Paul on the Road to Damascus


Praising Puppets


Scripture:    Acts 9:1-20


Memory Verse:   "Anyone who belongs to Christ is a new person.  The past is forgotten, and everything is new.”   II Corinthians 5:17 CEV





The objectives of this workshop are to teach the children



Welcome and Introductions:


1.      Greet the children and introduce yourself.  Wear your nametag.


2.      Explain the purpose of this workshop.  Example:  “Today we will talk about how Jesus changes people who decide to follow his way and how Jesus gives them work to do that makes God happy.”    


3.      As the children are getting settled, count them or ask the shepherd(s) for a count.  You can prepare your container of characters—more details of this follow.


Scripture/Bible Story:


Warm-Up Questions:  Examples:  This passage is from the book of Acts.  Does anyone know in what part of the Bible we would find Acts?  New Testament   Does anyone know whether the events in the book of Acts happen before or after Jesus died?  After  In Faith Quest we recently studied the Pentecost story about the arrival of the Holy Spirit on earth.  Do you remember in what book we found that story?  Also in Acts. Today we are studying what happened after  the story of Pentecost.


Background Information:  (You can tell the children this before reading the passage) 

·        This passage is about a man named Saul but not the same Saul who was king when David killed Goliath.  This Saul was a man who lived a little after Jesus’ time and who believed in God but not in Jesus.  He thought he was doing God’s work by getting rid of people who believed in Jesus.  He was well known by all Jesus’ followers as a man who would find followers of Jesus, beat them, put them in prison and sometimes have them killed.

·        When you hear the word “Lord,” it refers to Jesus.

·        There is a Judas in this story, but it is not the Judas that betrayed Jesus before he was killed.


Ask the children to open their Bibles to Acts 9.  Read the Scripture Passage (from the CEV):


Example of Discussion after the Passage: 


This is an amazing story about how Jesus can change people to do God’s work. 

·        What do you remember hearing about Saul’s work before this story?  He thought he was doing God’s work—he was finding followers of Jesus, then beating them, putting them in prison, and trying to have them killed.

·        Who appears and speaks to Saul on his trip to Damascus?  Jesus   Jesus makes Saul blind.  I wonder why Jesus did that?  This is a really important concept because it makes people think about how Jesus/God accomplishes God’s purposes.  If the children don’t have any ideas, you can get them thinking by saying, “I wonder whether Jesus was trying to…” and bring out these ideas:

q       get Saul’s attention, 

q       keep Saul from going after Christians,

q       give Saul a few days to think about what Jesus had said to him,

q       show Saul Jesus’ power,

q       show Saul that he was “blind” to the truth about Jesus

q       show Saul how bad blindness is,

q       give Saul a chance to experience Christian love during and just after his blindness


·        What happens to Saul while he is blind?  He seems to have accepted Jesus and become one of his followers.   

·        What does it mean to accept Jesus?  believe God raised Jesus from the dead, make Jesus Lord over your life  Try to think of someone in your life that has changed for the better-- maybe Jesus changed that person.  Try to think of someone you would like for Jesus to change--you can pray for Jesus to change that person.  Would you like Jesus to change you for the better?


Puppet Application:


After completing the Bible passage, introduce the puppet part of the lesson.  Example Introduction:  Today everyone is going to perform one group skit to understand more about how Jesus changed Paul. 


  1. Point out the various signs on the floor or walls designating one quarter as the Temple in Jerusalem, one quarter as the Fortress, one quarter as where the Narrators can sit and one quarter is Damascus and the Road to Damascus.  (Or do this now if you haven’t posted them.)
  2. The Puppets should already be out on a table.
  3. The group skit has 14 individual speaking parts and a light person.  If you have more than 14 children, add in the light person slip and then enough “crowd” slips to equal the number of children.  The crowd will speak, so these children will get to talk.  If you have less than 14 children, combine Soldier 1 and 2, then Man 1 and 2, then Crowd Person 1, 2 and 3 until you have the right number, and let an adult be the light person.  Put all the slips/nametags in a container and let each child draw one nametag to see what part they will play.  The nametag also tells them what part of the room to start in.  There is an attachment that you may use to make these slips.
  4. Let the children line up to choose a puppet.  The puppets don’t have to match the parts they play. 
  5. Have each child go to the proper part of the room for their part.  Put the name tag for the puppet on the puppet’s chest. Ask everyone to sit down and practice with the puppets for a few minutes—talking, not talking, turning to face another puppet, look surprised, look scared, etc.   Most children, except visitors and newcomers, have used these puppets before. 
  6. Give out the appropriate highlighted scripts to each child, so they can read along with the skit.   
  7. Let the older children read over their parts.  If you have enough adults, space them out in each area of the room to help with the script practice.  Grades 1&2: The workshop leader  should be the narrator and read all the parts, telling the kids what to say.  Explain any words they don’t understand.  You may want to do this for the older grades as well.
  8. Perform the group skit.  
  9. After the skit, discuss what happened in the skit.  


