Paul’s Letters to Timothy
Overview of workshops in this lesson set:
- Bible Discovery & Video: Introduction to Timothy; Choosing Good Friends. Watch a clip from Space Jam.
- Sewing: The class will decorate bath towels with the letters ACTS, in an effort to help the kids remember to “bathe” everything in prayer (1 Timothy 2:1).
- Art: Use the five points listed in 1 Timothy 4:12 to create wind chimes.
- Games: Conclusion of Timothy; Review key definitions using a variation of the $100,000 Pyramid game show to review.
Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family.
Proverbs 18:24 (The Message)
We all need friends who will stick close, listen, care and offer help when its needed – in good times and bad. It is better to have one such friend than a dozen of superficial acquaintances. Instead of wishing you could find a true friend, seek to become one. Ask God to reveal to you who needs your friendship, and then take on the challenge of being a true friend! (Adapted from Life Application Study Bible reference notes).
As a young child, Timothy was nurtured by the “sincere faith” of his mother and grandmother (2 Tim 1:5). Timothy probably became a Christian after Paul’s first missionary visit to Lystra (Acts 16:1-5); Timothy traveled with Paul on his next two missionary trips.
Timothy was a young protÉgÉ of Paul, yet Paul entrusted him with important responsibilities. Paul sent Timothy as his personal representative to Corinth during a very tense time (1 Corinthians 4:14-17), and eventually sent Timothy to pastor the church at Ephesus. In Ephesus, Timothy faced all sorts of pressures, conflicts and challenges. Paul wrote 1 Timothy to counsel and encourage Timothy. Despite Timothy’s youth, Paul had great confidence in him: “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12).
Paul wrote his second letter to Timothy while he was imprisoned in Rome. Paul believed that he would be executed very soon (2 Timothy 4:6), and his heart’s desire was to write his final thoughts to Timothy. The introduction of 2 Timothy presents a touching glimpse of the special relationship that Timothy and Paul shared. In 2 Timothy 1:2, Paul addresses Timothy as “my dear son.” Paul tells Timothy that he “constantly remembers Timothy in his prayers” (1:3), and that he longs to see Timothy so that he may be filled with joy (1:4). In 2 Timothy, Paul gives final instructions and encouragement to Timothy. Paul instructs Timothy to “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15) (Source Life Application Study Bible)
Key Teaching Themes:
- Young people can set a Godly example for others by how they speak, live and show their love for Christ (1 Timothy 4:12)
- The friendships that we have are very important: We have an obligation to be a good friend. We need to be careful how we chose our friends – some friends are more destructive than helpful.
- Definitions: Timothy, Paul, missionary, Ephesians (Ephesus), Proverbs, Stewardship, Friendship, pure heart, good conscience, sincere faith, speech, life, love, faith, purity, prayer, God’s Word.
Life Application Study Bible, Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1997. ISBN 084234892
Bible Discovery & Video Workshop
Summary of lesson activity: Introduction to Timothy; Choosing Good Friends. Watch a clip from Space Jam.
1 Timothy 1:1-2 and 2 Timothy 1-5
Today’s Lesson: This lesson has really 2 teaching objectives: the first is to teach about the Biblical characters of Paul and Timothy, and the friendship they shared. The second objective is to apply this to the kids’ lives by examining what it means to be and to have a “true friend.”
The lesson has a lot of reading and discussion. You may want to break the class into smaller groups and/or move the kids from one area to another in between teaching points. By moving around a little and involving the kids in the lesson (be creative!) you will be less likely to lose their attention.
- Recognize the Biblical characters of Paul and Timothy
- Understand that Paul wrote 13 letters of the New Testament
- Understand that Paul and Timothy shared a special friendship
- Understand that the friends we choose are important
- The Children’s Illustrated Bible (DK Publishing, Inc.; ISBN: 1-56458-472-0)
- Movie Clips for Kids: The Sequel (Group Publishing; ISBN: 0-7644-2692-3)
- Space Jam DVD or video
- Television with DVD player or VHS player
- Bible Verse poster (provided)
- Bibles (provided)
- Individually wrapped candies
- Read pages 296-297 of The Children’s Illustrated Bible.
- Read pages 117-118 of Movie Clips for Kids: The Sequel
- This class is about friendship, and it allows a lot of discussion. Pray for wisdom as you lead the discussion – to know how to “read” the kids and to lead the discussion time.
- CLASSROOM PREP: Cue video and set up television prior to class Sunday morning
Greet the children and introduce yourself. Make sure you know all of the children, and that they know you and each other.
