Series: The Early Church

Lesson 6 – Paul, Silas, and the Philippian Jailer

Series: The Early Church


Key Point: Life is all about Jesus

Repeat this phrase throughout the lesson.

Bible Story: Bible Reference: Acts 16:19-34

Challenge Verse: Ephesians 5:1—“Therefore be imitators of God as dearly loved children.”



Each class needs the following:

One trash bag for each class

At least 50 pieces of regular white paper

2 Bible Story Bags for each class—see the end of the lesson for the contents.

100 slips of colored paper to be used in making Thankful chains (apx. 2 by 8 ½ inches)

Something with which  to write.

Scotch tape to put the Thankful chains together

Bible Verse Poster


-Put up the Bible Verse Poster for today.

–  Set out any items you need for today’s lesson

–  Pray for each student by name.


– Greet each student by name as they enter.

– Give each student an attendance sticker for the attendance chart, and feel free to add guest names to the chart. This will give them a sense of belonging.

– Get to know any guests and help them fill out a guest form.

– Be sure to smile—Your smile and attitude sets the atmosphere as students enter.

NOTE: Today your class gets to participate in a Bible Bowl. These review questions reach back to the first week of the Early Church series and can be either a competition within your own class or a time where your class challenges another class. Be creative with this special time and have fun with your kids.


As Students Enter

As students enter direct them to begin wadding up pieces of paper.

(Important: Tell them to wad it up one sheet at a time.)

After they are finished, SAY: On the count of three, put all the paper wads in the trash bag I am holding and sit in the group circle.


Control Tool #1

Anytime you say, “What’s life all about,” students should shout back, “It’s all about Jesus!” Feel free to have a boys vs. girls or a side vs. side competition to see who can say it the loudest.

Control Tool #2

Anytime you say, “Make the choice,” students should shout back, “To rejoice.” Feel free to have a boys vs. girls or a side vs. side competition to see who can say it the loudest. And remember that students are going to mimic how you say it—so be excited.

Leader: Make the choice / Students: To rejoice!

Leader: What’s Life all about / Students: It’s all about Jesus!

Take out one piece of wadded up paper.

SAY: You took this paper and you made a mess out of it. That’s what sin—the wrong things we do—does to us. Sin will always make a mess out of a person’s life.

Control Tool

Leader: What’s Life all about / Students: It’s all about Jesus!


Divide your class into two equal teams. Tell each team which side of the tape-line to sit on. Then explain that you are going to dump out all the paper wads along the tape line. Their job is to push it or toss it to the other side. The side with the least amount of paper after 45 seconds wins.. Their job is to push it to the other side of the tape line. However, they cannot throw it hard or intentionally hit someone else with a paper wad . Tell them to begin when you pour out the paper.

Play the activity a second time.

After the second game, tell the kids that you are going to see how fast they can pick up the paper wads, put them back in the trash bag, and sit in the group circle. Go! Go! Go!

SAY: In that game you wanted to push the paper wads as far away from you as possible. That’s just like sin. God wants you to stay away from sin. In other words, God want you to do what’s right.

Repeat after me: God wants me to do what’s right.

Ask the children—What are some examples of sin? (Help the kids to understand that anything that is wrong is sin—both big things like murder and small things like not picking up your room after mom tells you to.)

Read Ephesians 5:1 from your Bible and direct the kids to look at the Bible Verse poster.

Read Ephesians 5:1 from your Bible

Ask the children—What does “imitate” mean? (Answer: To act just like someone.)

SAY: For example, I am going to imitate an animal and I want you to imitate me.

(Be creative and have fun, but here are some suggestions: Cow, chicken, lion, elephant, monkey, duck, etc.)

SAY: God wants us to imitate Him—to be just like Him and to always do what’s right.

Repeat after me: God wants me / to do what’s right.

Tell the kids on your left that when you point to them, you want them to say, “Be imitators of God.” When you point to those on your right side, they will shout, “As dearly loved children.”

Use other variations as well:

Have boys say the first part / Girls say the second part.

Have those with dark hair shout the first part / Those with light hair, the second part.

