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Lydia: A New Believer!

Overview and Background Information


Overview of the Workshops:

  • Art: make welcome signs by spraying tie-dye purple cloth with Christian symbols.
  • Bible Games: Lydia Storytelling and older children will make a matching game for the younger children to play.
  • Computers: Children will review the story using Interactive Bible for Kids: Life of Paul CD. Using Kid Pix older children will create an illustrated poem about Lydia while younger children will illustrate the story.
  • Cooking: Make hospitality heart cookies to give to Hospice House.
  • Drama/Puppets: Create Lydia story sacks with stick puppets to retell the story.
  • Storytelling: "Godly Play" style story of Lydia.
  • Video: View a clip from the The Great Escape-The Visual Bible for Kids (could adapt and use Acts-Visual Bible). Includes making a Beaded Key Ring or Bracelet.

Scripture References:

Acts 16:13-15,40 (note: this story is not found in the Little Kids’ Adventure Bible.)

Memory Verse:
“Say with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord.’ Believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead. Then you will be saved.” Romans 10:9

Bible Notes:
Adventure Bible for Young Readers (4-6)
Life in Bible times: Jewish Synagogues (page 1287)
Life in Bible times: Purple Cloth (page 1292)
People in Bible times: Lydia (page 1292)
Words to Treasure (page 1322)

Theme:
Others will come to know Jesus when we share the good news with them. Showing hospitality to others is a way to share God’s love.

Music:
“Lydia,” and “Everybody Ought to Know,” Circus Spectacular: A High-Flying Gospel Adventure, Augsburg Fortress VBS, 2004; “Family of God,” God Comes To Us, Peder Eide, YaSure! Music, 2001; “I Believe in You Now,” Live the Life, Michael W. Smith, Reunion Records, 1998; “I’m A Believer” and “I Will Follow Him” Hallelujah Hop, Brentwood Kids Company, 1994; “I Give you my Heart,” Shout to the Lord Kids, Integrity Music, 2001; “I Could Sing of your Love Forever,” Big Songs for Little Kids: I Feel Like Praising, Brentwood Records, 2002; “The Roman’s Road,” Verse 2 Verse: Power Disc 4: Keys to the Kingdom, Wonder Workshop, 2003.

Objectives and Life Application (K-3):

  • Children will retell the story in their own words.
  • Children will locate the story in the New Testament.
  • Children will identify the characters in the story: Lydia, Paul, Silas.
  • Children will identify Paul and Silas as important missionaries.
  • Children will talk about ways to tell others about Jesus.
  • Children will discuss ways to show hospitality like Lydia.
  • Children will memorize Romans 10:9.


Objectives and Life Application (4-6):

  • Children will retell the story in their own words.
  • Children will locate the story in the New Testament book of history -- Acts.
  • Children will locate Philippi on the map.
  • Children will identify the characters in the story: Lydia, Paul, Silas.
  • Children will identify Paul and Silas as important missionaries who spread the gospel and helped the growth of the early church.
  • Children will discuss the concept of prevenient grace – God’s drawing individuals to Him.
  • Children will discuss sanctifying grace – God’s work in nurturing and growing believers and the Church to be like Christ and to glorify God.
  • Children will discuss ways to tell others about Jesus.
  • Children will discuss the meaning of conversion and baptism.
  • Children will discuss ways to show hospitality like Lydia.
  • Children will memorize Romans 10:9.

Background Information

(Background information adapted primarily from a post at www.rotation.org from Silverdale UMC, Proclaim His Name to the Nations, September 2003 and former G.R.E.A.T. Adventure lessons on the Journeys of Paul, 2002.)

This rotation is set during the time of Paul’s second missionary journey after the death and resurrection of Jesus. During this rotation we will explore God’s plan for both individuals and for groups of believers, the Church, the Body of Christ, to know him and to serve him. We will study the conversion of Lydia, the first European convert, as part of God’s plan and purpose for his Church. We will learn about Lydia, her trade, her character and her hospitality. We will attempt to apply the lessons of Lydia to our individual lives.

Roman Influence
In the time of Paul, Rome was beginning its four hundred year rule over the Mediterranean area. Rome was definitely the dominant political power, but previous rulers left their cultural mark. Greek culture, the result of Alexander the Great’s conquests, had an especially powerful influence. The Roman Empire was comprised of a combination of Greek culture and Roman law. Greek was the common language of the cities throughout the Mediterranean, although villagers spoke their own local languages and dialects. Roman rule provided a big advantage for the spread of the gospel -- ease and safety of travel. Roman soldiers established a military presence that limited piracy and bandits. The Roman road system provided a means for safe and fast travel never before possible. Travelers could expect to travel up to 25 miles per day on foot. The Romans were master road builders -- the construction quality of their roads was not matched until the 1800’s. (Some Roman roads are still in use today.) Pilgrims, traders, government officials, runaway slaves, prisoners, letter carriers and countless others traveled the Roman roads making life much more cosmopolitan than ever before. The world was poised for the spread of the gospel message!

Paul, the Missionary
Paul was a young man during the last days of Jesus. He was raised a devout Pharisee and known for his persecution of the early Christians. It was actually on a journey to Damascus where he planned to imprison and/or kill the Christians there, that Paul met Jesus in a blinding light and was changed. Paul went on to become the greatest New Testament missionary, traveling thousands of miles in four missionary journeys, to bring the message of Jesus to others.

Paul’s second missionary journey lasted about three years, from A.D. 49-52. During this journey Paul took on Silas and Timothy as new companions. Their intention was to visit the churches established in Paul’s first missionary journey, but God had other plans. The Bible says that the “Holy Spirit prevented them from entering” some regions in Asia Minor. Then Paul received a vision. “He saw a man standing and begging him. ‘Come over to Macedonia… Help us!’” (Acts 16:9-10) Paul realized that God had called him to preach the good news in Macedonia. (Macedonia is a region in modern-day Greece.)

Paul and his companions, Silas and Timothy, traveled to Philippi. Philippi was named for Philip II of Macedonia, the father of Alexander the Great. It became a Roman colony in 42 B.C. Philippi was located on the Via Ignatia, the great east-west Roman road that ended in what is now the city of Istanbul, Turkey. Philippi housed a medical school; it is possible that Luke, a physician and gospel-writer, was educated there, although we don’t know. The city was also an important religious and commercial center.

After Paul, Silas, Timothy and Luke (author of Acts) had been in Philippi for a few days, they sought a place to worship God on the Sabbath Day. Paul’s routine was similar in each place he visited: first he would preach in the synagogue, presenting the gospel to the Jews there, using his great knowledge of the scriptures to convince the Jews that Jesus was indeed the long-awaited and prophesied Messiah. Usually some Jews were converted, but inevitably most resisted and when opposition arose, Paul took his message to the Gentiles.

There was no Jewish synagogue in Philippi, but a group of God-seeking women met at the riverside for prayer. Even today a visitor can see the ruins of the city gate through which the men probably passed as they walked the mile to the riverside worship place. The fact that there was no synagogue means there were fewer than ten Jewish men in Philippi. So… Paul went to the river to meet with the women there. And it is there that he met Lydia.

Paul Meets Lydia
Lydia was most likely a prominent businesswoman who dealt in the business of purple cloth. Her name probably came from the name of the region of Lydia in Asia Minor consisting of five major cities: Ephesus, Smyrna, Sardis, Philadelphia and Thyatira. She was from the town of Thyatira, a town known for its dyeing business and also making of garments. Thyatira was known for manufacturing purple dye (made from a gland in a marine mollusk called Mulex trunculus. Purple dye could also be made from the root of the “madder” plant; most scholars believe Lydia obtained her purple dye from shellfish.) Purple was the color of royalty and a symbol of Roman citizenship. (“official” Roman togas were made of purple cloth!) We assume Lydia was a wealthy businesswoman, perhaps a woman with some influence in the community. A “dealer in purple dye” would have sold purple-dyed cloth to the upper class citizens of the community. Lydia traveled throughout the region to carry out her business.

Lydia Believes in Jesus
God had prepared the heart of Lydia to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Acts 16:13 says, “We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there.” Verse 14 points out that “The Lord opened [Lydia’s] heart to respond to Paul’s message.” It also says that she was a “worshiper of God” and “a dealer in purple cloth”. We don’t know what Paul said to the worshipers at the riverside, but we can imagine from his other missionary travels and speeches that are recorded in the book of Acts. Maybe he told his own life story of how he was a well-educated Jewish rabbi who had persecuted the sect called “Christians” until he was radically changed on the road to Damascus (see Acts 9) to believe and to obey Jesus, the Son of God. Maybe he told how God had revealed through the Old Testament writings and prophets his plan to send his Son, and how Jesus fulfilled that plan by dying on the cross for our sins and being raised to life on the third day. Whatever he said, it made an eternal difference in Lydia’s life and in the life of her family and community.

How did God prepare Lydia to believe on the Lord Jesus? It is likely that Lydia came to know the God of the Hebrews through the Jews in Thyatira, for there was a Jewish population there. Lydia was a member of a God-seeking group of women, which means she may have been a Jewish proselyte. She knew she wanted to know God; God promises in Proverbs 8:17, “I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently will find me.” In Deuteronomy 4:29, God promises, “You will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.”

The same Spirit that moved Paul and his fellow travelers to come to Macedonia moved in Lydia’s heart. As Paul explained the gospel message to her, she believed and was baptized. Lydia’s story is a good example of God’s prevenient grace – the God’s wooing and drawing us to Christ, before we even know what the gospel is about. When Lydia accepted the gospel message Paul preached, and accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior, she was justified – this is God’s justifying grace. As God’s Holy Spirit continued to work in her heart and life, we see an example of God’s sanctifying grace – helping Lydia and all believers to be transformed into the likeness of Jesus. This is the goal of the Christian life – to become like Jesus!

Lydia’s Hospitality
Lydia responded to God’s grace through generous acts of hospitality. After she believed and was baptized, she invited Paul and his companions to stay at her house. She became a faithful example by opening not only her heart, but her home to God’s people. Lydia’s hospitality in providing for Paul and his companions is one of her most noteworthy characteristics. One of the marks of a faithful believer is a willingness to share and provide for others.

Lydia’s home was the first Christian church in Europe! House churches were central to the spread of the early Church. Women played a prominent role in these early worshiping communities. In the second century, worship shifted to church buildings and religious authority was transferred to bishops and clergy, leading to more of a male-dominated religion.

A Christian home remains a wonderful tool of evangelism today. There is something special about the warm and inviting atmosphere in someone’s home. Many growing churches find that home Bible studies and worship are flourishing and helping to spread the gospel message to others.

God’s Word assures us that God has planned for each of us before birth, even before conception: Psalm 139:16, “your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” God knew and planned for salvation for Lydia. Jesus said in John 6:44, “No one can come to me unless the Father who has sent me draws him…” (this is God’s prevenient grace at work!) God had drawn Lydia to know himself through his Son, Jesus Christ. Our children also need to know that God has planned for each of their lives, that he has planned to draw each of them to himself through Jesus, his Son, and that each one is of great value in God’s sight.

God also says to Israel in Jeremiah 29:11-12, “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.’” These were God’s plans for a nation. Doesn’t God also have plans for each of us to know and serve him? When Paul wrote his letter from a Roman prison to the church at Philippi, more than ten years after his first visit to Philippi, he assured them that “he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6) He also assured them that “…it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.”(Philippians 2:13). Paul said that part of God’s purpose for the church at Philippi, and we can assume also for us, is that they would be “blameless and pure…without fault in a crooked and depraved generation…holding out the word of life…” (Philippians 2:14 – 16)

God has not only prepared for each person to individually know him, but also to show God’s nature by faithful service to him. Lydia immediately served God when she invited Paul, Silas, Timothy and Luke to stay at her house. Lydia served God by declaring the truth about Jesus Christ to their households. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Each believer, child or adult, can cooperate with God in doing the good works God has prepared in advance for them to do. To do so it is necessary to have an attitude of faith and obedience toward God, choosing to put God first in all things, and choosing to put aside the busy distractions and temptations that keep us from doing God’s will.

Lydia’s home was the first Christian church in Europe. I Peter 2:9 says that Christians, as members of Christ’s Body, the Church, are “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that [they] may declare the praises of him who called [them] out of darkness into his wonderful light.” This was the work of God for the church at Philippi, and it is the work of each member of Christ’s Body, the church, today. Children are also part of this priesthood, this nation, this “people belonging to God” when they believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Children “declare the praises of God” by faithfully learning God’s Word, praying, and obeying what they know of God’s Word. They do it by loving people, obeying their parents and teachers, and by many other means; they are also the Body of Christ.