Begin the discussion by asking the kids to describe qualities they look for in a friend. Try to include as many children as possible in the discussion. Write their ideas on the chalk board during the discussion (you will come back to this list later).
Bible Verse Review (5 minutes):
Show the class the Bible verse poster.
- Discuss the meaning of the phrase “friends come and go.”
- Ask if any of the qualities on the chalkboard describe “a friend who sticks by you like family.”
- Optional: Ask if anyone knows where Proverbs is located? (Old Testament)
- Optional: Does anyone know who wrote Proverbs? (King Solomon)
Bible Lesson (25 minutes):
We have been studying about Saul’s Conversion, and today will begin to talk about Paul’s life afterward. Using The Children’s Illustrated Bible, highlight key points of Paul’s life:
- Pages 296-297: After Paul became a Christian, he traveled all around the world to spread the word about Jesus. What do we call a person who does this? (a missionary).
- Show the map… Paul took 3 missionary trips… Include facts from these pages and maps as you want: (all 3 trips originated in Antioch; name the cities he visited -- see if anyone recognizes names from the New Testament; Paul’s life ended in Rome. Here he wrote many of the letters that are in the New Testament)
Have the kids open their Bible to the ‘Contents’ page in the front. Paul wrote every book in the New Testament from Romans to Philemon. Ask the kids to count how many books there are (13).
Paul’s first 9 books were written to specific groups of people or churches. Show the map on pages 296-297. Have the kids read the list of the Bible books (Romans-2 Thessalonians). Point to the corresponding city on the map of Paul’s journeys:
- Romans Rome
- 1 & 2 Corinthians Corinth
- Galatians Galatia (region in NE, not an actual city)
- Ephesians Ephesus
- Philippians Philippi
- Colossians Colosse (not on this map, but a city in Asia Minor region)
- 1 & 2 Thessalonians Thessalonica
The last 4 books written by Paul were letters that Paul wrote to specific people. These people are (let the children read the names if they will) Timothy, Titus and Philemon. Paul wrote 2 letters to Timothy. Paul and Timothy shared a very special friendship. Let’s read some of the things that Paul wrote to Timothy: Help younger students use their Bibles: tell them that 1 Timothy is toward the back of the Bible; show students how to use the top margins of the Bible to find the book they want (like a dictionary); point out that chapters begin with large bold numbers
- 1 Timothy 1:1-2 – Instead of writing “Dear Timothy,” Paul starts this letter (really all of his letters) with an opening sentence like this. How does Paul describe Timothy in verse 2 (“my true son in the faith. Paul loved Timothy like his own son
- 2 Timothy 1-2 – Notice that Paul opens this letter the same way; Here he calls Timothy his “dear son”
- Read 2 Timothy 1:3 – what does Paul say he does for Timothy? (Paul thanks God for Timothy night and day; always remembering Timothy in his prayers). Do you have a friend who you thank God for? Do you have a friend that you pray for? Does a friend pray for you?
- Read 2 Timothy 1:4 – how does Paul feel when he sees (or imagines seeing) Timothy? (he is filled with joy)
- Read 2 Timothy 1:5 – from this verse, why do you think Paul and Timothy were such good friends? (they both had a common interest – an honest and true faith)
Reference the kids back to the Bible verse and to their list of qualities for a true friend. Discuss how Paul and Timothy fit those descriptions.
Paul wrote his letters to Timothy because he wanted to help Timothy and encourage Timothy.
- Look at your list of qualities for a true friend – are there things you’d like to add? Take away?
- Do you have friends who help and encourage you?
- Are you a friend who helps and encourages others?
- The friends we have are very important to God – they can help us grow closer to God or pull us away from God. If you have a question or a problem with a friend, you can ask “me” for help, or you can pray to God for help. Let’s pray now:
Dear God, Thank you for friends… help us to choose good friends… help us to be good friends… Amen.
Video Clip (5-10 minutes):
Explain that you’re going to watch a part of Space Jam. In this part of the movie, Michael is willing to put himself at risk to help his friends. Watch and see if there is anything in this clip that you would like to find in a friend.
If time allows after the clip, discuss the qualities of a friend shown in this video. Ask the kids to share what important things they will look for in a friend from now on.
The Children’s Illustrated Bible. New York, NY: DK Publishing, Inc., 1994. ISBN: 1-56458-472-0.
Bible References taken from the New International Reader’s Version (NIrV). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House. 1998.
Movie Clips for Kids: The Sequel. Loveland, CO: Group Publishing, 2004. ISBN: 9780764426926 .
