Paul and Silas in Prison – Storytelling

Church in Progress is committed to making church accessible for everyone, that includes the kids. To be honest though, it also helps me to hear the ‘word’ in storytelling form!

So, I’ve rewritten Acts 16:22-34 for the Church in Progress November monthly gathering.

What do you think? I’m hoping to use a few print outs to help tell the story too. Any feedback appreciated.

(If you are using this text in your NZ church it’s a great opportunity to discuss the abuse within our prison system. PAPA is currently running a campaign to end solitary confinement – find out more here and sign the petition).

***

Do you know about a man called Paul and his friend whose name was Silas?

They lived a long, long time ago and were part of the very first ever church.

Paul and Silas were really keen to let others know about Jesus and God’s love for everyone. They travelled all over telling people the good news, helping and encouraging others.

They were all round good guys. But, unfortunately, even when we do good things … it doesn’t always mean that our lives will be easy.

Have you ever done something nice for someone and they have been mean to you?

It’s not very nice, is it? Well, that’s what was happening to our friends Paul and Silas. One day they met a woman who was being forced to work for someone else. She was having a terrible time, but her bosses were making heaps of money out of her work. It’s a familiar story, isn’t it?

Paul and Silas freed her from having to work for nothing. She was overjoyed but her bosses were really annoyed! In fact, they were so angry they got some of their mates together and beat them up! They also told the police that Paul and Silas were disturbing the peace and Paul and Silas got arrested.

Soon Paul and Silas found themselves in prison. They were sore from being beaten up and if it were me, I’d be crying and feeling very sorry for myself.

But that’s not how Paul and Silas were at all! Do you know what they did?

They started singing and praising God right there in prison! They were singing so loudly that the other people in the prison wondered what on earth was happening. They sang for AGES, until midnight.

Then something really weird happened … there was an earthquake! The ground shook and all the doors in the prison were opened.

Well, what would you do? Would you run outside? I know I would!

But that’s not what Paul and Silas did. They knew the prison guard would get in serious trouble if they ran away. So, they sat in the prison and yelled out “don’t worry, we are still here, no one has run away”!

The prison guard couldn’t believe it! He had locked Paul and Silas in prison, but they were still being kind to him. That was weirder than the earthquake!

The prison guard was so happy that he took Paul and Silas home to have dinner at his place. While they were eating Paul and Silas told the prison guard all about Jesus and about how God loves everyone.

Then the most amazing thing happened. The prison guard decided he wanted to live the way Paul and Silas were living. He wanted to know more about God’s love too. That very night he was baptised along with his whole family!

What a crazy day for Paul and Silas! They went from being beaten up, in prison, in an earthquake to having dinner with a new friend and baptising him! I wonder what God thought to all of that!

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