Discussion Questions:  (some need to be simplified for the children)

  • Where was Lydia from? (Thyatira in a region called Lydia)
  • What did she do? (sold purple cloth, made from dye from shellfish)
  • Who was Paul? (great New Testament missionary)
  • Where did she meet Paul? (by the riverside in Philippi)
  • What happened to Lydia there? (she believed in Jesus and was baptized)
  • Lydia believed in God, but not in Jesus. How is this different? (Jesus is the One sent from God to make us right with God, through dying and rising again Jesus made a way for us to be forgiven for our sins – when we believe and accept this)
  • Why do you think Lydia believed the message about Jesus? (God had prepared her heart)
  • Why is baptism important? (it shows that we belong to Jesus, for infants it is a promise parents and the church make to raise a child to know and love Jesus, for believers it shows others that we believe in Jesus and have been forgiven of our sins)
  • What is prevenient grace? (God’s Spirit drawing us to Him, before we actually understand about God)
  • What is justifying grace? (being made right with God – justified – when we believe in Jesus)
  • What is sanctifying grace? (the continued work of God’s Spirit within us, to help us grow more like Jesus)
  • What is the goal of the Christian life? (to become like Jesus)
  • How was Lydia’s life changed? (she had the first home church in Europe, she became a follower of Jesus, she shared her home with others)
  • How did Lydia show hospitality? (invited Paul and his fellow travelers to stay at her house)Have you ever shared something you had?
  • How can you show hospitality to others?
  • Have you ever taught someone about Jesus?
  • Who teaches you about Jesus?
  • How can you become a Christian? (believe in Jesus, confess your sins, accept that Jesus died and rose again for you)
  • Have you believed in Jesus to forgive your sins and be your Savior?

 


Sources:

  • Bible Teacher’s Commentary, Lawrence O. Richards, Cook Communications, 2002; Davey and Goliath’s Circus Spectacular VBS, Augsburg Fortress, 2004; Christian Standard Sunday School Lesson “Lydia Demonstrates Faithfulness,” Dennis Hounshell, First Christian Church, Florissant, Missouri; Sunday School Lessons: “The Spirit Moves us to Share our Lives with Others,” Walter Albritton, November 2005, walbritton@elmore.rr.com; “Mighty in Spirit – Hues of Holiness,” In Touch Ministries; variety of lessons posted at www.rotation.org including:
  • Faith Trek – “Lydia, Paul and Silas;”
  • “Proclaim His Name to the Nations: Lydia Becomes a Christian in Philippi,” Silverdale United Methodist Church, September 2003;
  • Hilliard Presbyterian Church, Neil MacQueen and Kim Trimboli,
  • Lydia Rotation, St. John’s United Church, October 2004.

A lesson from State Street UMC

This lesson created and copyrighted by State Street UMC, Bristol, VA, 2006. Permission granted for non-commercial, local church use, provided credit is give to the source.

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

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Lydia: A New Believer! 

Art Workshop


Summary of Lesson Activities:

Children will make welcome signs. These will remind them of Lydia’s hospitality to Paul and Silas and her baptism when she was welcomed into the church.


Preparation and Room Set Up:

  • Review background information, teaching tips and lesson materials.
  • Iron the freezer paper to each piece of fabric for the children.
  • Have several copies of Christian symbols for the children to use as a guide when tracing their words or symbols onto the fabric.
  • Gather necessary supplies.
  • Cover the tables with old tablecloths.
  • Review the Music CD. Plan to play the music as the children arrive and during activity and journal time.
  • Iron a piece of freezer paper to fabric pieces prior to class. This allows the children to draw on the fabric without stretching it out of shape.
  • Place an embroidery hoop over the center of the fabric pieces and trace the inside of the hoop. That will act as a guide for the children as to where they should write and draw pictures for the sign.
  • Prepare a sample to show the children.


Supplies:

  • 7” wooden embroidery Hoops
  • Muslin cut into 9” round or square pieces (fabric should be washed without fabric softener and dried before being cut)
  • Freezer paper
  • Parchment Paper
  • Purple spray dye (found in craft stores)
  • Glue – blue gel glue
  • Pencils
  • Designs drawn out for the children to use as a guide (Examples: dove, “welcome,” cross, fish or any other Christian symbol)
  • Scissors
  • Iron and ironing board


Please start on time!

Time Guidelines:
Welcome and Introductions 10 minutes
Bible Study 15 minutes
Welcome Sign 20 minutes
Reflection/Closing 5 minutes



Lesson Plan


Opening:

Welcome the children and introduce yourself. Make sure everyone is wearing a nametag. Please include the shepherd in introductions. Give the children a simple one or two-sentence synopsis of what you will be doing during the workshop.

Prayer:

Please, begin your class with prayer each week. Pray your own or use the prayer printed below.
Dear Heavenly Father, We come to You with open hearts. We want to hear Your message today and have it fill us with peace and thanksgiving for all You offer us as Your children. Amen.

Important Teacher Notes:
Each workshop includes the Bible story. One of our primary goals is to improve the children’s Bible literacy! If children did not bring their Bibles from home, use the classroom Bibles. Shepherds should help the children locate the stories. Use the handout “Helping Children Learn to Use their Bibles” and the Background Information to help you introduce the story.

Remember that as the rotation progresses; the children will become more familiar with the story. When this happens, allow the children to tell you what they know. The children should still locate the story in their Bibles every week. Use the bold headings in their Bibles to guide your discussion. You may want to review some of the Bible notes as well. Be sure to fill in any missing information and add additional details using the Background Information to help you. One of the greatest advantages of this model is that children who come regularly learn the story in great depth.

Each lesson contains more Background Information and discussion questions than can be used in one session. Remember, children are studying this story for four weeks! Be sure to follow the time guidelines and leave ample time for the activity.

Dig:

Bible Study: Grades K-3
Our Bible story this month takes place after Jesus was raised from the dead and went to heaven. It takes place during a time we call the early church – a time when Jesus’ followers continued to get together and remember Jesus and what he taught and to worship God. This was also a time for missionaries… What is a missionary? (A missionary is a person who travels to different places making friends with the people there and telling them about God.) The stories of the early church are found in the New Testament of the Bible.

Now Paul was one of the greatest missionaries that ever lived! Paul did not begin his life as a Christian. He was born in a town called Tarsus and was very committed to the Jewish faith. He even persecuted the early Christians. What does it mean to persecute? (to harm or abuse people for thinking or acting differently than you do). Paul was a young boy when Jesus was crucified. Years later, Paul was on his way to Damascus to persecute and imprison Christians when God met Paul by speaking through a blinding light. At that point, Paul became a follower of Jesus and began his work as a missionary in order to spread The Good News that Jesus had died for our sins. Paul took four different mission trips. On the second mission trip, he and a few followers went into Europe and ended up in Philippi (Show a map).

Paul and his friends ended up in Philippi on the Sabbath, the day reserved for worshipping God. There wasn’t a synagogue where people could worship, so they wandered around outside the town. They found a group of women by the river. They were praying together. One of the ladies was named Lydia. Lydia was a businesswoman in Philippi. She sold purple cloth. Lydia was able to get the purple dye from a certain type of shell in the river and dye her cloth purple. She must have been a very busy woman. She apparently took time to pray, and she was very interested in learning about Jesus from Paul. When Paul told Lydia about the fact that Jesus died on the cross for our sins so that we would have eternal life with God, Lydia became a believer and wanted to be baptized as a Christian. After her entire family had been baptized, Lydia invited Paul and his friends to stay with her and her family in their home. Lydia’s home became the first Christian house church in Europe. Lydia was a remarkable woman for two main reasons. First, she opened her heart so that the message of Jesus could enter and as a result was the first woman in Europe to be baptized. Secondly, she opened her home to Paul and the other missionaries, which enabled even more people to hear the word of God and the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Memory Verse: Each rotation we encourage the children to memorize one verse. Locate the verse and review with the children at this time. Children with their own Bibles, should highlight the verse with the Bible highlighters. Please do not mark in the classroom Bibles.

“Say with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord’. Believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead. Then you will be saved.” Romans 10:9

Discuss:

  • What did Lydia do? (Sold purple cloth, made from dye from shellfish)
  • Who was Paul? (Great New Testament missionary)
  • Where did she meet Paul? (By the riverside in Philippi)
  • What happened to Lydia there? (She believed in Jesus and was baptized)
  • Before she mat Paul, Lydia believed in God, but not in Jesus. How is this different? (Jesus is the One sent from God to make us right with God. By dying and rising again Jesus made a way for us to be forgiven for our sins – when we believe and accept this)
  • Why do you think Lydia believed the message about Jesus? (God had prepared her heart)
  • Why is baptism important? (It shows that we belong to Jesus, for infants it is a promise that parents and the church make to raise a child to know and love Jesus. For believers it shows others that we believe in Jesus and have been forgiven of our sins)
  • How was Lydia’s life changed? (she had the first home church in Europe, she became a follower of Jesus, she shared her home with others)
  • How did Lydia show hospitality? (invited Paul and his fellow travelers to stay at her house)Have you ever shared something you had?
  • How can you show hospitality to others?
  • Have you ever taught someone about Jesus?
  • Who teaches you about Jesus?
  • How can you become a Christian? (believe in Jesus, confess your sins, accept that Jesus died and rose again for you)
  • Have you believed in Jesus to forgive your sins and be your Savior?

Bible Study: Grades 4-6

Introduce the Story:
Our Bible story this month takes place after Jesus was raised from the dead and went to heaven. It takes place during a time we call the early church – a time when Jesus’ followers continued to get together and remember Jesus and what he taught and to worship God. This was also a time for missionaries… What is a missionary? (A missionary is a person who travels to different places making friends with the people there and telling them about God.)
Now Paul was one of the greatest missionaries that ever lived! Paul did not begin his life as a Christian. He was born in a town called Tarsus and was very committed to the Jewish faith. He even persecuted the early Christians. What does it mean to persecute? (to harm or abuse people for thinking or acting differently than you do). Paul was a young boy when Jesus was crucified. Years later, Paul was on his way to Damascus to persecute and imprison Christians when God met Paul by speaking through a blinding light. At that point, Paul became a follower of Jesus and began his work as a missionary in order to spread The Good News that Jesus had died for our sins. Paul took four different mission trips. On the second mission trip, he and a few followers went into Europe and ended up in Philippi (Show a map).

Paul and his friends ended up in Philippi on the Sabbath, the day reserved for worshipping God. There wasn’t a synagogue where people could worship, so they wandered around outside the town. They found a group of women by the river. They were praying together. One of the ladies was named Lydia.

Where in our Bibles would we find stories about Jesus’ followers after Jesus died and was risen? (New Testament) The stories of the early church are found in the New Testament – and especially in the book of Acts or Acts of the Apostles. This is a book of history – the only history book in the New Testament.

Help the children locate and read Acts 16:13-15, 40.

That is a very powerful message for such a short story. Lydia was a businesswoman in Philippi. She sold purple cloth. Lydia was able to get the purple dye from a certain type of shell in the river and dye her cloth purple. She must have been a very busy woman. She apparently took time to pray, and she was very interested in learning about Jesus from Paul. When Paul told Lydia about the fact that Jesus died on the cross for our sins so that we would have eternal life with God, Lydia became a believer and wanted to be baptized as a Christian. After her entire family had been baptized, Lydia invited Paul and his friends to stay with her and her family in their home. Lydia’s home became the first Christian house church in Europe.

The same Spirit that moved Paul and his fellow travelers to come to Macedonia moved in Lydia’s heart. As Paul explained the gospel message to her, she believed and was baptized. Lydia’s story is a good example of God’s prevenient grace – how God woos and draws us to Christ, before we even know what the gospel is about. When Lydia accepted the gospel message Paul preached, and accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior, she was justified (made right with God) – this is God’s justifying grace. As God’s Holy Spirit continued to work in her heart and life, we see an example of God’s sanctifying grace – helping Lydia and all believers to be transformed into the likeness of Jesus. This is the goal of the Christian life – to become like Jesus!

Lydia was a remarkable woman for two main reasons. First, she opened her heart so that the message of Jesus could enter. Secondly, she opened her home to Paul and the other missionaries, which enabled even more people to hear the word of God and the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Memory Verse: Each rotation we encourage the children to memorize the Rotation Memory Verse. Review it with the children at this time. Please record in the Memory Verse notebooks all children who memorize the verse and recite it by heart to a shepherd, teacher or Mrs. Jaymie. Children will be recognized at the conclusion of each rotation for memorizing these verses.

“Say with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord’. Believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead. Then you will be saved.” Romans 10:9

Children with their own Bibles should highlight the verse using the Bible highlighters in the classroom. Please do not mark in the classroom Bibles.