Space Jam (VHS). Warner Studios. September 2003. ASIN: 6304359217
Bathe Everything in Prayer
Summary of lesson activity:The class will decorate bath towels with the letters ACTS, in an effort to help the kids remember to “bathe” everything in prayer (1 Timothy 2:1).
1 Timothy 2:1-4
Summary of Lesson Activities:
Today’s lesson is a one hour discussion and workshop about prayer. We will discuss for whom we should pray, what we should pray, and introduce the concepts of ACTS. The class will decorate bath towels with the letters ACTS, in an effort to help the kids remember to “bathe” everything in prayer. (Class includes 2nd - 5th graders.)
Note: This lesson is written with about 30 minutes of discussion time and 30 minutes of sewing time. The emphasis of the lesson should be placed on Paul’s instruction on prayer, not on the acronym of ACTS or the sewing activity. If a good discussion about prayer begins, then allow that to continue. The explanation of ACTS can be combined with the sewing time without losing much meaning.
- Paul instructs Timothy about prayer
- God wants all men to be saved and to know the truth (verse 4)
- The word ACTS helps us remember how to pray
- We are good stewards as we “bathe” everything in prayer
- Bibles for each child
- Music & CD player
- Beanbags or rolled up socks
- New bath towel for each student
- Fabric scraps (small designs; similar to quilting squares)
- Needles & Thread (or Fabric paint)
- Double Stick Fusible Web
- Templates of the letters A,C,T,S (1 set per every 4-5 students). We used 4” letters, which turned out very nice on the finished towels.
- Pencils to trace letters onto fabric
- Scissors to cut fabric
- Ironing board and iron (1 per every 4-5 students)
- Extra adults on hand to iron
- Read 1 Timothy 2:1-4. Pray for understanding.
- Give every adult who will be helping with the sewing a copy of this lesson plan – understanding the teaching points of the lesson will help them engage students in useful conversation during the sewing activity.
- Cut templates of the letters A,C,T,S for the kids to trace onto their fabric. You can use plastic template material from any sewing store, or stiff cardboard (cereal boxes) to create the templates
- Follow directions for preparing fabric according to the manufacturer’s suggestion. (Will likely tell you to wash & dry. Towels should also be washed ahead of time.)
- Apply fusible web to the backside of the fabric.
- Assemble one bath towel to show as an example for the class
- Cut templates of additional shapes (flowers, etc.) for class to use (optional)
- CLASSROOM PREP: Set up ironing boards and irons. Make sure children do not have access to the irons without adult supervision.
Greet the children and introduce yourself.
Open with a prayer.
Bible Lesson & Discussion (25 minutes):
Ask the class about the friendship that Paul and Timothy shared (they will have learned about this today in Children’s Church). Give them few minutes to share their thoughts.
Ask if anyone knows why Paul wrote his letters to Timothy (to encourage Timothy, to teach/instruct Timothy)
Say: Beginning today, we will read some of the things that Paul wrote to Timothy in his letters. One thing Paul wrote about was prayer. Open your Bibles to 1 Timothy 2:1. Help younger students use their Bibles: tell them that 1 Timothy is toward the back of the Bible; show students how to use the top margins of the Bible to find the book they want (like a dictionary); point out that chapters begin with large bold numbers
Ask a volunteer to read 1 Timothy 2:1
- Who does Paul say should pray? (“all of you” – that means all of us)
- Who does Paul say we should pray for? (“everyone” – briefly discuss this point with the kids -- it can be an overwhelming statement). Begin a prayer list on the chalkboard: We should pray for (who):
- What are we supposed to pray? (for God to bless them; we should thank God for them). Begin second prayer list on chalkboard: We should pray for (what):
Ask a volunteer to read 1 Timothy 2:2
- Who does Paul say we should pray for? (kings, all who are in authority, for ourselves “we. Update list on chalkboard.
- Ask the kids to name some people who have authority in their lives (parents, teachers, coaches; broaden their list (if needed) to include world leaders, etc).
- What are we supposed to pray for? (that we will live peaceful and quiet lives; that we will be godly and holy). Update list on chalkboard.
Ask a volunteer to read 1 Timothy 2:3
- What is God’s reaction to our prayer for other people? (it “pleases” Him)
- Ask the kids to name some people for whom they could pray?
- Our theme for this Rotation is friendship: emphasize prayer for friends
- Our theme for this Year is stewardship: explain that we care for others and our world (i.e. world peace) when we pray.
Ask a volunteer to read 1 Timothy 2:4
- What does God want for everyone? (to be saved, to come to know the truth)
- Generally discuss these concepts with the kids. We regard being “saved” as accepting Jesus into our hearts. Knowing the truth means knowing that Jesus is God’s Son, that He died on the cross and is living in Heaven today.