Have those wearing tennis shoes say the first part / Those with sandals the second part.

SAY: In today’s Bible story, a man is going to give his life to Jesus and the reason he will is because he met two other men who were different because they lived for Jesus.

Ask the childrenHow does a person give his life to Jesus?

SAY: This is how a person can give their life to Jesus:

Everybody say: A (Kids: A!)—SAY: A—Admit that you’ve done wrong.

Everybody say: B (Kids: B!)— SAY: B—Believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died and rose from the dead.

Everybody say: C (Kids: C!)— SAY: C—Call on Jesus, pray and Commit (or give) your life to Him.


SAY: I want you to help me tell a story about a man and his family who gave their lives to Christ.

Pass out the slips from the “Bible Story Bag.” (See the end of this lesson for the contents of this.) If you have a class large enough, use two bags. If you have extra slips, give more than one to each student, but make sure all the slips are passed out. If you don’t have enough, let the kids share.

SAY: In a moment I am going to read a story that’s from the Bible. On your slip(s) you have a word to listen for. When you hear that word, out loud and as fast as you can, say the other word.

(NOTE: For Kindergarten and even first grade, you will have to help you kids know what is written on the slip of paper. Then practice it with them several times so that they know what word(s) belong to them.)

Example: Your card says, “Listen for: JAILER / Say: THAT’S ME!”

Practice each of the following parts:

Jailer—That’s me!

Prison—Uh oh!


Prisoners—We’re bad men!

Girl—I’m free!

Paul and Silas—We follow Jesus!


Magistrates—We are important people!

Stripped—Close your eyes!

Said—Talk to me!

Flogged—Hey, that hurt!

Singing—La, la, la!

Jesus—He’s the best!

Stocks—How am I suppose to sleep like this!

SAY: Two men named Paul and Silas, who loved God and served God had been telling people about Jesus. They had traveled a long way for a long time, and they had just helped a slave girl, but helping her upset her owners. Now listen close and get ready to do your parts, and remember you may need to do your part more than once.

(Pause after the words in bold. These are the ones that cue the students’ part, which are indicated below.)

Acts 16:19-34

When the owners of the slave girl (I’m free!) realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas (We follow Jesus!) and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities. They brought them before the magistrates (We are important people!) and said (Talk to me), “These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice.”

The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas (We follow Jesus!), and the magistrates (We are important people!) ordered them to be stripped (Close your eyes!) and beaten (Ouch!). After they had been severely flogged (Hey, that hurt!), they were thrown into prison (Uh oh!), and the jailer (That’s me!) was commanded to guard them carefully. Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks (How am I supposed to sleep like this!)

About midnight Paul and Silas (We follow Jesus!) were praying and singing (La, la, la) hymns to God, and the other prisoners (We’re bad men!) were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake (Whoa!) that the foundations of the prison (Uh oh!) doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose. The jailer (That’s me!) woke up, and when he saw the prison (Uh oh!) doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners (We’re bad men!) had escaped. But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!”

The jailer (That’s me!) called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas (We follow Jesus!). He brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus (He’s the best), and you will be saved—you and your household.” Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer (That’s me!) took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized. The jailer (That’s me!) brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole family.

(NOTE: The rest of this section will look very familiar to you. It’s very similar to a section from last week. It is not here by accident, but is an important truth that is worth repeating.)

SAY: Trusting God gives you peace—just like in last week’s lesson.

Ask the studentsWho remembers what Peter did while he was in jail waiting for his trial and maybe even his execution? (He slept.)

Ask the studentsWho remembers why he could sleep? (Because he trusted God.)

SAY: Even when bad things happen, God is with you and because He is with you not only can you have peace, you can also make the choice to rejoice.

Have your class REPEAT:

Make the choice / To rejoice!

Split them into two sides. Have one side say, “Make the choice,” and the other side call back, “To rejoice.” Go back and forth three times to see which side can be the loudest.

SAY: When things don’t seem to go your way, just trust (Have your students repeat: Just Trust) and make the choice to rejoice because…

Last Week’s Control Tool (See if they remember it!)