Discuss:

  • Before she mat Paul, Lydia believed in God, but not in Jesus. How is this different? (Jesus is the One sent from God to make us right with God. By dying and rising again Jesus made a way for us to be forgiven for our sins – when we believe and accept this)
  • Why do you think Lydia believed the message about Jesus? (God had prepared her heart)
  • Why is baptism important? (It shows that we belong to Jesus, for infants it is a promise that parents and the church make to raise a child to know and love Jesus. For believers it shows others that we believe in Jesus and have been forgiven of our sins)
  • What is prevenient grace? (God’s Spirit drawing us to Him, before we actually understand about God)
  • What is justifying grace? (being made right with God – justified – when we believe in Jesus)
  • What is sanctifying grace? (the continued work of God’s Spirit within us, to help us grow more like Jesus)
  • What is the goal of the Christian life? (to become like Jesus)
  • How was Lydia’s life changed? (she had the first home church in Europe, she became a follower of Jesus, she shared her home with others)
  • How did Lydia show hospitality? (invited Paul and his fellow travelers to stay at her house)Have you ever shared something you had?
  • How can you show hospitality to others?
  • Have you ever taught someone about Jesus?
  • Who teaches you about Jesus?
  • How can you become a Christian? (believe in Jesus, confess your sins, accept that Jesus died and rose again for you)
  • Have you believed in Jesus to forgive your sins and be your Savior?


Activity: Purple Dyed Welcome Signs
Each child will create a “welcome sign” to take home. The sign will remind them of how hospitable Lydia was, how Lydia was welcomed into the church through baptism and how the Holy Spirit opened Lydia’s heart to allow the message of Jesus as our Lord and Savior to enter in.

Instructions:

  1. Have the children Write the word “WELCOME” across the middle of the circle, using a pencil.
  2. Above the word “welcome”, they may draw any Christian symbol they like- (fish, dove, cross). Instruct them to make the picture very simple, as they will be tracing their writing with glue. They may embellish the border of the circle if they like with “drops of water” that would symbolize their baptism.
  3. Using a bottle of glue, trace the writing and drawing. Let the glue soak into the fabric.
  4. Spray the purple dye all over the fabric (the part that is covered with glue will not absorb any dye).
  5. Place a piece of parchment paper over the fabric.
  6. Iron the fabric on both the parchment side and the freezer paper side (approx. 30 sec. each).
  7. Peel the papers off and rinse the fabric with cool water.
  8. Center the fabric and secure it in the embroidery hoop.


Reflection:

The last 10 minutes should be reserved for Journal and Reflection time. This is an opportunity for processing and reflection about what the children have learned. Ask the shepherds to pass out the journals and pencils/pens and the journal sticker for the day. (Note: Journal questions are color-coded for each age group – purple for K-1, red for 2-3 and blue for 4-6.) Workshop leaders and shepherds should sit down with children in small groups to facilitate discussion and writing in Faith Journals. Memory verse stickers are also included for each lesson. Children may also copy the memory verse and illustrate.

Journal Questions:
Grades K-3: Draw a picture of Lydia being baptized
Grades 4-6: What does baptism mean to you?

Closing prayer:

Gather the children together. Review with them one word or concept that they learned during today’s session. (Hospitality, Baptism, Grace, time for prayer) Encourage them to come back next week and to bring a friend, especially a friend who does not have a church home. Remind them to bring their Bibles. Ask for prayer requests and close with prayer.

Dear Lord, We are so thankful that You claim us as Your own. Please help us to prepare our hearts as Lydia did so that we might help spread Your words of hope and love. Amen.


 

A lesson by Jaymie Derden from: State Street UMC 

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

Last edited by Rotation.org Lesson Forma-teer

Lydia: A New Believer!
Computer Workshop


Summary of Lesson Activities:

Children will review the story using Interactive Bible for Kids: Life of Paul CD. Older children will create an illustrated poem about Lydia. Younger children will illustrate the story.

For scripture and objectives - see above.


Software Needed:

  • Life of Paul
  • Kid Pix (both of these CDs are available from sundaysoftware.com)


Advanced Preparation and Room Set Up:

  • Read the Background Information, teaching tips and lesson plan.
  • Preview the software. Note especially how to navigate through the various parts of the programs, locate the study notes from the lesson and play the games so you will be able to assist the children.
  • Copy handouts – one for each computer station and for each shepherd.
  • Turn on computers, insert CDs and open programs to main menu before children arrive.
  • If you want to use headphones, remove the plugs to the speakers and insert the headphone plug into the light green port in the back of the tower.


Notes for Computer Workshop Leaders:
This workshop can always use extra hands, especially for the younger children. Ask the shepherds to sit with the children at a computer station and help with navigation, reading text and discussion. At the 11:00 session, use your shepherds and the 5-6 grade helpers. You might also want to pair older students with younger ones. As much as possible, try to sit with your students as you go through the software together. The lesson is not what’s on the computer. It’s what you and the students do with what’s on the computer. Guide your students through the content, share yourself and facilitate their sharing with each other. Model your enthusiasm for the Word of God. Please make sure that children take turns at the mouse and keyboard. If necessary, use the timer in the room to help the children switch roles.

Please start on time!

Time Guidelines:
Welcome/Introduction 10 minutes
Bible Study 10 minutes
Lydia Computer Activities 35 minutes
Journal/Closing 5 minutes



Lesson Plan


Opening:

Gather the children together in the chairs with their Bibles. Welcome the children and introduce yourself. Make sure you are wearing your name tag and that the children have picked up their nametags. Always begin each class with introductions. Remember that workshop leaders rotate often, and the children may not know you. Please include the shepherds in introductions. Tell the children that today they will be exploring the story of how Lydia became a follower of Jesus.

Opening Prayer:

Please open class with prayer each week. You may pray your own prayer or use the prayer below: Dear God, We praise you and we thank you for all you do for us. Be with us today as we learn more about you and how to be faithful. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.

Important Teacher Notes:
Each workshop includes the Bible story. One of our primary goals is to improve the children’s Bible literacy! If children do not bring their Bibles from home, use the classroom Bibles. Shepherds should help the children locate the stories. Use the handout “Helping Children Learn to Use their Bibles” and the background information to help you introduce the story.

Remember, that as the rotation progresses, the children will become more familiar with the story. When this happens, allow the children to tell you what they know. The children should still locate the story in their Bibles every week. Use the bold headings in their Bibles to guide your discussion. You may want to review some of the Bible notes as well. Be sure to fill in any missing information and add additional details using the Background Information to help you. One of the greatest advantages of this model is that children who come regularly learn the story in great depth.

Each lesson contains more Background Information and discussion questions than can be used in one session. Remember, children are studying this story for four weeks! Be sure to follow the time guidelines and leave ample time for the activities.

Dig:


Introduce the Story:

After Jesus was raised from the dead and went to heaven, his followers continued to gather together to tell his stories and to worship God. One of Jesus’ followers was a man named Paul. Paul had originally hated Christians – in fact he put them in jail and even killed some, but he was changed when he had a vision of Jesus. Then he became the greatest of all the apostles. Paul and his friends traveled on many journeys to share the good news of Jesus with others.

One night Paul had a dream. He saw a man standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia… Help us!’” (Acts 16:9-10) Paul realized that God had called him to preach the good news in Macedonia. (Macedonia is a region in modern-day Greece.)

So Paul along with his friend, Silas, Paul traveled to Philippi.

Whenever Paul visited a new town, he always looked for the synagogue so he could preach there.
There was no Jewish synagogue in Philippi, but a group of women who loved God met at the river for prayer. So… Paul went to the river to meet with the women there. And it is there that he met Lydia.

Christians are people who believe in and follow Jesus. Where would we find a story about the early Christians in the Bible? (New Testament) This story is found in the book of Acts. This book tells about the “acts” of the people who were the first followers of Jesus. Let’s find the story in our Bibles now.

Bible Study: Grades K-3
“This story is not found in the Little Kids’ Adventure Bible.”

Because this story is very short, plan to read (or review) the story from the Adventure Bible for Young Readers. Read Acts 16:11-15.

Bible Study: Grades 4-6
Have children locate Acts 16:11-15. Read (or review) as the children follow along.

Memory Verse: Each rotation we encourage the children to memorize the Rotation Memory Verse. Review it with the children at this time. Please record in the Memory Verse notebooks all children who memorize the verse and recite it by heart to a shepherd, teacher or Mrs. Jaymie. Children will be recognized at the conclusion of each rotation for memorizing these verses.

“Say with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord.’ Believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead. Then you will be saved.” Romans 10:9

The Bible tells us that this is what we must do to be “saved.” What does being “saved” mean? (Being saved means that we will have eternal life, we will live with God forever, even after we die.) But it’s not just about after we die; it means we can be close to God now. Because God loves us, God offers this gift to us for free – all we have to do is accept it. Once we do, we are called Christians. If we ask, God forgives us for the sin, the wrong things we have done. God’s Holy Spirit comes into our hearts and helps us grow closer and closer to God. The Holy Spirit helps us grow more and more like Jesus.

Have the children with their own Bibles highlight the memory verse using the highlighters provided. Please do not mark in the classroom Bibles.

Computer Activity: Life of Paul CD (Grades K-1)
Life of Paul CD

Directions:

  1. Gather children around one computer to demonstrate how to use the software.
  2. Click on Hall of Fame in Main Menu.
  3. Click on People Paul Knew (to left)
  4. Click on Silas. Listen to narration.
  5. Click on Lydia. Listen to narration.


If you have enough help, assign one helper to a group of two-three children at a computer station. Have them navigate through the following stories with the helper. If you don’t have enough help to divide the group, continue in the large group.

  1. Click on the back finger (on left) to return to Hall of Fame.
  2. Click on Life of Paul Exhibit.
  3. Click on Paul Kills Christians. Listen to narration.
  4. Click on Paul Becomes a Christian. Listen.
  5. Click on A Special Dream. Listen
  6. Click on Lydia Becomes a Christian. Listen.
  7. Click on Main Menu at bottom tool bar.
  8. Click on Fun and Games.
  9. Children may choose from Puzzles, Bible Memory or Dot-to-Dot games. Listen to the narrated instructions.
  10. Note that puzzles have two levels of difficulty: click on the finger on the lower right to change levels.
  11. Lydia puzzle is found in the second row, second from the left. Man from Macedonia puzzle is in the second row, first from the left.


Optional: Illustrate the Story (for K-1)
Software: Kid Pix

If children prefer, they may illustrate the story using Kid Pix. See attached basic instructions for navigation in Kid Pix.

Computer Activity: Life of Paul (Grades 2-6)
Life of Paul CD

Directions:

  1. Gather children around one computer to demonstrate how to use the software.
  2. Click on Hall of Fame in Main Menu.
  3. Click on People Paul Knew (to left)
  4. Click on Silas. Listen to narration.
  5. Click on Lydia. Listen to narration.

    Divide the children into pairs at the computer stations. Pass out the handouts for navigation and worksheet to each station.

  6. Click on the back finger (on left) to return to Hall of Fame.
  7. Click on Life of Paul Exhibit.
  8. Click on Paul Kills Christians. Listen to narration.
  9. Click on Paul Becomes a Christian. Listen.
  10. Click on A Special Dream. Listen
  11. Click on Lydia Becomes a Christian. Listen.
  12. Click on Main Menu at bottom tool bar.
  13. Click on Discover the Bible.
  14. Click on the finger at the lower right to navigate to Acts 9:16-20. Click on the Bible at the lower right.
  15. Read “Life then, Life Now: Synagogues.”
    Synagogues were places Jews met to learn about God and worship.
    What was not allowed in synagogues? (sacrifices)
  16. Click on finger at the lower right to navigate to Acts 9:29-33. Click on the Bible at the lower right.
  17. Read “I Wonder…. What is the Good News?”
    The good news is that God came to earth as a human being, paid for our sin and wants us to live with him in heaven. Who was this person? (Jesus)
  18. Navigate to Acts 13:8-11. Click on the Bible icon at the lower right.
  19. Read “Paul’s Journeys.”
    What ways did Paul travel? (walked, rode donkey, by ship)
    Find Philippi on the map.
    Who did Paul meet there? (Lydia)

Make Lydia Poetry Posters on the Computer
Children will create poetry posters describing Lydia.

Software:
Kid Pix or Word for older children (they may use Word Art to create a decorative title)
Poetry Handout – one for each computer station

Directions:

  1. Explain to the children that they will create an illustrated poem about Lydia. There are a variety of poetry styles from which they may choose. Refer to the handout about poetry.
  2.  Discuss/review some of the basics about Lydia –
    where she was from (Thyatira in a region called Lydia, what she did (sold purple cloth),
    how she met Paul (at the river),
    what happened there (she learned about Jesus, believed and was baptized),
    how her life was changed (she became a Christian, started the first house church in Europe,
    she now believed that Jesus was God’s Son, sent to forgive our sins),
    her hospitality to Paul and others.

    Lydia believed in God, but not in Jesus. How is this different? (Jesus is the One sent from God to make us right with God, through dying and rising again Jesus made a way for us to be forgiven for our sins – when we believe and accept this)

    Why do you think Lydia believed the message about Jesus? (God had prepared her heart)

    Why is baptism important? (it shows that we belong to Jesus, for infants it is a promise parents and the church make to raise a child to know and love Jesus, for believers it shows others that we believe in Jesus and have been forgiven of our sins)

    Note: For 2-3 graders (and as an example for 4-6 graders), work as a class to do a sample poem. Write it on the white board. Younger children may then simply copy the poem and illustrate it. Older children can use it as an example and create their own. If time allows, children may create several different types of poems. Be sure to print out copies so we can make our own scrapbook of their poems.
  3. Children will use Kid Pix to create their poetry posters. Children may also wish to draw Lydia.
  4. Divide children into pairs at computers.
  5. Be sure the children take turns drawing and writing. Use the timer if necessary to enforce sharing.
  6. Have children print a copy to take home and a copy to keep for our scrapbook.