- Reference your lists on the chalkboard – are church leaders, Take Note! teachers, Sunday school teachers or missionaries listed? These are all people who help teach about Jesus.
- Have you listed “be saved” or “know Jesus” on your other prayer list? Discuss that these should be added, too.
In only four verses, Paul has a lot to say about prayer! Let the kids share their thoughts about this passage, and end in prayer:
Pray: Thank you God that you hear our prayers… help us to remember to pray for everyone… help us to grow and pray to please you. Amen.
Bible Verse Review (5 minutes):
Spend some active time reviewing the Bible verse:
- Show the Bible verse poster. Read the verse as a class.
- Have kids sit in a circle (on floor or in chairs)
- Instruct them to gently toss the bean bag while the music is playing. When the music stops, the child holding the bean bag will say the verse.
- Repeat as desired.
Sewing Activity (30 minutes):
While the kids are sitting in the circle, share that knowing how to pray can be hard. We worry whether or not we’re doing it “right.” And when you think about praying “for everyone,” then it can really be overwhelming. Praying for everyone and everything is really like “bathing everything in prayer,” right?
Explain that you are going to make something today to help the kids remember what to pray for. Show the towel you have already decorated, and ask if anyone knows about ACTS. Briefly explain that the letters stand for:
Adoration (if we adore something, we love it; we can begin prayer by telling God how much we love Him. We can mention things we know about Him (praise)
Confession (this is our time to talk to God about sin our lives, and to ask his forgiveness)
Thanksgiving (we should thank God for the blessings in our lives and for prayers He has answered)
Supplication (this is our time to ask God to help us; time to pray for others)
Help the kids understand all four points of ACTS.
Spend a few minutes repeating the words in ACTS – try to make it a game: on person says Adoration, next person says Confession, next person says Thanksgiving and so on. Make sure kids know the meaning of the four words – review this now, and during the sewing activity.
Begin the sewing activity:
- Each student needs to choose the color towel he/she wants to use and 1-4 coordinating fabrics.
- Each child should use the templates to trace the letters A,C,T,S on to their fabrics. As the kids are tracing letters, use the time to talk about prayer and ACTS.
- Once all four letters are traced, student should give their towel and letters to an adult. Only adults should be using the iron to “glue” the letters onto to the towels.
- Students can use the remaining class time to stitch around the fabric letters so they are securely attached to the towels. An alternative is to trace the letters with fabric paint. (Will require drying time.)
NOTE: Use this time with the students to talk about prayer and ACTS – some kids who will not say a word during a sit-down discussion will really open up when they are engaged in an activity. The sewing is a fun, hands-on activity, but it can also provide a great discussion time!
- The Message. Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress Publishing Group, 2002. ISBN 1576832899
- Bible References taken from the New International Reader’s Version (NIrV). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House. 1998.
- “How Should We Pray?” Kids’s Sunday School Place, Inc. All Rights Reserved. ©2000-2005.
“The Purpose of Pray?” Kids’s Sunday School Place, Inc. All Rights Reserved. ©2000- 05.
Art Workshop: Wind Chimes
Summary of lesson activity:
Use the five points listed in 1 Timothy 4:12 to create wind chimes.
1 Timothy 4:12
Summary of Lesson Activities:
Each of us should serve God by the example we set with our speech, life, love, faith and purity.
- understand that they are called to be good stewards, despite their youth.
- understand that Christians are called to set a good example by their speech, life, love, faith and purity
- Bibles for each child
- Bible Verse Poster
- Bible Verse Review materials
- Copper beading wire (on spool)
- Wood form, 1 for each student, from which to hang chime materials (we found wooden crosses at craft store)
- Materials for creating wind chimes, 1 for each student. We used:
a. Large washer represents Life
b. Masonry nail represents Love
c. Fired Clay represents Faith (we are molded) - ask your local school art teacher for pieces of fired clay from broken projects.
d. White Polished Stone represents Purity
e. Middle Chime represents Speech - purchase metal chimes at the dollar store and take them apart.
f. Beads, optional
- Read 1 Timothy 4:12. Pray for understanding.
- Create wind chime to use as an example on class day
- Drill 5 holes into each wooden form (one in center and one on each arm of cross).
- Wrap copper wire around items (especially clay and polished stone) as you wish. This is a time saving measure for class day
Greet the children and introduce yourself. Have the students introduce themselves – make sure you know everyone. Take attendance and offering.
