This topic is for posting your workshop lessons, ideas and resources for teaching about the Stoning of Stephen.
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If you look in the section on Paul's Conversion you will find a lot of lessons touch on the Stoning of Stephen - you may want to have a look at those lessons for possible ideas.
- 24 Tandem Bible Hero Storyscripts by Steven James, Standard Publishing. Page 75
- Have the children pick out scenarios from a hat to act out on being faithful or on forgiveness. Everyday things like sibling rivalry, school situations, home situations, etc.
Msss Bible Crafts has a section on Stephen - note not all the links work. msssbible
Crafts and Games:
I'd look for craft and game ideas on the concept of "Faithfulness" and/or "Forgiveness". Most craft and game books have indexes at the back it should be easy to find games for these concepts. Or do a google search on using "Chidren's ministry ....... game".
Younger children - use a movie that focus' on forgiveness. Such as:
- Oops Sorry (Cherub Wings Series) Vision Video.
- God Wants Me To Forgive Them (Veggies Tales)
- Acts (Visual Bible) - Events 23-26
- Story You Can Believe In (Visual Bible for Kids) - out of print.
- SAUL OF TARSUS video by Nest Entertainment. The video starts with the story of Stephen and shows Saul holding the coats. There are a lot of characters in this video, including Paul's teacher Gamaliel, and Caiaphas the high priest. MAKE SURE YOU ANNOUNCE "who is who" as the video rolls, because it isn't obvious at first.
Software Suggestion and Discussion Questions for the Stoning of Stephen Story
Life of Christ CD's Lesson #37 (Acts 8:1-4, 9:1-31) covers the story of Pentecost, the selection of Stephen and his stoning, plus the conversion of Saul to Paul.
It asks: Would you still follow Jesus if you could be arrested for being a Christian?
Some additional discussion questions:
- Was Saul willingly or unwillingly holding the murderer's coats?
- Did the fact that Saul didn't throw a stone make him "less" guilty than the men who did throw stones?
- What could Saul have done to change the men's minds? What were the alternatives?
- Jesus stopped the stoning of the woman caught in adultery. What did he say that made them stop? See John 8:1-11.
The saying "holding their coats" comes from this story. It describes someone who "goes along" and doesn't intervene when they see someone being hurt, abused, bullied, or persecuted. It can describe a person who was there during a violent act, but didn't commit the violence. "He was there holding their coats as the men beat up the individual." It can also describe someone who was there, knew it was wrong, and did nothing, and thus, must share the blame. "You may not have joined in the bullying, but you were holding their coats."
- What kinds of situations have you been part of where someone was hurt? What did you do? What could you have done?
- How can you NOT "hold other people's coats?" i.e. NOT go along with the crowd who is hurtng someone?
- If it is YOU who are the one about to be hurt, and you see someone there who is "going along with the crowd," what could you say to them to get them to speak up for you, protect you?
- If you have been hurt, either emotionally or physically, what are your options? What can you do? Who should you talk to?
Free Video about Stephen
Short video retelling story of Stephen in an interesting format; includes the stoning and the spread of the Gospel after his death.
"Stephen isn’t your average hero. He didn’t defeat his enemies in an incredible battle, or even spectacularly escape capture. What makes Stephen amazing was his determination to lay everything on the line for Jesus. Check out his story in Acts 6:8 through 7:54-60"
The children can retell the story in the same format:
Love the way this story was told? You can print out and make the rhombicuboctahedron (yep…that’s the name of an object that has eight triangular and eighteen square faces) for yourself here in black and white, and here in color!
Cooking idea for Stephen
In our stay-at-home lesson for May 17 we are focusing on Stephen (not just his death, but his life as described in Acts 6 and 7). The cooking idea for this lesson (only one facet of our stay-at-home lesson) is stone soup, based on the folk tale. A retelling of the story can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZf60cb3Th8
We encourage the caregivers to have everyone in the household (or now a 2-household "bubble" in our area!) to contribute something to the soup and to use the soup as an opportunity to use up leftover vegetables, meat, etc. The story is about turning a stone into an opportunity for sharing and community, reminding us that Stephen was more than just the stones that ended his life. His "good works" promoted the sharing and community that characterized the early Christian church in Jerusalem.
Note: The stone used should be well washed/scrubbed and then rinsed thoroughly. It should be too large to eat accidentally and should ideally be a smooth and sturdy rock (e.g. granite instead of sandstone). If the only appropriate rock you have is on the small side, make sure it is taken out of the soup before it is served.