 Discussion Suggestions:  The things that happened in this skit were also from the books of Acts (chapters 21, 22 and 26).  Did you like having more details about what happened?


Also from later in the book of Acts, Paul gives even more details about what Jesus said to him.   Jesus said, “I want you to open people’s eyes, so that they will turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Then their sins will be forgiven, and by faith in me they will become part of God's holy people."  JESUS WANTED PAUL TO OPEN PEOPLES’S EYES.  MAYBE THAT’S WHY HE MADE PAUL BLIND.


Was Paul a better person after he was changed?  Yes, he believed in Jesus and he stopped being cruel to people who believed in Jesus.  He also told other people about Jesus, so they could be changed also.   Were you able to think of someone you would like Jesus to change—maybe someone who isn’t very kind or very happy?  If anyone wants to discuss this, please let them.   You can pray for people to be changed. 


You can also pray for Jesus to change you.  You can start by believing in Jesus—that God raised him from the dead and that he is the Lord—and you will be changed too.  Who believes God raised Jesus from the dead?  hopefully all will raise their hands or say me.  Let’s all say, “Jesus is Lord.” 


I wonder what kind of God’s work Jesus gives to children?  Obedience to God, parents and all authority, such as teachers and principals; being kind to others; taking care of people and animals; reading the Bible; visiting the sick and lonely; helping adults feed the homeless; playing with homeless children who are staying at our church; cleaning up the earth; gleaning; teaching younger children about Jesus; all the promises made during Baptisms…


Reflection Time:

Ask the shepherds to pass out the journal sheets and pencils/markers. Tell the older students to write down what they thought was the most interesting part of the story today or something learned for the first time today.  Tell the younger students to draw a picture of Paul doing something from the story  (ideas:  speaking to the crowd, being blind, being led by men traveling with him, being chained).  The workshop leader(s) and shepherd(s) can help parents by asking the children what their drawing is about and writing a caption on the picture.




Prayer:  Write your own or use this example.  Thank you God for raising Jesus from the dead, for providing Jesus as our Lord.  Thank you Jesus for changing us and other people to do God’s work.  Thank you for the jobs you give us.  


Tidy and Dismissal: Ask children to help tidy up. Close/lock the door and turn off the lights.



Teacher preparation in advance:

1.      Pray that God will guide you to teach what He wants taught during this workshop and scripture passage.  Pray for a loving and patient attitude toward the children.

2.      Please practice reading the scripture passage out loud.  

3.      Make at least 20 copies of the script.  Highlight one script for each different part.  Prepare some scripts that are just generic crowd parts.

4.      Check out the room before your first Sunday workshop so that you know where everything is located.

5.      Make signs—Temple at Jerusalem, Fortress, Road to Damascus/Damascus and Narrator Area to hang in various quarters of the room.  Post these on floor or walls on Sunday morning before the class comes in the room.  Take down each Sunday and repost the next week.

6.      Using the character attachment, make nametags for each part.  Put in a container.

7.      Prepare 2 “chains” for soldiers to use  (actual chain or perhaps rope with magic marker links drawn on).

8.      Prepare a closing prayer.


Suggested Supply List



20 copies of the scripts

Poster board or other paper for signs 

Something to use as 2 chains (perhaps 2 pieces of rope with magic marker links drawn on them)

Container for character slips


Nametags for puppets




Notes supplied by Lori Houck for curriculum writers' Bible study






Paul Talks About What Happened

(From Acts 21:27- Acts 22)


Stage directions:  Designate a quarter of the room to be the temple, and have all the crowd and Paul start there.  Another quarter of the room should be the Fortress where the Roman commander and his soldiers start.  The narrators can be in another quarter of the room.  The last quarter of the room is the Road to Damascus and Damascus.  Saul, Men traveling with Saul, light person, Jesus will be on the Road and Ananias will start in Damascus.  One puppet will play Paul, and different puppet will play Saul.  Give the flashlight to the light person.  Give the “chains” to the soldiers.


Younger children: Workshop leader reads the script telling the kids what to say next. For example, you say: “and then the Roman Commander says to the soldiers,  Arrest him and bind him with two chains!” The kids will repeat: “ Arrest him and bind him with two chains!”  with their puppets mouthing the words.


Narrator 1:  Saul later became known as Paul.   Paul became one of Jesus’ followers, and the job that Jesus gave him was to travel around and tell other people about Jesus.  He was arrested many times for talking about Jesus by people who thought, just as Saul used to,  they were doing God’s work. 


Narrator 2:  Today, we are going to re-enact a day that really happened in Jerusalem when Paul was doing the work that Jesus had given him.  It takes place at the temple in Jerusalem after Paul had been talking about Jesus.


Paul:  Remember what the prophets and Moses said would happen, that Jesus the Messiah would suffer and be the first to be raised from death, so that he could bring light to his own people and to the Gentiles.


 Narrator 1:  A large crowd started attacking him. They were shouting,


Crowd Person 1:  Friends, help us!