Bible Verse Review (10 minutes): This will be our last week to review our Bible verse. Spend 10 minutes in review, using any of the following ideas:
1. Write Bible verse on chalk board. Allow students to erase one word at a time. Repeat Bible verse as a group after each word is erased. Do these until all the words have been erased, and students are reciting Bible verse from memory.
2. Use index cards to print the Bible verse, one word per index card. Shuffle the cards, and have the kids put them in order. (May have to create more than one set; plan on 4 students per each set of cards).
3. Your idea here…
Bible Lesson (20 minutes):
Have the students open their Bibles to 1 Timothy 4. Help younger students use their Bibles: tell them that 1 Timothy is toward the back of the Bible; show students how to use the top margins of the Bible to find the book they want (like a dictionary); point out that chapters begin with large bold numbers (point to 4).
Begin the discussion by asking the kids about things they cannot do because they are too young (drive cars, go to PG-13 or R movies, etc.). Try to get the kids to think about every day things they cannot do – cannot walk home from school alone; can’t cook without someone older; etc.).
The point is that there are many things that people think these students are too young to do. One thing that Paul thought that no one was too young to do was to serve God. Ask someone to read 1 Timothy 4:12:
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young. Set an example for the believers in what you say and in how you live. Also set an example in how you love, and in what you believe. Show the believers how to be pure. (NIrV)
Discuss this verse with the kids.
- Paul didn’t want Timothy to think that he could not serve God because he was too young.
- Paul believed that Timothy could set a good example for other people to follow – young or old.
- This verse applies to all Christians – no matter how old we are, we are always old enough to serve God… to set a good example for other people to follow
Pray: Thank you God that we can be useful to you no matter what our age… help each of us to set a good example for others… Help us to know you better. Amen.
Art Workshop (Time Remaining):
Show the wind chimes. Explain that each part of the wind chime can help us remember our Bible verse for today:
- Paul said to set an example “in what you say.” The middle chime reminds us of this – the middle chime is what makes the pleasant noise. Discuss that we have to use the right piece to make the middle chime make the wind chimes sound right. The middle chime is almost the most important part of the chimes. The words that we say can be the most important way that we set a good example for other people.
- Set an example “in how you live.” We can use the large washer to represent this: our lives should include the Bible and Jesus completely. People should not see a “beginning or an end” to our being a Christian (same person at school as at church, etc.).
- Set an example in “how you love.” The masonry nail represents love. It represents that Jesus loved us enough to die on the cross. We should try every day to love people the same way we think Jesus would love them.
- Set an example in “what you believe.” How we act is a reflection of what we believe. If we believe in Jesus and want to live like him, then we will try to act like him. The Bible talks about Christians being like clay that God molds and shapes. This piece of clay reminds us to believe in God and to let Him shape us in the way He wants.
- Paul said, “Show the believers how to be pure.” The color white is associated with being pure. Use the white polished stone to remind you to try to be pure – an important thing to think about when you’re listening to music, thinking about a movie to see or video game to play.
Spend remainder of time helping students construct wind chimes. Directions for the windchime are as follows:
Materials (makes 1 wind chime):
- Wooden Cross or other base
- Large metal washers
- Large Mason’s Nails
- White polished stone wrapped in copper wire (loop at top to hang)
- Piece of fired clay with a hole or wrapped in copper wire.
- Small tube of metal used for wind chimes.
- Craft cord cut to 3’ lengths (2), use Fray Check or glue to keep ends from fraying. Allow to dry. (Fray Check dries quickly.) (This makes threading through holes easier!)
Make slip knot at center of the two pieces of craft cord. Leave a loop to hang the wind chime.
Tie knots in each of the four pieces of cord under the slip knot at 1 ½-2”. Add a colorful bead if desired. Thread each through a drilled hole in the arms of the cross. Tie another knot up tight under the cross base to secure. Add beads as desired- tie knot to hold in place. Tie each of the four symbols to one end of a cord.
Cut a cord for center chime. Tie a knot and thread through center hole in cross. Attach chime at appropriate "length" so that symbols hit the center chime and each other when the wind blows.
Optional: Spray Cross before assembly with polyurethane to weatherproof.
The Message. Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress Publishing Group, 2002. ISBN 1576832899
Bible References taken from the New International Reader’s Version (NIrV). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House. 1998.
Children’s Everyday Bible. New York, NY: Dorling Kindersley Limited. 2002. ISBN 0789488582.
First Baptist Church, Midland Michigan
Exchange Volunteer added info to clarify Art and Cooking lessons (from material provided by Joan Grady) and assisted with posting games review lesson (see post below).
A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.