Reflection:

The last 5-10 minutes of class should be reserved for Journal and Reflection time. This is an opportunity for processing and reflection about what the children have learned. Ask the shepherds to pass out the journals and pencils/pens and the journal sticker for the day. (Note: Journal questions are color-coded for each age group – purple for K-1, red for 2-3 and blue for 4-6.) Workshop leaders and shepherds should sit down with children in small groups to facilitate discussion and writing in Faith Journals. Memory verse stickers are also included for each lesson. Children may also copy the memory verse and illustrate.

Instead of Journal Questions, have the children print out their Poetry Poems and bring them to the center table to share.

Closing prayer:
Gather the children together. Review with them one word or concept that they learned during today’s session. (faith, courage, belief, healing, perseverance are some suggestions) Encourage them to come back next week and to bring a friend, especially a friend who does not have a church home. Remind them to bring their Bibles. Ask for prayer requests and close with prayer.

Release children only to parents or by prior permission of parents after signing out on class clipboards.


Computer Guide – Grades K-1
(copy one per station + 4 shepherds)

Directions:
Follow this guide.

  1. Click on Hall of Fame in Main Menu.
  2. Click on People Paul Knew (to left)
  3. Click on Silas. Listen to narration.
  4. Click on Lydia. Listen to narration.
  5. Click on the back finger (on left) to return to Hall of Fame.
  6. Click on Life of Paul Exhibit.
  7. Click on Paul Kills Christians. Listen to narration.
  8. Click on Paul Becomes a Christian. Listen.
  9. Click on A Special Dream. Listen
  10. Click on Lydia Becomes a Christian. Listen.
  11. Click on Main Menu at bottom tool bar.
  12. Click on Fun and Games.
  13. Choose from Puzzles, Bible Memory or Dot-to-Dot games. Listen to the narrated instructions.
  14. Puzzles have two levels of difficulty: click on the finger on the lower right to change levels – 1 finger is easier, 2 fingers is harder.Lydia puzzle is found in the second row, second from the left. Man from Macedonia puzzle is in the second row, first from the left.

    If you have time, illustrate the story using Kid Pix.

Life of Paul Handout (Grades 2-6)
(copy one per computer station + one for each shepherd)

Directions:
Follow the guide as you go through the CD. Be sure to answer all the questions on this sheet.

  1. Click on Hall of Fame in Main Menu.
  2. Click on People Paul Knew (to left)
  3. Click on Silas. Listen to narration.
  4. Click on Lydia. Listen to narration.
  5. Click on the back finger (on left) to return to Hall of Fame.
  6. Click on Life of Paul Exhibit.
  7. Click on Paul Kills Christians. Listen to narration.
  8. Click on Paul Becomes a Christian. Listen.
  9. Click on A Special Dream. Listen
  10. Click on Lydia Becomes a Christian. Listen.
  11. Click on Main Menu at bottom tool bar.
  12. Click on Discover the Bible.
  13. Click on the finger at the lower right to navigate to Acts 9:16-20. Click on the Bible icon at the lower right.
  14. Read “Life then, Life Now: Synagogues.”

    Synagogues were places Jews met to ____________________________________ and
    ____________________.

    What was not allowed in synagogues?

  15. Click on finger at the lower right to navigate to Acts 9:29-33. Click on the Bible icon.
  16. Read “I Wonder…. What is the Good News?”

    The good news is that God came to earth as a ______________________________, paid for
    our _______________________ and wants us to live with him in ______________________

    Who was this person?

  17. Navigate to Acts 13:8-11. Click on the Bible icon at the lower right.
  18. Read “Paul’s Journeys.”

    What ways did Paul travel?
    ________________________
    ________________________
    ________________________

  19. Find Philippi on the map.
  20. Who did Paul meet there?

Types of Poetry
(Copy one handout for each computer station + 1 for the shepherd)

Directions:
Choose a poetry style and work together with your partner to write a poem about Lydia. Type it into the computer and illustrate it if you like.

Haiku
Haiku is a Japanese form of un-rhymed poetry with three lines.
Line 1: Five syllables
Line 2: Seven syllables
Line 3: Five syllables

Example:
Lovely Lydia
Praying by the river side
Believes in Jesus!

ABC Poetry
ABC Poetry is written in short form to express strong emotion. The first letters in the four lines are written alphabetically. (The first line doesn’t have to begin with A)

Example:
Lydia
Maker of purple cloth
Never knew about Jesus
Overjoyed, she now believes!

Cinquain Poetry
This poetry consists of five lines.

Line 1: Name
Line 2: Two words to describe line 1
Line 3: Three action words about line 1
Line 4: Four feeling words about line 1
Line 5: one word that refers to line 1

Example:
Lydia
Successful Merchant
Wondered, questioned, prayed
Generous, faithful, loving, kind
Believer!


A lesson by Jaymie Derden from: State Street UMC
Bristol, VA

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

 

Last edited by Rotation.org Lesson Forma-teer

Lydia: A New Believer!

Cooking Workshop


Summary of Lesson Activities:

Making hospitality heart cookies.


Supplies:

  • Rolls of Sugar Cookie dough – enough to make several dozen cookies
  • Heart shaped cookie cutters
  • Purple decorating gel and candies
  • Rolling pins
  • Parchment paper to line baking pans (for ease of clean-up)
  • Wax Paper
  • Wire racks
  • Flour
  • Paper towels, napkins, juice & cups
  • Small Zip-loc baggies
  • Construction paper folded in half to make cards
  • Markers, crayons, stickers, etc.


Note:
The cookies will be given to Hospice House – March is our church’s month to provide hospitality to the families staying there. After class, take the wrapped cookies to Patty Kilbreath, the parish nurse’s office.

Preparation and Room Set Up:

  • Review the Background Information, Behavioral Covenant, Teaching Tips and Lesson plan.
  • Gather all necessary supplies for activities.
  • Preheat oven according to package instructions.
  • Set out a section of wax paper for each child to use as a work area.


ALLERGY NOTE: Several of our children are severely allergic to peanuts and other nuts. Check ingredient labels to make sure nuts and nut oils are not included in any cooking activities.

Important Note for Cooking Workshop Leaders:
Children LOVE to cook and create various concoctions in this workshop. But occasionally the cooking activity does not have as obvious or concrete a connection with the lesson as do some of the other workshops. Help the children make that connection by intentionally discussing the way the activity relates to the lesson of the day. Discuss during preparation, eating and clean-up times. When finished with the activity of the day, please be sure to bag up the trash and replace the trashcan liner (extras are found in the hallway closet if needed) if any food items were used.

Please start on time!

Time Guidelines:
Welcome and Introductions 10 minutes
Bible Study 10 minutes
Hospitality Hearts 30 minutes
Reflection/Closing 10 minutes



Lesson Plan


Opening:

Welcome the children and introduce yourself. Make sure everyone is wearing a nametag. Please include the shepherd in introductions. Give the children a simple one or two-sentence synopsis of what you will be doing during the workshop.

Prayer: Please begin your class with prayer each week. Pray your own or use the prayer printed below.
Heavenly Father, Thank you for this day and this time we learn more about you and your ways.
Thank you for your love and your grace in our lives. Help us learn to share your love with others.
In Jesus name, Amen

Important Teacher Notes:
Each workshop includes the Bible story. One of our primary goals is to improve the children’s Bible literacy! If children did not bring their Bibles from home, use the classroom Bibles. Shepherds should help the children locate the stories. Use the handout “Helping Children Learn to Use their Bibles” and the Background Information to help you introduce the story.

Remember that as the rotation progresses; the children will become more familiar with the story. When this happens, allow the children to tell you what they know. The children should still locate the story in their Bibles every week. Use the bold headings in their Bibles to guide your discussion. You may want to review some of the Bible notes as well. Be sure to fill in any missing information and add additional details using the Background Information to help you. One of the greatest advantages of this model is that children who come regularly learn the story in great depth.

Each lesson contains more Background Information and discussion questions than can be used in one session. Remember, children are studying this story for four weeks! Be sure to follow the time guidelines and leave ample time for the activity.

Dig:


Introduce the story:
After Jesus was raised from the dead and went to heaven, his followers continued to gather together to tell his stories and to worship God. One of Jesus’ followers was a man named Paul. Paul had originally hated Christians – in fact he put them in jail and even killed some, but he was changed when he had a vision of Jesus. Then he became the greatest of all the apostles. Paul and his friends traveled on many journeys to share the good news of Jesus with others. More and more people became Christians because of Paul’s visits.

On his second missionary journey Paul planned to visit churches that he started during his first missionary journey, but God had other plans. The Bible says that the “Holy Spirit prevented them from entering” some regions of Asia Minor. Paul had a vision. “He saw a man standing and begging him. ‘Come over to Macedonia…Help us!’” (Acts 16:9-10) So Paul and his companions ended up going to Philippi instead.

Let’s find out what happens…..

Christians are people who believe in and follow Jesus. Where would we find a story about the early Christians in the Bible? (New Testament) This story is found in the book of Acts. This book tells about the “acts” of the people who were the first followers of Jesus. Let’s find the story in our Bibles now.

Bible Study: Grades K-3
“This story is not found in the Little Kids’ Adventure Bible.” Help the children locate the Introduction page to the Books of History (facing page 363).

Because this story is very short, plan to read the story from the Adventure Bible for Young Readers. Read Acts 16:11-15.

Bible Study: Grades 4-6
Have children locate Acts 16:11-15. Read as the children follow along.
Review the following Bible notes with the children:

Adventure Bible for Young Readers (4-6)
Life in Bible times: Purple Cloth (page 1292)
People in Bible Times: Lydia (page 1291)

Memory Verse: Each rotation we encourage the children to memorize the Rotation Memory Verse. Review it with the children at this time. Please record in the Memory Verse notebooks all children who memorize the verse and recite it by heart to a shepherd, teacher or Mrs. Jaymie. Children will be recognized at the conclusion of each rotation for memorizing these verses.

“Say with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord.’ Believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead. Then you will be saved.” Romans 10:9

The Bible tells us that this is what we must do to be “saved.” Being saved means that we will have eternal life, we will live with God forever, even after we die. But it’s not just about after we die; it means we can be close to God now. Because God loves us, God offers this gift to us for free – all we have to do is accept it. Once we do, we are called Christians. If we ask, God forgives us for the sin, the wrong things we have done. God’s Holy Spirit comes into our hearts and helps us grow closer and closer to God. The Holy Spirit helps us grow more and more like Jesus.

Have the children with their own Bibles highlight the memory verse using the highlighters provided. Please do not mark in the classroom Bibles.

Hospitality Heart Cookies:
Children will bake heart-shaped cookies to be given to Hospice House families.

Directions:

  1. Have all the children wash their hands.
  2. Give each child a slice of dough and place on their wax paper sheet. Sprinkle with a small amount of flour.
  3. Help the children roll out the cookie dough to 1/4-inch thickness.
  4. Have each child use the cookie cutter to cut out a heart from the dough. Repeat so that each child makes several cookies.
  5. Place cookie dough shapes on baking sheets covered with parchment paper.
  6. Bake according to package instructions. Bake the small scraps of dough for the children to eat.
  7. Place cookies on wire rack to cool.


As the cookies are baking and cooling, discuss the following:
Why do you think Lydia believed the message about Jesus? (God had prepared her heart)
How was Lydia’s life changed? (she had the first home church in Europe, she became a follower of Jesus, she shared her home with others)
How did Lydia show hospitality? (invited Paul and his fellow travelers to stay at her house)Have you ever shared something you had?

Explain to the children that, like Lydia, we are going to show hospitality, by giving our cookies to the Hospice House. During the month of March, our church provides food and goodie bags to the families who are staying there with a sick family member.

Hospitality Cards

Directions:

  1. As cookies are baking and while you are discussing the story with the children, have them create cards to send along with the cookies.
  2. Be sensitive, but gently explain the purpose of Hospice House – a place where families can stay with a relative who is dying. Help the children write appropriate messages for the families…. (these patients will not “Get Well Soon.”) Encourage them to write messages such as, “We’re praying for you.” “God loves you.” “God is with you during this difficult time.”
  3. When the cookies are cooled, let the children decorate them with the purple gel and candies with Christian symbols. 
  4. Bag the cookies in Ziploc baggies. Place the cards with the cookies.