Leader: God will never leave you! / Students: No, not never!

SAY: You can always rejoice in God, no matter what is happening because Jesus will never leave you.

Get ready for a Bible Drill

Ready…Philippians 4:4…Go!

Read this verse aloud and then emphasize to the students that God wants us to always rejoice in Him, no matter what situation we find ourselves in.

SAY: After everything I say, I want you to say: Rejoice!

When you have a great supper, you can…Students: Rejoice!

When the dog eats your supper, you can…Students: Rejoice!

When, because the dog at your supper, you had to eat a Big Mac at McDonalds, you can…Students: Rejoice!

When you loose everything you own, you can…Students: Rejoice!

When your mom picks her nose and your friends all see her, you can…Students: Rejoice!

When someone steals from you, you can…Students: Rejoice!

When a tornado is heading for your house, you can…Students: Rejoice!

When you get an A on a test, you can…Students: Rejoice!

When you’re watching TV, you can…Students: Rejoice!

When you’re TV blows-up because you watched it too much, you can…Students: Rejoice!

Every moment of everyday, you can…Students: Rejoice!

SAY: You can always rejoice because if you’ve given your life to Christ, God will never leave you.

Control Tool

Leader: Make the choice / Students: To rejoice!

Control Tool

Leader: What’s Life all about / Students: It’s all about Jesus!


Bible Bowls

Today you’re class gets to participate in the first-ever Bible Bowl. These review questions reach back to the first week of this series and can either be a competition within your own class or can be a time where your class challenges another class. Be creative with this special time and have fun with your kids.

SAY: During the Early Church series, we’ve talked about a lot of great stories: The Ethiopian and Phillip, Peter and John at the Gate Beautiful, and some of Paul’s life. But we’ve missed out on some other great stories like how Paul was shipwrecked and bitten by a poisonous snake or about the young man who went to sleep listening to Paul preach, fell out of a upper window and died and how God used Paul to bring him back to life. There’s more in the Bible than we could ever show you in one hour a week, so we want to encourage you to read these stories for yourself or have your parents read them to you.

SAY: Anyway, today we’re getting ready to challenge another class (or each other) in a Bible Bowl. This competition will be a review of all the stories and verses we’ve talked about in this series.

The Bible Bowl Questions are located at the end of this lesson.


Prayer Chains

In last week’s lesson the students made “Thankful Chains.” This week the students are going to add to your class chain by making “Prayer Chains” using 2”x8 ½” slips of paper and tape.

(NOTE: For Kindergarten, some of your kids will be able to write words they way they “hear” them but not all will be doing this yet. These may need to tell you the word and you write it for them.)

Ask the studentsEarlier today we learned about Paul and Silas. Why do you think Paul and Silas would pray and sing after being beaten so badly? (Answer: They trusted God. They knew that He was with them and wouldn’t leave them.)

SAY: In today’s lessons we also learned about a jailer who didn’t know Jesus. All of us probably know someone—either in our family or at school who doesn’t know Jesus. Last week we made “Thankful Chains,” but this week we’re going to make a “Prayer Chain.” I want you to list as many people as you want who you think might not know Christ on different slips of paper and use them to make this week’s chain.

While the students work, ask the following questions:

Ask the studentsWho would like to tell us about someone whose name you wrote on the prayer chain?

Ask the studentsWho are some other people who may not know Jesus besides those in your family and friends at school? (A teacher, the lady who greets you when you walk into Walmart, the McDonald’s worker who took your order, etc.)

SAY: You won’t always be able to tell everyone about Jesus. For example, at your age we don’t want any of you to go up to strangers to talk about Jesus—that is, unless your mom or dad is with you and they say it’s okay. But you can pray for strangers you see from a distance. God knows who they are and your prayers can make a big difference in their lives.

Take prayer requests but also spend time praying specifically for the people your students listed who may not know Christ. If you want, even let your students have an opportunity to pray for the people they listed. Help them to understand how to pray specifically that someone will give their life to Jesus.

List Prayer Requests

Be sure to pray specifically for each request.


Use any extra time to help your students memorize the verse for today.

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