Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Stephen is Persecuted

This file folder game (FFG) will be as review and the students can take home.
Introduction: Scripture is Acts 6:8-8:4. We have studied about Jesus dying on the cross and after He rose from the dead, He talked with His disciples and told them to go out and make disciples from all nations. Jesus said to baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to do all the things I have taught you. Remember that I will always be with you. (Mark 16:15)
Review: Do you remember who we studied last week? They were a married couple. Ananias and Sapphira. They sold land and Ananias told Peter that the money they were giving was the full amount from the sale. But they only gave a portion. Peter told him he was lying to God and he fell down dead.
After 3 hours his wife, Sapphira came in and said, yes that’s what we sold the land for. Peter said "Your husband said the same thing, so look at these men because they are the ones that carried him out when he died and they will carry you out." She died right way, and they buried her right next to her husband.
Lesson: Peter and John and Stephen were some of the people who did what Jesus commanded. They went about healing people and telling about Jesus.
They were beaten and made fun of. When they were brought to the chief priests and asked why they kept doing what they were told not to do, they answered that “We obey God instead of men!” (Acts 5:29)

They taught DAILY in the temple and in every house, preaching and teaching about Jesus being the Savior. (Acts 5:42) The word of God spread. (Acts 6:7)
Today we will be talking about Stephen and how his works for Jesus and his death introduces us to Saul, who we know as Paul. Read today’s Bible verse: "Now Stephen, a man full of God's grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people." (Acts 6:8 NKJV)

Some of the Jewish leaders were arguing with Stephen about what he taught. They just couldn’t stop him from preaching, so they secretly told men to say that they had heard Stephen say offensive words against God. (vs. 11) The Jewish leaders got the people all worked up and Stephen was brought to the Jewish council.

They had false witnesses come in and tell lies. Sounds like how Jesus was brought in and crucified, doesn’t it? Everyone sitting at council thought Stephen had a face of an angel.(vs. 15)

The high priest asked if this was true and Stephen began by telling the council about Moses and about how God delivered the Israelites. He talked about Abraham. He talked about Joseph and his father Jacob and how they were saved from the famine by God. He talked about David.

 Use Picture Visuals here: Moses, Abraham, Joseph and David) This is the short version, I use the long version to review Old Testament men. Insert the info at the end of this lesson for those men here. Pictures and lesson are at the end.

He told the council they were stubborn, because all those people knew about God but they wanted to do what they felt like instead of what God says to do.
(vs. 57) The men shouted out and plugged their ears! They ran at Stephen and took him out of the city to stone him. The men that were witnesses in the temple were by law supposed to throw the first stones. Those witnesses laid their coats at the feet of Saul.
(vs. 58) The clothes they laid at Saul’s feet would have been the outer coat that would get in the way when they heaved the rocks at Stephen.

As the people were stoning him, Stephen called to Jesus to “receive my spirit”. Stephen was ready to go to heaven with Jesus and he asked Jesus to forgive them for what they were doing to him.
This is the first time the Bible talks about Saul, who we are going to study. We know him as Paul.

This was the persecution of the Christians. They were killed for telling others about Jesus. People left Jerusalem and went to other countries telling about Jesus.

As we read Acts 8:3-4, we see that Saul was very destructive for the church. he went into peoples homes and dragged men & women to prison. He approved of Stephen getting stoned to death. And, those who were Christians, went everywhere preaching the word.
Bring Stones  (I just picked these out of the decorative rock bed at the building, but they can be purchased at Dollar Tree) Let them paint or write on the stone the word “Forgive”. Talk about how Stephen forgave the men who hurt him and even asked God to forgive them. This original idea was found here.
This is the front cover and inside of the FFG. The cards for each Bible man Stephen talked about are stored in the pocket on the front cover. I make my pockets for the pieces sideways, because my FFG's are stored like files, and they are carried by the kids like files, so parts do not fall out as easily. But, it's your choice how you glue it on your folder.

This is a twist on a bulletin board I saw on Pinterest, but I like the FFG for review better.  Here is the link to print it.
If you'd rather just a worksheet, you can print it here.
Click on the above picture to download the worksheet.

You can find all the Acts worksheets here.
Notes for Stephen's talk about Bible people:

The high priest asked if the people were telling the truth with their accusations and Stephen began by telling the council about Old Testament Bible people:
A. God told Abraham to go to a new land. Which he did.

   God promised him a son. God gave him Isaac. He would be the father of all nations.

   His descendants would be like the stars in the sky! Which they are!
B. Then, Isaac had Jacob. And Jacob had 12 sons. We know them as the 12 tribes of Israel. Do you remember Joseph? His brothers were so jealous because Jacob gave Joseph a coat of many colors. They sold him and Joseph was taken to Egypt.
God gave him "favor and wisdom". Pharaoh, the King of Egypt, made him Governor over Egypt. So he was given a lot of power in Egypt. God was watching over him! Joseph sent for his father, Jacob, during a famine, and they were able to be together again! All these men are found in the book of Genesis.
C. And then Stephen talked about Moses. He is in Exodus and it's over 400 years later. (They think about 430.) God had Moses and his brother Aaron take the Israelites out of Egypt. After the 10 plagues, they left Egypt. God also gave them the 10 commandments. We will have a lesson about Moses later.
D. Stephen then talks about David. He fought the giant Goliath. He was also a king for 40 years.
David's son, Solomon who was the wisest man that ever lived, and was king after David's reign.
E. Stephen finishes up with Jesus. He calls Jesus 'The Just One'.

Bible Verse: "Now Stephen, a man full of God's grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people." Acts 6:8 (NKJV)

Passport: Jerusalem

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.
Used by permission.


  1. I used the folders today in our Sunday School. They were a hit! Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. Thanks so much for the nice comment! It is appreciated! Deb

  3. Thanks for linking up to TGIF! Hope to see you again tomorrow =-)

  4. Excellent lesson. I was a Children's director/minister for 20+ years. Loved it and sometimes still miss it.

    1. Thanks for stopping by! And, thank you for the nice comment. It's appreciated!

  5. Wow! A comprehensive set of lessons. I wish I had these when my daughter was younger. Last night we watched a program which explained Christianity after Jesus on the television. My daughter still has questions...materials like yours help find answers.
    Happy Easter Monday.

  6. Your lessons are always so wonderful! Thank you for sharing with us at Share It Saturday!

  7. I am very interested in the FFG, Who's Who in the Bible but I'm not finding the link. Thank you for all of the work that has gone into this blog!

    1. Hello! The link is under the paragraph of the photo. Here it is to make it easy: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B3uNEVAAKowpNVpSd1I5Qk1mSjg/edit?usp=sharing
      I appreciate your visits! And, thanks for the nice comment!

    2. Thank you. Got it! I thought that link was for a bulletin board version of the picture below it. Probably one of the only links I didn't try. :-)


Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I appreciate it! They will be added as soon as they are approved.