Let the children eat the baked scraps of dough while you discuss the following:

  • How can you show hospitality to others?
  • Have you ever taught someone about Jesus?
  • Who teaches you about Jesus?
  • How can you become a Christian? (believe in Jesus, confess your sins, accept that Jesus died and rose again for you)
  • Have you believed in Jesus to forgive your sins and be your Savior?


Encourage everyone to help clean up.
Give each child a heart Bag the extra cookies so each child will have one. Encourage each child to pick out someone as they leave the church today (not a family member) and to tell the good news about Jesus!

Reflection:

The last 10 minutes should be reserved for Journal and Reflection time. This is an opportunity for processing and reflection about what the children have learned. Ask the shepherds to pass out the journals and pencils/pens and the journal sticker for the day. (Note: Journal questions are color-coded for each age group – purple for K-1, red for 2-3 and blue for 4-6.) Workshop leaders and shepherds should sit down with children in small groups to facilitate discussion and writing in Faith Journals. Memory verse stickers are also included for each lesson. Children may also copy the memory verse and illustrate.

Journal Questions:
Grades K-3: Draw a picture of Lydia’s home. What do you think she fixed for dinner?
Grades 4-6: Lydia is known for her hospitality to Paul and his companions. When is a time you showed hospitality to strangers?

Closing prayer: Gather the children together in a circle holding hands. Review with them one word or concept that they learned during today’s session. (love, mercy, grace, believe, hospitality are some suggestions) Encourage them to come back next week and to bring a friend, especially a friend who does not have a church home. Remind them to bring their Bibles. Close with a circle prayer. Tell the children that you will start the prayer and pass it on to the next child, if anyone does not want to say a prayer, let them squeeze the hand of the next child to pass it on. When it comes back to you finish the prayer.

Please bag up all trash and place outside the classroom door. Replace the trashcan liner. Extras are found on the top of the refrigerator.

Release children only to parents or by prior permission of parents after signing out on class clipboards.


A lesson by Jaymie Derden from: State Street UMC
Bristol, VA

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

Last edited by Rotation.org Lesson Forma-teer

Lydia: A New Believer!

Drama and Puppet Workshop

 

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Children will create their own storytelling pouch with stick puppets.

For scripture, objectives, and background - see above.


General Tips for Drama Workshop Facilitators:

  • You may wish to organize costumes or puppets ahead of time to cut down on a flurry of activity and possible hurt feelings. Have props ready ahead of time. This is especially important for the younger children. The older children often are very creative with props and costumes.
  • You will want to limit the amount of time the children are allowed to dress-up. (They can easily spend the entire class time selecting costumes!)
  • Be sure that all children are involved in some way. Some children are intimidated by the prospect of being on a stage. Offer them alternative roles as well as the children who do not have main parts. They can always be “sound effects” or “crowds” or stagehands to help change scenery, or video camera operators (for the older children). Remember as well that children can draw the backdrop for the drama on the blackboard or videotape the plays (older children).
  • To eliminate competition, you may wish to place the names of characters in a hat and have children choose their parts.
  • Be sure to explain the activity to the children and ask for questions.
  • Even though videotaping the activities may seem unnecessary, videotaping seems to encourage better behavior from the children.
  • Have fun and make this fun for the children!
  • The purpose of the drama workshop is not to create a polished performance. Through the activity, children will explore the story in depth. Feel free to pause and discuss details as they arise, add more information (using the Background information and resources) and answer questions along the way.


Preparation and Room Set Up:

  1. Review the Background Information, Behavioral Covenant, Teaching Tips and Lesson plan. 
  2. Preview the Rotation Music CD. Play the music as children arrive and during journaling.
  3. Set up tables for puppet-making activity.
  4. Make one male and one female puppet as samples for the children to see.
  5. Cut the muslin into 18 X 18 inch squares, using pinking shears to minimize fraying.
  6. Cut the fabric scraps into rectangles for the puppet clothing – 2.5 X 6 inches using pinking shears (older children can do this on their own, prepare them ahead for younger children).
  7. Fold the fabric rectangles in half with the fold at the top. Snip an opening about .5 inch down from the center of the fold and across the fold on each side. This will allow the head of the craft stick to come through. (Older children can do this part on their own – prepare them ahead of time for younger children).
  8. Cut some purple fabric into 3 X 5 inch rectangles.
  9. Get a carpenter friend to help prepare the stands. Cut 1 X 1 inch wooden blocks from a 1 X 4 piece of lumber. Use a band saw to create a slice in the middle of the block about halfway down. The slit should be wide enough for the base of the craft stick to slide in so that the stick stands upright and is secure. Make one block for each craft stick puppet.


Please start on time!

Time Guidelines:
Welcome and Introductions 10 minutes
Bible Story 10 minutes
Puppets 20 minutes
Reflection/Closing 10 minutes

Supplies:

  • Simple script of the story
  • 18 X 18 inch squares of muslin – one for each child
  • Markers
  • Purple yarn or ribbon (12 inches per child)
  • People-shaped wood craft sticks – 2 per child (do an online search - the ones pictured are 5 3/8" long and come with both male and female)
  • Fabric scraps (including purple fabric)
  • Yarn scraps (brown, black, tan)
  • Scissors
  • Craft Glue
  • Chenille sticks
  • Masking tape
  • Wooden blocks 1 inch X 1 inch



Lesson Plan

Opening:

Early Arrival Activity:
Have children draw a river with people gathered nearby on the blackboard.

Welcome the children and introduce yourself. Make sure everyone is wearing a nametag. Please include the shepherd in introductions. Give the children a simple one or two-sentence synopsis of the day’s activity.

Prayer: Please begin your class with prayer each week. Pray your own or use the prayer printed below.
Dear God, Thank you for this day and for everyone who is here today. We thank you for the great stories of your people in the Bible. Be with us as we learn more about you through them. AMEN.

Important Teacher Notes:
Each workshop includes the Bible story. One of our primary goals is to improve the children’s Bible literacy! If children did not bring their Bibles from home, use the classroom Bibles. Shepherds should help the children locate the stories. Use the handout “Helping Children Learn to Use their Bibles” and the Background Information to help you introduce the story.

Remember that as the rotation progresses; the children will become more familiar with the story. When this happens, allow the children to tell you what they know. The children should still locate the story in their Bibles every week. Use the bold headings in their Bibles to guide your discussion. You may want to review some of the Bible notes as well. Be sure to fill in any missing information and add additional details using the Background Information to help you. One of the greatest advantages of this model is that children who come regularly learn the story in great depth.

Each lesson contains more Background Information and discussion questions than can be used in one session. Remember, children are studying this story for four weeks! Be sure to follow the time guidelines and leave ample time for the activity.

Dig:


Introduce the Story:
After Jesus was raised from the dead and went to heaven, his followers continued to gather together to tell his stories and to worship God. One of Jesus’ followers was a man named Paul. Paul had originally hated Christians – in fact he put them in jail and even killed some, but he was changed when he had a vision of Jesus. Then he became the greatest of all the apostles. Paul and his friends traveled on many journeys to share the good news of Jesus with others.

One night Paul had a dream. He saw a man standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia… Help us!’” (Acts 16:9-10) Paul realized that God had called him to preach the good news in Macedonia. (Macedonia is a region in modern-day Greece.)

So Paul with his friend, Silas, Paul traveled to Philippi.

Whenever Paul visited a new town, he always looked for the synagogue so he could preach there.
There was no Jewish synagogue in Philippi, but a group of women who loved God met at the river for prayer. So… Paul went to the river to meet with the women there. And it is there that he met Lydia.

Christians are people who believe in and follow Jesus. Where would we find a story about the early Christians in the Bible? (New Testament) This story is found in the book of Acts. This book tells about the “acts” of the people who were the first followers of Jesus. Let’s find the story in our Bibles now.

Bible Study: Grades K-3
“This story is not found in the Little Kids’ Adventure Bible.” Help the children locate the Introduction page to the Books of History (facing page 363).

Because this story is very short, plan to read the story from the Adventure Bible for Young Readers. Read Acts 16:11-15.

Bible Study: Grades 4-6
Have children locate Acts 16:11-15. Read as the children follow along.

Review the following Bible notes with the children:

Adventure Bible for Young Readers (4-6)
Life in Bible times: Purple Cloth (page 1292)
People in Bible Times: Lydia (page 1291)

Memory Verse: Each rotation we encourage the children to memorize the Rotation Memory Verse. Review it with the children at this time. Please record in the Memory Verse notebooks all children who memorize the verse and recite it by heart to a shepherd, teacher or Mrs. Jaymie. Children will be recognized at the conclusion of each rotation for memorizing these verses.

“Say with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord.’ Believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead. Then you will be saved.” Romans 10:9

The Bible tells us that this is what we must do to be “saved.” Being saved means that we will have eternal life, we will live with God forever, even after we die. But it’s not just about after we die; it means we can be close to God now. Because God loves us, God offers this gift to us for free – all we have to do is accept it. Once we do, we are called Christians. If we ask, God forgives us for the sin, the wrong things we have done. God’s Holy Spirit comes into our hearts and helps us grow closer and closer to God. The Holy Spirit helps us grow more and more like Jesus.

Have the children with their own Bibles highlight the memory verse using the highlighters provided. Please do not mark in the classroom Bibles.

Discuss:

  • Where was Lydia from? (Thyatira in a region called Lydia)
  • What did she do? (sold purple cloth, made from dye from shellfish)
  • Lydia believed in God, but not in Jesus. How is this different? (Jesus is the One sent from God to make us right with God, through dying and rising again Jesus made a way for us to be forgiven for our sins – when we believe and accept this)
  • Why do you think Lydia believed the message about Jesus? (God had prepared her heart)
  • Why is baptism important? (it shows that we belong to Jesus, for infants it is a promise parents and the church make to raise a child to know and love Jesus, for believers it shows others that we believe in Jesus and have been forgiven of our sins)
  • Have you ever taught someone about Jesus?
  • Who teaches you about Jesus?
  • How can you become a Christian? (believe in Jesus, confess your sins, accept that Jesus died and rose again for you)
  • Have you believed in Jesus to forgive your sins and be your Savior?
    (For older children and after the rotation has progressed)
  • What is prevenient grace? (God’s Spirit drawing us to Him, before we actually understand about God)
  • What is justifying grace? (being made right with God – justified – when we believe in Jesus)
  • What is sanctifying grace? (the continued work of God’s Spirit within us, to help us grow more like Jesus)
  • What is the goal of the Christian life? (to become like Jesus, sanctification is the work of the Holy Spirit within us, transforming us so that we are like Jesus)


Lydia Puppet Sack:

Directions:

  1. Set out the supplies on a table.
  2. Give each child two craft sticks (1 male, 1 female)
    a. Paul
    b. Lydia
  3. Have children decorate the faces of the craft sticks, adding yarn for hair if they like.
  4. Use small fabric scraps to add clothes to the stick puppets. These can be attached by tying yarn around them or by using small pieces of chenille sticks.
  5. Set aside the puppets to dry.
  6. Make a backdrop for the puppet show using the muslin squares. Give each child a muslin square. Have them use markers to draw a river scene on the muslin. (tape the muslin to the table to make drawing easier) Have children write “Lydia Believes” and their name on the backdrop.
  7. When finished, invite the children to use their story set to act out the story as you read the script.
  8. To store, place the stick puppets in the center of the backdrop. Bring up all four corners of the backdrop to the center and tie with purple ribbon or yarn.
  9. Encourage the children to tell the story to their family and friends this week.


Option: If you have additional time, children may make more women puppets and Silas.
Give children a small wooden cross and a seashell to place inside their puppet sacks.

Modifications for K-1 graders:
Cut the fabric scraps for clothes before the children arrive.
When acting out the story, have all the children follow along as you read the dialogue and demonstrate.

Reflection:

The last 10 minutes should be reserved for Journal and Reflection time. This is an opportunity for processing and reflection about what the children have learned. Ask the shepherds to pass out the journals and pencils/pens and the journal sticker for the day. (Note: Journal questions are color-coded for each age group – purple for K-1, red for 2-3 and blue for 4-6.) Workshop leaders and shepherds should sit down with children in small groups to facilitate discussion and writing in Faith Journals. Memory verse stickers are also included for each lesson. Children may also copy the memory verse and illustrate.

Journal Questions:
Grades K-3: Draw a picture of Lydia with her purple cloth.
Grades 4-6: What have you learned about God from this story?

Closing prayer: Gather the children together in a circle. Review with them one word or concept that they learned during today’s session. (faith, believe, evangelism, hospitality are some suggestions) Encourage them to come back next week and to bring a friend, especially a friend who does not have a church home. Remind them to bring their Bibles. Ask for prayer requests and close with prayer. Perhaps one of the children would like to pray? Or ask the children to pray out loud or silently one at a time. Have them say “Amen” when they are finished so the next child can pray. Remind them to memorize the Rotation Memory Verse.

Clean-up: Encourage the children to help you clean up. Return all props and other materials to the appropriate place in the prop closet or the storage cabinet.

Release children only to parents or by prior permission of parents after signing out on class clipboards.


