herod died. A Concordance or Who’s Who book will help you find this final city.
[Have children look up Herod and find out he died in Caesarea.]
(In Caesarea) Philip: Hello, my name is Philip the Evangelist. You did a great job finding me! Go back to headquarters to claim your reward.
[When kids return to HQ, have certificates and prize packs ready. Have everyone sit down.]
Great job! Who can tell me something about Philip the evangelist? (Allow discussion, be able to ask questions to help bring out details as needed.)
You all did a great job finding him! You now have the ability to use many different tools to study the Bible. You can look things up in a concordance and a dictionary. You can look up people in a Who’s Who reference book, and you can find places on maps! WOW!
Because you have learned to use all these investigative tools, you have passed your training. I have a certificate for you and a package of tools you can use whenever you start investigating another Bible story.
[Pass out prize packs and certificates with adequate ceremony for each child.]
Close in prayer.
Modifications for Younger Students:
Younger students (especially non-readers) will need more help with the clues and reference tools. Be prepared to move with them from place to place, a nd really direct the steps.
Modifications for Older Students:
Older students should be able to use the tools with little help. The biggest task will be to keep one or two persons from doing everything. Try to help the shy or less knowledgeable students stay engaged.
A lesson by Staci Woodruff from: Jenks Church of Christ
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