Workshop Leaders’ Bible Study

This workshop leader’s Bible study is a historical, theological, and contextual introduction to the Calming the Storm rotation of Kirk of Kildaire’s Faith Quest workshop rotation program.  It is intended to provide workshop leaders with:

·       A historical context for understanding the Bible story.

·       A Biblical context for reading and teaching the story.

·       The theological basis for the concepts to be taught to the children.

In Kirk of Kildaire’s Faith Quest program, workshop leaders attend a one-hour Bible study two weeks prior to the start of a new rotation.  This Bible study helps workshop leaders understand how the concepts to be taught to the children are derived from the Bible story and how the lessons in the rotation fit together to reinforce the concepts.  It also provides an opportunity for the workshop leaders to grow in their own faith and understanding of the Bible.

It will be helpful to have a chalkboard, whiteboard, or flip chart for writing down questions or observations during the Bible study.

Note:  This is not a comprehensive study of the text, but only a few notes to help provide context and background for workshop leaders.  Consult titles cited in the reference list at the end of these notes for more information.



            Matthew 8:19-27

Memory verse for this rotation:

            "You, Lord, are the light that keeps me safe.  I am not afraid of anyone.  You protect me and I have no fears."  Psalms 27:1  CEV


  • Jesus calls us to follow him.
  • Jesus sometimes calls his disciples to new places and to try new things.
  • Sometimes, following Jesus can be hard and scary.
  • We can trust Jesus to take care of us.

Prayer Concerns & Prayer

·       If workshop leaders do not know each other, give them an opportunity to introduce each other and say which workshop they will be leading.

·       Begin the Bible study by praying for God’s guidance as teachers begin a new rotation.

Reading the text

Ask a workshop leader to read the text aloud.  Since this rotation focuses on an entire chapter, you might want to divide the reading among three or four workshop leaders.

Ask the workshop leaders what questions came to mind as they heard the story or read it before the Bible study.  Write down any questions that arise and will need to be answered during the Bible study.


Historical, Theological, and Biblical Contexts

Matthew 8: 18-27



            Matthew has gathered a collection of 10 miracle stories in 8:1-9:34 and according to Eugene Boring it is important that we interpret these stories “in the context of the section as a whole, since it has been constructed by Matthew as a single integrated unit” (222).  There are also “elements that illustrate the meaning of discipleship [and] faith” found in these stories (Boring, 223).  Boring offers the following outline of the structure of this section:

I. Christ Acts in power for the Marginal and Excluded                       8:1-17

II. Christ’s Mighty Acts Generate a Community of Disciples              8:18-9:17

III. Christ’s Power Evokes Faith and Unbelief                                    9:18-34


Boring says that the story in 8:18-27 “in which Jesus commands his followers to cross the sea to new (Gentile) horizons, encountering a terrifying storm en route, reflects the experience of Matthew’s church in entering into new horizons of the Gentile mission” (229).


Interesting Words/Phrases/Ideas

  • Verses 18-22 mark the beginning of this section (see above) about discipleship.  Recorded here are conversations Jesus had with a scribe who wants to become a disciple and a man who is already a disciple.  Jesus challenges the scribe’s “understanding of discipleship” and essentially tells the other disciple that “absolutely nothing may take priority over Jesus’ call to discipleship” including the burial of his father (Boring, 229 and 230).
  • In verse 23 Matthew emphasizes that the disciples follow Jesus into the boat – Mark in 4:36 does not make this point ( Boring, 230).
  • The Christian community for whom Matthew wrote was being called into mission to Gentiles (“to new horizons of discipleship”) and were finding that the road was not easy (Boring, 230).  Boring therefore argues that the storm in this story “does not represent the ‘storms of life’ on an individual level, but the stormy experience of those who follow Jesus into the Christian community” (230).
  • To reflect the fact that this storm represents the challenges that face the entire community, Matthew changes the words the disciples cry out on the boat to sound more like the liturgy of the church crying out to the Lord instead of the cries of frightened individuals (Boring, 230).  In Matthew they cry “Lord, save us!” whereas in Mark 4:38 they say “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”.
  • In response in verse 26 Jesus asks why they do not trust that he will take care of them.  There are many occasion in Matthew where Jesus calls for trusting faith (6:25-34; 14:31; 16:8; and 17:20).



  • The Conflict of Kingdoms and the nature of the kingdom of God:  In verses 18-22, Jesus makes the point that the priorities of God are different than the priorities of the world.
  • The identity of Jesus Christ:  Jesus calls himself the Son of Man and in verse 27 the disciples question who this man is who can calm the wind and seas.
  • The identity of the true people of God:  This story speaks about discipleship and the call to follow and to trust Jesus.


Workshop Summaries

Ask each workshop leader to summarize his or her workshop.  As they do so, point out the concepts that each lesson reinforces.  Ask workshop leaders if they have any questions about the logistics or practical application of their lesson.


Antioch Arcade:  The children will play the Voting Game to reinforce their knowledge of the details of the story.  They will also discuss and reflect on the idea that sometimes following Jesus can be hard or scary but we can trust Jesus to take of us.  They will identify specific fears and specific ways that Jesus can be helpful in dealing with those fears.

Apostles’ Playhouse:  The children videotape themselves acting out the story of Jesus calming the storm.  In the process of reviewing the story the children will learn about trusting Jesus to help us in difficult situations.

Creation Station:  The children will create a wax crayon/paint resist drawing of the boat in the storm.  In discussion and reflection time they will talk about what it means to follow Jesus and to have faith in Him.

Good News:  The children will begin by playing an energizer that explores the concepts of fear, calm and faith.  They will then have the opportunity to interview one of the disciples who was on the boat with Jesus and learn about trusting Jesus when we are afraid.

Holywood:  The children will view the video The Miracles of Jesus and discuss the power of faith.

Praising Puppets:  The children will perform several skits that explore and emphasize the concept that we can trust Jesus to take of us.

Review Questions

Return to the questions that were gathered at the start of the hour.  Have they been answered?  Are there any further questions about the Bible story or about the lessons?

Closing Prayer

Close the Bible study with a prayer.


Boring, M. Eugene. “Matthew.” New Interpreter’s Bible, vol. VIII. Leander Keck, et al. editors. (Nashville, Abingdon Press, 1995).  pp. 89-124 and pp. 222-231.

Spivey, Robert A. and D. Moody Smith. Anatomy of the New Testament. (New Jersey, Prentice-Hall, 1995). pp. 97-129.