Script: Lydia Believes!
Paul and his friend Silas were missionaries. They traveled many places to tell others about the good news of Jesus. They wanted everyone to know about God’s amazing love and how God had sent Jesus to the world so that we could be forgiven and be close to God. They even sailed in a boat to a faraway place called Macedonia so they could tell others about Jesus.

(move Paul and Silas puppets around as if traveling)

One day they came to a town called Philippi. There weren’t very many Jewish people living there so there wasn’t a synagogue. “Where can we worship?” they wondered. They walked around the town and they came to the river. There were women there. They were praying. So Paul and Silas began to talk to them. They told them about Jesus and all he had done. They told the women how Jesus had been born and about all the miracles he did. They told them how he had died on a cross and then rose again on the third day.

(bring Paul and Silas to the river to be with the women)

Now one of the women there at the river was named Lydia. She was from a city called Thyatira. She made beautiful purple cloth and sold it. When Lydia heard Paul and Silas talking about Jesus she knew it was true. She believed with all her heart that Jesus was God’s Son, the one who came to save us. She asked Paul to baptize her right there in the river! She was so excited! She felt new and wonderful inside. By being baptized Lydia showed everyone there that she believed in Jesus. It showed that Lydia was part of God’s family.

(pretend to dip Lydia in the water to baptize her)

All of the people in Lydia’s family decided to follow Jesus and they were baptized, too! It was a wonderful day for Lydia! She must have been very grateful to Paul and Silas. She invited them to come and stay at her house. What kinds of things do you think Lydia asked Paul and Silas? Do you think they talked about Jesus? I imagine Lydia and her family had lots of questions for Paul and Silas about what it meant to be a follower of Jesus. They probably talked late into the night about Jesus!

Paul and Silas left to continue their travels – there were still many more people who needed to hear the good news of Jesus.

(move Paul and Silas away from the river)

Lydia was so excited about being a believer in Jesus that she wanted to share it with everyone. She opened her heart to Jesus and her home to others! Soon many people were coming to Lydia’s house to worship. Lydia’s house was the very first church in Europe!

(bring puppets together and bow them down as if worshiping)

Lydia was changed that day at the river. Before she had just known about God. But now she knew about how much God loved her and how he sent Jesus to be her Savior. She had accepted Jesus’ love for her and understood that he died for her sins. Now Lydia was a believer in Jesus. She was a Christian.


A lesson by Jaymie Derden from: State Street UMC
Bristol, VA

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

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Lydia: A New Believer!

Games and Bible Skills Workshop


Summary of Lesson Activities:

Children will hear the story from Lydia’s perspective. Older children will make a matching game for the younger children to play.

Important Note for Games Workshop Leaders:
The purpose of the games workshop is two-fold: to develop Bible skills and to reinforce that knowledge by having fun with games. The games are not frills and fluff! Playing games helps to cement the knowledge and reinforce the skills you introduce during the Bible lesson. Children learn best when actively involve, so please do not skimp on the games portion of the lesson! Follow the time guidelines to help you stay on track. Remember – in the Rotation model, children study ONE lesson or story for 4 weeks, so it is not necessary to cover every detail in each session.


Preparation and Room Set Up:

  1. Review the Background Information, Behavioral Covenant, Teaching Tips and Lesson plan. 
  2. Preview the Rotation Music CD. Play the music as children arrive and during journaling.
  3. Obtain a costume from the drama room closet for the storytelling part of the lesson.
  4. Review the script of “Lydia’s Story” several times until you are comfortable telling it.
  5. Write out the memory verse on the index cards, several short phrases at a time. Be sure to include the scripture reference.
  6. Make an identical set.


Please start on time!

Time Guidelines:
Welcome and Introductions 10 minutes
“Lydia’s Story”- Bible Study 20 minutes
Matching Game 15 minutes
Reflection/Closing 10 minutes

Supplies:

  • Bible Time costume
  • Large basket
  • Several lengths of purple cloth
  • Several seashells
  • Script with Lydia’s story
  • Jar with lid, filled with water.
    Optional:
  • Bring along some muffins or a small loaf of bread (NO NUTS or PEANUTS, PLEASE – we have allergies!) to offer the children as you discuss Lydia’s hospitality at the end of the story.
  • Purple construction paper cut slightly larger than 3X5 index cards – 24 total
  • White unlined 3X5 inch index cards,– 24 total
  • Markers, crayons, colored pencils
  • Glue sticks
  • List of story items, cut apart
  • Index cards 3X5 inches – 24
  • Markers


Lesson Plan


Opening:

Welcome the children and introduce yourself. Make sure everyone is wearing a nametag. Please include the shepherd in introductions. Give the children a simple one or two-sentence synopsis of the day’s activity.

Prayer: Please begin your class with prayer each week. Pray your own or use the prayer printed below.
Dear God, Thank you for this day and for everyone who is here today. We thank you for the great stories of your people in the Bible. Please open our minds and hearts as we learn and play together today. AMEN.

Important Teacher Notes:
Each workshop includes the Bible story. One of our primary goals is to improve the children’s Bible literacy! If children did not bring their Bibles from home, use the classroom Bibles. Shepherds should help the children locate the stories. Use the handout “Helping Children Learn to Use their Bibles” and the Background Information to help you introduce the story.

Remember that as the rotation progresses; the children will become more familiar with the story. When this happens, allow the children to tell you what they know. The children should still locate the story in their Bibles every week. Use the bold headings in their Bibles to guide your discussion. You may want to review some of the Bible notes as well. Be sure to fill in any missing information and add additional details using the Background Information to help you. One of the greatest advantages of this model is that children who come regularly learn the story in great depth.

Each lesson contains more Background Information and discussion questions than can be used in one session. Remember, children are studying this story for four weeks! Be sure to follow the time guidelines and leave ample time for the activity.

Dig:


Lydia’s Story
NOTE: Plan to dress up as Lydia to tell the story from her perspective.

Directions:

  1. Before children arrive, dress in costume and gather your props together.
  2. Have the shepherd meet and greet the children while you remain out of sight until the children have arrived.
  3. Enter the classroom and gather the children together on the rug near the Palestine wall map.
  4. Pretend to be Lydia as you tell her story using the attached script as a guide. As much as possible, try to tell it from memory – it’s fine to paraphrase. We want the children to be drawn into the story; that works better if you do not read from a script.
  5. Encourage the children to feel your cloth, your shells and the water from your jar at the appropriate times in the story.


Introduce the Story
Christians are people who believe in and follow Jesus. Where would we find a story about the early Christians in the Bible? (New Testament) This story is found in the book of Acts. This book of the Bible tells about the “acts” of the people who were the first followers of Jesus. Let’s find the story in our Bibles now.

Bible Study: Grades K-3
“This story is not found in the Little Kids’ Adventure Bible.” Help the children locate the Introduction page to the Books of History (facing page 363).

Review the story by discussing some of the following with the children:

  • What did Lydia do for a living? (sold purple cloth)
  • Where did purple cloth come from? (seashells)
  • What was Lydia doing at the river? (praying and worshiping God with other women)
  • Who found her there? (Paul and his traveling companions)
  • I wonder what Paul said that helped Lydia understand about Jesus?
  • What did Lydia ask Paul to do when she believed in Jesus? (baptize her and her family)
  • How did Lydia put her love into action? (she invited Paul and his friends to stay at her house, she had the first church in Europe in her home!)


Bible Study: Grades 4-6
The book of Acts is the only book of history in the New Testament. Have children locate Acts 16:6-15. Point out the bold headings in the text. Read as the children follow along. Review the following Bible notes with the children:

Adventure Bible for Young Readers (4-6)
Life in Bible times: Purple Cloth (page 1292)
People in Bible Times: Lydia (page 1291)

Memory Verse: Each rotation we encourage the children to memorize the Rotation Memory Verse. Review it with the children at this time. Please record in the Memory Verse notebooks all children who memorize the verse and recite it by heart to a shepherd, teacher or Mrs. Jaymie. Children will be recognized at the conclusion of each rotation for memorizing these verses.

“Say with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord.’ Believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead. Then you will be saved.” Romans 10:9

The Bible tells us this is what we must do to be “saved.” Being saved means we will have eternal life, we will live with God forever in heaven, after we die. But it’s not just about after we die; eternal life begins now -- it means we can be close to God now. Because God loves us, God offers this gift to us for free – all we have to do is accept it. Once we do, we are called Christians. If we ask, God forgives us for the sin, the wrong things we have done. God’s Holy Spirit comes into our hearts and helps us grow closer and closer to God. Then the Holy Spirit helps us grow more and more like Jesus. (For 4-6 graders explain that this is called sanctification)

Have the children with their own Bibles highlight the memory verse using the highlighters provided. Please do not mark in the classroom Bibles.

Discuss (2-6 Graders):

  • Lydia believed in God, but not in Jesus. How is this different? (Jesus is the One sent from God to make us right with God, through dying and rising again Jesus made a way for us to be forgiven for our sins – when we believe and accept this)
  • Why do you think Lydia believed the message about Jesus? (God had prepared her heart)
  • Why is baptism important? (it shows that we belong to Jesus, for infants it is a promise parents and the church make to raise a child to know and love Jesus, for believers it shows others that we believe in Jesus and have been forgiven of our sins)
  • Who teaches you about Jesus?
  • Have you ever taught someone about Jesus?
  • How can you become a Christian? (believe in Jesus, confess your sins, accept that Jesus died and rose again for you)
  • Have you believed in Jesus to forgive your sins and be your Savior?

    (For older children and after the rotation has progressed)
  • What is prevenient grace? (God’s Spirit drawing us to Him, before we actually understand about God)
  • What is justifying grace? (being made right with God – justified – when we believe in Jesus)
  • What is sanctifying grace? (the continued work of God’s Spirit within us, to help us grow more like Jesus)
  • What is the goal of the Christian life? (to become like Jesus, sanctification is the work of the Holy Spirit within us, transforming us so that we are like Jesus)


Lydia’s Story Match Game
4-6 graders will create a matching game that will be played by the K-3 graders.

Directions:

  1. Explain to the children that they are going to create a Matching Game for the younger students.
  2. Cut apart the story item slips and give one to each child.
  3. Pass out two white index cards to each child.
  4. On each card have children draw an identical picture illustrating the item from the story slip. For example: for the purple cloth story slip, the child might draw a basket holding purple cloth. Be sure to have children repeat the same drawing on the second index card. (If it is too hard for the children to draw the same item twice, just have them draw it once and photocopy it)
  5. As the children work, discuss how the items fit into Lydia’s story.
  6. Once the illustrated cards are finished, glue them to purple construction paper rectangles.


To Play:

  1. Shuffle the completed Lydia Story Cards.
  2. Place picture side down on the carpet in rows – for example, 6 across and 4 down.
  3. Divide children into two teams.
  4. Team with the youngest child goes first.
  5. First player turns over two cards. If they match, the team keeps the pair. Teams should explain how the illustration fits in the story – for example: if the team matches the boats they could say that Paul and Silas traveled by boat on their missionary journeys. If the cards do not match, turn them back over face down.
  6. Play passes to the next team whether there is a match or not!
  7. Repeat the process until all the card sets are matched. Take turns so that all children have a chance to turn over the cards. Encourage children to help each other on their teams and to pay close attention!
  8. Team with the most sets wins!


Memory Verse Relay
If you have extra time, play a game to review this month’s memory verse.

Directions:

  1. Review the memory verse several times with the children prior to playing the game.
  2. Shuffle each set of verse cards.
  3. Divide the children into two teams.
  4. Place the shuffled cards on one side of the room in 2 piles.
  5. Have teams stand at the opposite side of the room.
  6. First player in each team races to pick up a card and runs back to his/her team.
  7. Next player in line repeats.
  8. Once all the cards are with the team, have the teams work together to put the verse in order.
  9. First team to complete the verse wins.
  10. After both verse sets are complete, recite together the memory verse!


Reflection:

The last 10 minutes should be reserved for Journal and Reflection time. This is an opportunity for processing and reflection about what the children have learned. Ask the shepherds to pass out the journals and pencils/pens and the journal sticker for the day. (Note: Journal questions are color-coded for each age group – purple for K-1, red for 2-3 and blue for 4-6.) Workshop leaders and shepherds should sit down with children in small groups to facilitate discussion and writing in Faith Journals. Memory verse stickers are also included for each lesson. Children may also copy the memory verse and illustrate.

Journal Questions:
Grades K-3: Draw about your favorite part of the story.
Grades 4-6: Being a Christian is more than just head knowledge. What is the difference between “knowing” God in your head and “believing” in Jesus with your heart?

Closing prayer: Gather the children together in a circle. Review with them one word or concept that they learned during today’s session. (faith, believe, evangelism, hospitality are some suggestions) Encourage them to come back next week and to bring a friend, especially a friend who does not have a church home. Remind them to bring their Bibles. Ask for prayer requests and close with prayer. Perhaps one of the children would like to pray? Or ask the children to pray out loud or silently one at a time. Have them say “Amen” when they are finished so the next child can pray. Remind them to memorize the Rotation Memory Verse.