Crowd Person 2:  This man goes around everywhere, saying bad things about our nation and about the Law of Moses and about this temple.


Crowd Person 3:  He has even brought shame to this holy temple by bringing in Gentiles.


All Crowd:  Help us.  Grab him.  Drag him out of the temple.  (gathering around Paul)


Narrator 2:  The people were about to kill Paul when the Roman army commander heard that all Jerusalem was starting to riot. He quickly took some soldiers and officers and ran to where the crowd had gathered.  


Roman Commander:  Come on, soldiers! Follow me to the Temple!


Soldiers 1 and 2:  Yes, sir!


Roman Commander and Soldiers move to the Temple area. 


Narrator 1:  As soon as the mob saw the commander and soldiers, they moved away from Paul.


Roman Commander:  (To the soldiers) Arrest him and bind him with two chains.  


Soldiers 1 and 2:  Yes, sir!  Let’s put on the chains.


Roman Commander:  (To the crowd)  Who is this man?  What did he do? 


Narrator 2:  Part of the crowd shouted one thing, and part of them shouted something else.


Crowd Person 1:  He’s Paul.  He’s bad.


Crowd Person 2:  He’s Saul.  He’s bad. 


All Crowd:  Kill him!  Kill him! 


Narrator 1:  But they were making so much noise that the commander could not find out a thing.


Roman Commander:  Soldiers, take him into the fortress.


Soldiers 1 and 2:  Yes, sir!


Soldiers take Paul toward the Fortress.  The crowd follows.


All Crowd:  Kill him! Kill him!

Paul:  Can I say something to you?  I am a Jew from Tarsus. Please let me speak to the crowd.

Roman commander:  You can speak.




Paul:  (turning toward the crowd) My friends and leaders of our nation, listen as I explain what happened!


Narrator 2: When the crowd heard Paul speak to them they became even quiet.


Paul:  I am a Jew, born and raised in the city of Tarsus. I was a student and was taught to follow every single law of our ancestors. In fact, I was just as eager to obey God as any of you are today.  I made trouble for everyone who followed the Lord's Way, and I even had some of them killed. I had others arrested and put in jail. I didn't care if they were men or women. The high priest and all the council members can tell you that this is true. They even gave me letters to the Jewish leaders in Damascus, so that I could arrest people there and bring them to Jerusalem to be punished. One day about noon I was getting close to Damascus, when a bright light from heaven suddenly flashed around me.  


(Light person should shine light at Saul not Paul and Men traveling with Saul.  Saul and Men who are traveling with Saul should try to block out bright light with their hands.)


 Paul:  I fell to the ground and heard a voice asking, 


(Saul falls to the ground)


Jesus:  Saul, Saul, why are you so cruel to me?


Saul:  Who are you?  


Jesus:  I am Jesus from Nazareth! I am the one you are so cruel to.


Paul:  The men who were traveling with me saw the light, but did not hear the voice.


Man 1:  What is that light? 


Man 2:  Who are you talking to, Paul?


Saul:  Lord, what do you want me to do?


Jesus:  Get up and go to Damascus. When you get there, you will be told what to do.


Saul:  I can’t see. Please lead me by the hand to Damascus.


Men who are traveling with Saul need to take Saul by the hands and lead him forward.  


Man 1:  Can’t you see at all? 


Man 2:  Who were you talking to?

Paul:  In Damascus there was a man named Ananias, who faithfully obeyed the Law of Moses and was well liked by all the Jewish people living there. He came to me at Damascus and said,


Ananias:  Saul, my friend, you can now see again!


Saul:  I can see!


Ananias:  The God that our ancestors worshiped has chosen you to know what he wants done. He has chosen you to see the One Who Obeys God and to hear his voice. You must tell everyone what you have seen and heard. What are you waiting for? Get up! Be baptized, and wash away your sins by praying to the Lord.


Paul:  After this I returned to Jerusalem and went to the temple to pray and speak about Jesus.


All Crowd:   (shouting and waving their arms)  Stop him from talking about Jesus!  Take him away!  Kill him!  Kill him! 


Roman Commander:  Take him to the fortress and beat him with a whip.  I want to know why the people are screaming at him.   (Soldiers grab Paul and start to take him closer to the Fortress.)              



Character Nametags Attachment


Narrator 1

Narrator Area


Narrator 2

Narrator Area


Crowd Person 1

Temple at Jerusalem


Crowd Person 2

Temple at Jerusalem


Crowd Person 3

Temple at Jerusalem



Temple at Jerusalem



Temple at Jerusalem



Temple at Jerusalem



Temple at Jerusalem



Temple at Jerusalem



Temple at Jerusalem



Roman Commander

Temple at Jerusalem


Soldier 1

Temple at Jerusalem


Soldier 2

Temple at Jerusalem



Temple at Jerusalem



Road to Damascus


Man 1

Road to Damascus


Man 2

Road to Damascus



Road to Damascus


Light person

Road to Damascus