Clean-up: Encourage the children to help you clean up. Return all props and other materials to the appropriate place in the prop closet or the storage cabinet.

Release children only to parents or by prior permission of parents after signing out on class clipboards.


Script: Lydia’s Story!

Good morning everybody. I’m so glad to be here to tell you my story. There is so much to tell. My life has changed so much! I feel like a new person! It’s just so exciting! But, wait…. I have forgotten my manners. You are probably wondering who I am, aren’t you?

My name is Lydia and I am from a region in Asia that has my same name…. Lydia. But my hometown is the city of Thyatira. Thyatira is known for its beautiful purple dyes, dyes that are used to color cloth – it’s quite a big business there. (show children your purple cloth….) That is my job – I buy and sell purple cloth. Now purple is a very important color – it’s very expensive you know…. It’s the color of royalty and kings. Only the very wealthy can afford to buy purple cloth! Did you know that the Romans buy purple cloth to make their official togas?

You’re probably wondering why purple cloth is so expensive…. After all, it’s just an ordinary color, even though it is pretty…. It’s just a color like any other right? Well, actually it’s not. The purple dye comes from tiny little shellfish. When you crush the shells, the dye is released. It’s a very time-consuming and difficult thing to do and it takes LOTS of patience and LOTS of shells. (show the children your shells)

Oh, my…. Now where was I? Oh, yes… I was telling you about my new life….

I often spend time in the city of Philippi where I sell some of my purple cloth. One morning, I went down to the river with a group of women. It was a beautiful day – the sun shone on the water and it was warm and so lovely…. We met there to pray and to worship God. I loved to worship God…. I loved to pray and sing with the other women. I didn’t realize it but this day, was going to be even more special.

As we were singing, I looked up and saw some men approaching. They introduced themselves as Paul and Silas. Paul said they were missionaries and that they had come from far away to share the good news about a man named Jesus Christ. They had traveled by boat to many places already and now they had come to Philippi to tell the people here about Jesus. They wanted everyone to know about God’s amazing love and how God had sent Jesus to the world so that we could be forgiven of our sins and be close to God forever and ever.

I was curious. Who was this man Jesus that they were talking about? I knew about God. I had learned about God from the Jewish people who lived near me in Thyatira. I believed in God and I worshiped him. But I had never heard of Jesus before. And so, Paul and his friend Silas began to tell us about Jesus. They told me what Jesus had done, how he had been born and about all the miracles he did. They told me how he had died on a cross for my sins and then rose again on the third day. Paul even told me his own story – how he had persecuted Christians, putting them in prison and killing them, until one day Jesus himself spoke to him in a bright light and changed his heart! As Paul spoke, I felt my own heart growing warmer…. And it was as if God himself was speaking to me and telling me, “Yes! It’s true! Listen to Paul.” The longer I listened to Paul the more I understood and the more that warm feeling inside me grew and grew. Everything Paul told me about Jesus is true! Jesus is the Son of God. He died to take away my sins. And here’s the really important thing -- it was more than just knowing in my head… I BELIEVED with all my heart, too!

And so I told Paul –“I am sorry for my sins. I believe that Jesus is God’s Son and that God raised him from the dead. Tell me what to do now.” Paul said I needed to be baptized. So, right there in the river he baptized me – dunked me under the water. My whole family believed and they were baptized, too! (let children feel the water from your jar) As I came up out of the water I felt clean and new –Paul said I had a new life now, that I belong to God’s family and that God’s Holy Spirit had come to live in my heart forever. God’s Holy Spirit is teaching me and helping me to grow more and more like Jesus every day!

Well, that was the most exciting day of my entire life – way more amazing than any of the big business deals I had made in the past! My life was truly changed! Jesus became the most important thing in my life! I wanted to do something to thank Paul and his friends for all they had done for me…. And so I invited Paul and his friends to come and stay at my house while they were visiting in Philippi. And they did! It was wonderful to have them in my house. We talked and talked about Jesus and I learned so much from them! I was so happy to show them hospitality – to share my house and my food with them. It seemed like such a small thing to do after all they had done for me!

It feels really wonderful to know that I am a believer in Jesus and that I am following him. I am a Christian now. I want everyone to know the good news about Jesus, and to follow him, too! And I am getting that chance, because now we have church in my home! Paul says it’s actually the first church in this part of the world!

Well, that’s my story…. about how I became a Christian. How about you? What’s your story? Are you a Christian? Are you sorry for the wrong things you have done? Do you believe Jesus is God’s Son and that He died for your sins and was raised from the dead? Are you ready to follow Him?


Lydia Matching Game Story Slips:

Directions:
Copy and cut apart. Give slips to children and have them illustrate the item identically on two index cards.

Lydia

Purple cloth

Seashell

Paul and Silas

House

River

Women praying

Church

Boat

Heart

Cross

Food


A lesson by Jaymie Derden from: State Street UMC
Bristol, VA

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

Last edited by Rotation.org Lesson Forma-teer

Lydia: A New Believer!

Storytelling Workshop


Summary of Lesson Activities:

Children will experience a Godly Play version of the story.

For scripture, objectives, and background - see above.


Preparation and Room Set Up:

  • Review the Background Information, Behavioral Covenant, Teaching Tips and Lesson plan.
  • Gather the materials needed for the story –


Supplies:

  • Green underlay
  • Blue felt strip for river
  • small scraps of purple fabric or felt
  • 4 Women figures, 2 men figures
  • small block for Lydia’s house
  • several more blocks for towns and cities


Practice telling the story until you are familiar with it and can tell it without reading it.
Review the signs to the call to worship – see attached.
Preview the Rotation Music CD. Play the music as children arrive and during journaling.
Set up the room for Godly Play worship – set the Christ candle, candle lighter, candle snuffer and Bible on a small, low table or rug behind you. Place the story set next to you. Plan to sit on the floor with the children forming a circle. Information about Godly Play worship can be obtained from Jerome Berryman’s books (Volumes 1-6 and Sonja Stewart’s books, Young Children and Worship and Following Jesus).

Please start on time!

Time Guidelines:
Welcome and Introductions 10 minutes
Story 10 minutes
Response 15 minutes
Scripture/Prayer 10 minutes
Reflection/Closing 5 minutes



Lesson Plan


Opening:

Welcome the children and introduce yourself. Make sure everyone is wearing a nametag. Please include the shepherd in introductions. Explain that today the children will be experiencing a story in Godly Play style. This may be unfamiliar to some of the children. Some of the younger children will have experienced this before. Explain some of the important concepts about a Godly Play classroom:

We enter quietly.
We take off our shoes because our worship space is sacred space.
We have all the time we need, so we move slowly and quietly.
We “get ready” to worship by quieting our minds and bodies, so we can listen to God.
We sit in a circle.
We listen to the storyteller without interruptions. Later we wonder together about the story.
We think about what the story means to us personally and we will create art about it.
We come back together and hear the Scriptures and pray together.

Greeting: Say and sign… The Lord be with you. Children respond and sign… “and also with you.”

Sing: Sing and sign a few songs of praise… Father I adore you, Awesome God, etc.

Telling God’s Word: When we sing these words we know it is time to get ready to hear one of God’s stories. Cross your legs and place your hands on your knees like this (demonstrate). Look inside yourself… you can get ready to hear God’s Word all by yourself.

Dig:


Story: Lydia Believes

(Lay out the green underlay. Smooth it slowly with your hands. Place the brown strip for the road and place Paul on the road)

Once there was a man named Paul. At first Paul hated everyone who believed in Jesus and followed him. He persecuted the followers of Jesus – the Christians. Sometimes he had them put in jail, sometimes he had them beaten and sometimes he even had them killed.

(Place Paul on the green underlay near the road)

But one day while Paul was traveling on the road to Damascus, he saw a blinding light and he heard a voice speaking to him. It was Jesus’ voice, coming from heaven. “Why are you persecuting me?” Jesus asked Paul. After Jesus spoke to Paul, he became a follower of Jesus, too. Paul became a great missionary, who traveled to tell people about Jesus and how his life had changed since he met him.

(Move Paul along the road)

Now there were many cities and towns where people did not know about Jesus. So Paul left the Promised Land and traveled to these places.

(place small blocks for cities in clusters around the underlay.)

Everywhere he went, Paul wanted to tell others about Jesus.

(Walk Paul around the road and among the clusters of houses)

Paul traveled to many cities and towns. Everywhere Paul went he told people about Jesus. And everywhere he went people believed in Jesus. Before these people had prayed to idols, but once they believed in Jesus they stopped praying to statues. They began to meet at each other’s homes to pray and learn more about Jesus. These were the very first churches outside the Promised Land. They didn’t have church buildings, so they had church in each other’s homes.

(place people near houses along the road)

One of the cities Paul went to is called Philippi.

(Walk Paul to the far right cluster of cities beyond the river, place 1 or 2 figures with him)

When Paul and his friends arrived in Philippi, they were looking for a place to pray. They went down to the bank of a nearby river.

(Place blue felt river at front of underlay parallel to road, near the children. Move Paul and the other men to the river. Place the women figures there also.)

When they got to the river, they saw some women there praying. One of the women there was named Lydia. Lydia bought and sold expensive and beautiful purple cloth. That was her job.

(place the purple scraps around the feet of Lydia)

Paul and his friends talked to the women about Jesus. Paul told Lydia about how much Jesus loved her. He told Lydia how Jesus had changed him. He told her how he had been a great persecutor of Christians and now he traveled all over to tell people about the good news, the gospel – about the great love of Jesus for the world.

Lydia listened eagerly to what Paul said. God had made Lydia’s heart ready to hear the good news of Jesus. She believed what Paul said. She believed in Jesus!

Then Lydia brought her whole family to hear about Jesus, too.

(move other figures near Paul)

Her whole family believed in Jesus. And because they believed, Paul baptized Lydia and her whole family in the river that day.

(Lay Lydia and her family figures down in the river, one by one and cup hand as if pouring water over them)

Lydia was so excited and so happy! She wanted to learn more and more about Jesus. And so she invited Paul and his friends to come and stay at her house. And so they did.

And after Paul and his friends left, Lydia continued to open her home to other followers of Jesus. Her home became a house church where other believers came to worship and to pray.

Wondering Together:
I wonder how Lydia felt when she heard about Jesus for the first time?
I wonder how God prepared Lydia’s heart to hear about Jesus?
I wonder what the difference is between knowing about God and believing in Jesus?
I wonder what it must have been like to hear about Jesus for the first time?
I wonder what it feels like to be baptized?
I wonder what it would be like to have church in your home?
I wonder what is your favorite part of the story?
I wonder what is the most important part of the story?
I wonder where you are in the story?
I wonder what you know about God from this story…

Responding to God’s Word: Watercolor Painting
I wonder if you would like to make something that shows how you feel about this story. That can be your work today. Each of you will take a tray and some watercolor pencils. These pencils are special – they draw like pencils, but when you brush over them with water, they turn into watercolors. You may draw something that you feel from the story. Find a place in the room to work. You will work by yourself so that you can listen for God or talk to God if you want. Remember to work quietly, because other people might be talking or listening to God, too.

Returning to the Circle:
After 15-20 minutes, signal the children to return to the circle. Have the shepherd place the children’s work by the door to take with them as they leave. (Place on a paper towel if wet) Sit in the circle as the children return. Place the green color cloth in front of you. Place the Christ candle and the Bible on it.

Light the candle and say, “We light the Christ candle to remind us that Christ is with us as we hear the word of God.”

Pick up the Bible and say. The story we heard today is in the Bible. Look… (open the Bible and turn it so the children can see the words that have been highlighted. Read Acts 16:13-15. Read the words slowly and meaningfully.

Prayer of Thanksgiving:
Now it is time to give thanks to God. You can say something that you are thankful for or something about today’s story or your work today. You may talk to God out loud, or you don’t have to talk out loud. God listens to us, even if we don’t speak out loud. Just say Amen, so we will know you are finished. Let’s get ready to pray.

Say and sign (see attached sheet with signs):
“Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give thanks and praise.
Let us pray.

Allow sufficient time for praying. Be at home in the silence, giving children time to pray.

Change the Light:
I am going to change the Light now.
(point to the flame)
Look, the Light is all in one place now. I’m going to change the Light so it is not just in one place anymore. It can be in many places at once. Watch.

(place the candle snuffer over the flame to catch the smoke as the flame goes out. Then slowly lift the snuffer and watch the smoke curl in the air and spread throughout the room. Say:

Now the Light of Christ that was just in one place at one time is in all places in all times. So the Light can be everywhere in this room and even in other places.

Now it is time to review our Memory verse. When we remember God’s words from the Bible, it helps us to remember that God is with us in our hearts and minds. We remember the stories of God and know that God is with us always.

“Say with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord.’ Believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead. Then you will be saved.” Romans 10:9

If time allows, pass out Journals….

Reflection:

The last 10 minutes should be reserved for Journal and Reflection time. This is an opportunity for processing and reflection about what the children have learned. Ask the shepherds to pass out the journals and pencils/pens and the journal sticker for the day. (Note: Journal questions are color-coded for each age group – purple for K-1, red for 2-3 and blue for 4-6.) Workshop leaders and shepherds should sit down with children in small groups to facilitate discussion and writing in Faith Journals. Memory verse stickers are also included for each lesson. Children may also copy the memory verse and illustrate.

Journal Questions:
Grades K-3: Draw something that you learned about God today.
Grades 4-6: I wonder what you learned about God today… Draw or write about it.

Blessing: As parents arrive to pick up children, have children come to you one at a time for a parting blessing. Hold the child’s hands and look him/her in the eyes and say, “_______ (call child by name), I pray that you will believe in Jesus with your whole heart like Lydia. And I pray that you will want to share the good news of Jesus with everyone! God bless you. (make the sign of the cross on child’s forehead).

Clean-up: Encourage the children to help you clean up. Return Godly play story set to Godly Play room.

Release children only to parents or by prior permission of parents after signing out on class clipboards.


A lesson by Jayme Derden from: State Street UMC
Bristol, VA

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

Last edited by Rotation.org Lesson Forma-teer

Lydia: A New Believer!

Video Workshop


Summary of Lesson Activities:

This lesson is a bit different from most video classes. Children will be introduced to Lydia and then watch a clip from the video “The Visual Bible-The Great Escape.” The clip is only about 10 minutes, so it will be followed with a craft, choosing to make either a bracelet or a key chain (can also be used as a backpack decoration).

Adaptation: use Acts (Visual Bible) DVD - Disk 2 - Event #56 - Lydia's Conversion in Philippa.

It's also found on Falling Fire (Event #28), which is the shortened movie version of Acts DVD above, which they broke into two parts called "Falling Fire" and "The Passion."

Important Note for Video Workshop Leaders:
Children love this workshop! Often the video is a direct correlation with the Bible story and creates a concrete, visual image in the children’s minds. They refer to this image over and over throughout the rotation as they visit other workshops. Some videos may take some liberties with the story-you may need to point out these discrepancies. As much as possible sit down with the children and watch the video together. Feel free to pause the video to discuss something that you especially want them to note. Please ensure that the children treat the room with respect-no standing, jumping or otherwise abusing the seats.


Please start on time!

Time Guidelines:
Welcome/Introduction 10 minutes
Video Clip-The Great Escape 10 minutes
Discussion/Bible Notes 10 minutes
Beaded Key Ring/Bracelets 15 minutes
Journal 5 minutes

Preparation and Room Set Up:

  • Read the Background information, Teaching Tips and Lesson.
  • Preview the video prior to class time.
  • Review the information on the craft. Some things need to be completed prior to class time.
  • Before class prepare enough of the bracelet and key ring laces for your class.
  • Attach the craft lace into the spring clasp and crimp to hold – see below.
  • Place the split ring onto the spring clasp.


Supplies:

  • Purple beads to symbolize Lydia (Use mostly purple)
  • Clear beads (for a little color variation)
  • Variety of charms to add with the beads (1 or 2 per child)
  • Split Rings for the key chains
  • Round jump rings for connectors
  • Cord and craft lace closures (spring tension clasp you can crimp onto the cord)
  • Plastic Craft Lace (Purple, if available)
  • Needle nose pliers


Lesson Plan


Opening:

Have the children sit in the theatre seats. Welcome the children and introduce yourself and the shepherd. Please make sure you are wearing your nametag and the children have picked up their nametags.

Opening Prayer: (You may pray your own or use the following)
Dear Father, Thank you for our Sunday School time to learn about your word. Please keep our eyes and hearts open to your love so we can show others your love through us.

Dig:


Video:
“The Great Escape-The Visual Bible for Kids”
Tommy Nelson
Running time – approximately 10 minutes. Begin with Mr. Henry speaking to the children in his make shift prison. He is beginning to discuss the earthquake that freed Paul and Silas in Acts 16. The clip begins where Mr. Henry is rattling the leg chains.

Have the children move to the theatre seats, hand out the popcorn and a drink.

Introduce the Story:
After Jesus was raised from the dead and went to heaven, his followers continued to gather together to tell his stories and to worship God. One of Jesus’ followers was a man named Paul. Paul had originally hated Christians – in fact he put them in jail and even killed some, but he was changed when he had a vision of Jesus. Then he became the greatest of all the apostles. Paul and his friends traveled on many journeys to share the good news of Jesus with others.

One night Paul had a dream. He saw a man standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia… Help us!” (Acts 16:9-10) Paul realized that God wanted him to go preach the good news in Macedonia. (Macedonia is a region in modern-day Greece.)

So Paul with his friend, Silas, Paul traveled to Philippi, a city in Macedonia.

Almost everywhere Paul and Silas traveled, they found people open to the gospel message. Whenever Paul visited a new town, he always looked for the synagogue so he could preach there.
There was no Jewish synagogue in Philippi. Paul went down to the river and saw a group of women praying. And it is there that he met Lydia.

Lydia bought and sold fine purple cloth. Purple cloth was very expensive, so this meant that Lydia was no doubt quite wealthy. The Bible doesn’t mention that she is married, but we do know she was responsible for a household. Lydia was also a spiritual searcher. She was among the Gentile (non-Jewish) women who gathered outside Philippi on each Sabbath to pray to God of the Jews. One eventful day, Paul and Silas visited the group.

Lydia’s attendance at the prayer gathering showed she was open to God. God responded by giving her more truth. When she heard the gospel message about Jesus Christ, she listened and believed. She is remembered as Paul’s first European convert. When we have open hearts and willing spirits, God will show us more, too!
(NIV Life Application Study Bible)

Watch the video clip.

Once the video is finished, have the children throw away their trash and move to the table for Bible discussion and craft.

Important Teacher Notes:
Each workshop includes the Bible story. One of our primary goals is to improve the children’s Bible literacy! If children did not bring their Bibles from home, use the classroom Bibles. Shepherds should help the children locate the stories. Use the handout “Helping Children Learn to Use their Bibles” and the Background Information to help you introduce the story.

Remember that as the rotation progresses; the children will become more familiar with the story. When this happens, allow the children to tell you what they know. The children should still locate the story in their Bibles every week. Use the bold headings in their Bibles to guide your discussion. You may want to review some of the Bible notes as well. Be sure to fill in any missing information and add additional details using the Background Information to help you. One of the greatest advantages of this model is that children who come regularly learn the story in great depth.

Each lesson contains more Background Information and discussion questions than can be used in one session. Remember, children are studying this story for four weeks! Be sure to follow the time guidelines and leave ample time for the activity. .

Bible Study - K-3:
Christians are people who believe in and follow Jesus. Where would we find a story about the early Christians in the Bible? (New Testament) This story is found in the book of Acts. This book tells about the “acts” of the people who were the first followers of Jesus. Let’s find the story in our Bibles now.

This story is not found in the Little Kids’ Adventure Bible. Help the children locate the Introduction page to the Books of History (facing page 363). Then read Acts 16:11-15 from the Adventure Bible for Young Readers. (it’s very short)

Bible Study - Grades 4-6:
Christians are people who believe in and follow Jesus. Where would we find a story about the early Christians in the Bible? (New Testament) This story is found in the book of Acts. This book tells about the “acts” of the people who were the first followers of Jesus. Let’s find the story in our Bibles now.
Have children locate Acts 16:11-15. Read as the children follow along.

Review the following Bible notes with the children:

Adventure Bible for Young Readers (4-6)
Life in Bible times: Purple Cloth (page 1292)
People in Bible Times: Lydia (page 1291)

Memory Verse: Each rotation we encourage the children to memorize the Rotation Memory Verse. Review it with the children at this time. Please record in the Memory Verse notebooks all children who memorize the verse and recite it by heart to a shepherd, teacher or Mrs. Jaymie. Children will be recognized at the conclusion of each rotation for memorizing these verses.

“Say with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord.’ Believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead. Then you will be saved.” Romans 10:9

The Bible tells us that this is what we must do to be “saved.” Being saved means that we will have eternal life, we will live with God forever, even after we die. But it’s not just about after we die; it means we can be close to God now. Because God loves us, God offers this gift to us for free – all we have to do is accept it. Once we do, we are called Christians. If we ask, God forgives us for the sin, the wrong things we have done. God’s Holy Spirit comes into our hearts and helps us grow closer and closer to God. The Holy Spirit helps us grow more and more like Jesus.

Have the children with their own Bibles highlight the memory verse using the highlighters provided. Please do not mark in the classroom Bibles.

Beaded Key Rings or Bracelets
Children may choose to make either a bracelet or a key chain (can also be used as a backpack decoration.

Directions:

  1. For the key rings – (need two charms)
  2. Use a piece of the Craft Lace about 13 inches long, folded in half and crimped into the spring clasp.
  3. Place the split ring onto the spring clasp. Do this prior to class or you will not have enough time to finish.
  4. Have the children thread the beads and add a charm at the end of each strand. Approximately 12 beads and 1 charm will fit on each strand.
  5. Help the children tie a knot at the end of the charm and weave the extra cord back up through the beads.
    For the bracelets – (Need one charm)
  6. Use a piece of craft lace about 11 inches long and crimp one end into the spring clasp. Do this prior to class.
  7. The bracelet will have a lobster claw (these were included in the craft lace closures) attached to a round jump ring (you will need to attach these together prior to class) These will be ready to tie onto the finished beaded bracelet.
  8. Have the children add the beads and a charm, using mostly purple beads. (~24-26 beads are needed)
  9. Once finished help tie the craft lace into a knot through the jump ring and weave the extra cord back through the beads.


Remind the children to think of Lydia’s story when they look at the purple beads. Encourage them to think of ways they can be like Lydia.

Discussion Questions:

  • Have discussion while working on the craft.
  • What did Lydia do? (sold purple cloth, made from dye from shellfish)
  • Who was Paul? (great New Testament missionary)
  • Where did she meet Paul? (by the riverside in Philippi)
  • What happened to Lydia there? (she believed in Jesus and was baptized)
  • Lydia believed in God, but not in Jesus. How is this different? (Jesus is the One sent from God to make us right with God, through dying and rising again Jesus made a way for us to be forgiven for our sins – when we believe and accept this)
  • Why do you think Lydia believed the message about Jesus? (God had prepared her heart)
  • Why is baptism important? (it shows that we belong to Jesus, for infants it is a promise parents and the church make to raise a child to know and love Jesus, for believers it shows others that we believe in Jesus and have been forgiven of our sins)

    For Older Children and after rotation has progressed…
  • What is prevenient grace? (God’s Spirit drawing us to Him, before we actually understand about God)
  • What is justifying grace? (being made right with God – justified – when we believe in Jesus)
  • What is sanctifying grace? (the continued work of God’s Spirit within us, to help us grow more like Jesus)
  • What is the goal of the Christian life? (to become like Jesus)
  • How was Lydia’s life changed? (she had the first home church in Europe, she became a follower of Jesus, she shared her home with others)
  • How did Lydia show hospitality? (invited Paul and his fellow travelers to stay at her house)Have you ever shared something you had?
  • Have you ever taught someone about Jesus?
  • Who teaches you about Jesus?
  • How can you become a Christian? (believe in Jesus, confess your sins, accept that Jesus died and rose again for you)
  • Have you believed in Jesus to forgive your sins and be your Savior?


Reflection:

The last 10 minutes should be reserved for Journal and Reflection time. This is an opportunity for processing and reflection about what the children have learned. Ask the shepherds to pass out the journals and pencils/pens and the journal sticker for the day. (Note: Journal questions are color-coded for each age group – purple for K-1, red for 2-3 and blue for 4-6.) Workshop leaders and shepherds should sit down with children in small groups to facilitate discussion and writing in Faith Journals. Memory verse stickers are also included for each lesson. Children may also copy the memory verse and illustrate

Journal Questions:
Grades K-3: Draw something that will remind you of Lydia’s story.
Grades 4-5: God’s Spirit prepared Lydia’s heart to hear and believe in Jesus. In what ways is God preparing you to believe in Jesus?

Closing Prayer: Gather the children together. Encourage the children to attend again next Sunday for another workshop. Ask them to invite a friend, especially one who does not belong to a church. Remind everyone to bring their Bibles. Ask for prayer requests and pray together.

Clean-Up: Have the children throw away their popcorn bags and cups of they have not done so already. Clean out popcorn machine and sweep up any stray kernels. Put away Bibles, paper, pencils, videos, etc. Bag up trash and place outside the classroom door. Replace trashcan liner (extras are found in the hallway supply closet)

Release children only to parents or by prior permission of parents. Make sure parents sign their children out on the classroom clipboards.


A lesson by Jaymie Derden from: State Street UMC
Bristol, VA

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

Last edited by Luanne Payne

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