Over the interesting year that was 2020, I began giving the families at my church quarterly discipleship packets they could do at home with their kids. This summer I put together what I simply called a Summer Family Activity Pack that lets them explore the journeys of Paul in a new a different way. Rather than simply re-telling many of the same stories that many Sunday School and church curriculums focus on, these five activities invite the family to engage with the people, places and teachings of Paul.
Journeying with Paul
Included in Packet:
Family Photo Scavenger Hunt
Water Balloon Battle
Picnic in the Park
Perhaps you’ve been looking for a way to help households from your church intentionally engage with one another around faith formation and Scripture this summer; if so, feel free to use the materials below!
NOTE: You will need to purchase the supplies for each activity; I found most of my items on Amazon and at the Dollar Tree. See the supply list at the end of the packet materials.
Activity #1 – The Gospel According to Paul, Family Photo Scavenger Hunt
In I Corinthians 15:1-5, Paul explains the gospel that he preaches to those he visits in his journey. He writes, “Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve.”
Once you have taken all of your photos, send them to [email address] and we will compile them for you and give you a framed collage of your family’s photo scavenger hunt experience looking for Jesus!
Activity #2- Family Night: Olympic Edition
Paul’s Missionary Journeys
Jumping into Paul’s Journeys
Using the sidewalk chalk in the packet, draw a traditional Hopscotch shape on the sidewalk. Instead of numbers in each block, put the names of the cities that Paul visited on his first missionary journey. Find a stone to throw and jump through the countries in traditional hopscotch fashion to visit all the cities that Paul visited. Once someone lands on a city, mark it off. The person who lands on the final city “wins.”
- Antioch in Syria Acts 13:1-3
- Selucia Acts 13:4
- Cyprus Acts 13:4
- Salamis Acts 13:5
- Paphos Acts 13:6
- Perga Acts 13:13
- Antioch in Pisidia Acts 13:14
- Iconium Acts 13:51
- Lyrstra Acts 14:6
- Derbe Acts 14:6 and Acts 14:20
It’s a Toss Up: Meeting Paul’s Friends
Using the enclosed bean bags and plates, create a Bean Bag toss game by laying out the plates and trying to land on them with bean bags. Each plate has the name of one of Paul’s friends and the Scripture reference where you can find them in the Bible. Whoever “meets” the most of Paul’s friends, “wins.”
- Lydia, Acts 16:11-15
- Priscilla, Acts 18
- Barnabas, Acts 9:26-27
- Silas, Acts 16: 25-36
- Timothy, 2 Tim. 2:2-6
- Phoebe, Rom. 16:1-2
- Junia, Rom. 16:7
- Titus, Titus 1:4-5
Frisbee Relay: Journeying together
Using the foldable flying discs in your packet, partner up with a family member. Paul and Silas can be one team; Paul and Barnabas can be another (if you have five family members, Timothy can join this group). Pick a section of your yard or a park you want to cover and have the first person throw the disc, then the second, then the first, until you reach the other side. Talk to your kids about how Paul had companions who helped him finish his journeys.
Ring Toss: Third Time’s the Charm
Paul went on three missionary journeys, his final landing him in Rome. Set out four cones, including the one labeled “Rome.” Use the rings in the packet to toss around the cones. The first person toss the ring around all three cones and then around Rome “wins.” Even though Paul knew that he would likely end up in jail and dying in Rome, he went there because God told him to and because of that we have much of the New Testament.
Activity #3 – WATER BALLOON BATTLE
Get ready for some fun on a hot day! We can imagine that Paul’s journeys took him through some HOT places. Grab a Bible and look at the maps of Paul’s 3 missionary journeys. And then, pick a hot day to have some family fun; Included in your packet is a water balloon “Bunch of Balloons” for you to fill and toss. HAVE FUN as a family!!
Activity #4 – Family Garden
Only God Can Make It Grow
We’ve been looking at Paul’s story over the summer and Paul talks about how sharing about God with others is like planting a seed. In I Cor 3:5-9, he shares about how he and another person named Apollos both helped to plant God’s story in people but only God can make it grow. You have some seeds and planters so that you can plant the seed and water it, but only the God could make all the sun and water and soil grow that plant. Have fun gardening together with God!
Who do you think Paul is, anyway? Or Apollos, for that matter? Servants, both of us—servants who waited on you as you gradually learned to entrust your lives to our mutual Master. We each carried out our servant assignment. I planted the seed, Apollos watered the plants, but God made you grow. It’s not the one who plants or the one who waters who is at the center of this process but God, who makes things grow. Planting and watering are menial servant jobs at minimum wages. What makes them worth doing is the God we are serving. You happen to be God’s field in which we are working.
Activity #5 – Picnic at the Park
Use the basket your Family Summer Activity Packet came with to pack a picnic lunch and head to the park. While there, ask your kids how they think Paul might have felt as he walked through places he had never been on his missionary journey and met new people and shared Jesus with them. Share the story of Priscilla and Aquila who invited them into their home and shared their life and food with him. As you share this meal together, think about how you can bless each other and others, including strangers, by sharing what you have with them. Maybe even in the park today, you will see someone to share God’s love with today.
Priscilla and Aquila were tentmakers as was Paul. Priscilla and Aquila had been among the Jews expelled from Rome by the Roman Emperor Claudius in the year 49 as written by Suetonius. They ended up in Corinth. Paul lived with Priscilla and Aquila for approximately 18 months. Their story with Paul is in Acts 18.
- Printed Out Scavenger Hunt
- Sidewalk Chalk
- Bean Bags and Paper Plates with Names/Scriptures on them
- Rings and Cones
- Water Balloons (I recommend Bunch o’ Balloons)
- Seed Packets and Seed Starter cartons
- Basket and Tablecloth
It’s Time To ReFocus
Are you interested in moving your church from a traditional, age-segregated into a more family-focused, intergenerational focus, connecting the home and the church?
Refocus Ministry would be happy to begin a conversation with your team and church about the how your church can grow in serving the families of your church and community and connecting your faith community in relationship with each other.
Ongoing coaching through various means is also available as your church continues the transition including weekly emails, monthly on-line trainings, and continued conversations. In addition to one-on-one coaching calls and follow-up resources, the following large-group presentations can be made available to your team, pastoral staff, or congregation.
Options to choose from for these presentations include:
- Presenting on a Sunday morning to your worship service(s)
- A parent webinar on Everyday Discipleship and partnering with the church community
- A presentation on Connecting Generations (importance, need, Biblical foundation) for your leadership team
- A training on a specific area of ministry such as Family VBS, Partnering with Parents, Equipping Volunteers, Creating an Intergenerational Culture for your ministry or leadership team.
- OTHER – We will work to create a presentation that best suits your community’s needs
Use the contact form below to receive a customized quote for your congregations needs. We look forward to journeying with you to make Psalm 145, one generation to another, part of our church’s DNA.
For more information about…
- Kids in Worship
- Determining which Type of Family Ministry model works best for your church
- Discipleship in Intergenerational community
- Encouraging the continued conversation through Practical Discipleship at Home
- Seminars, Workshops, Coaching
Refocus Ministry was started by Christina Embree, wife to Pastor Luke, mom to three wonderful kids, and church planter at Plowshares BIC. She also serves as the Minister of Generational Discipleship with the Great Lakes Conference of the Brethren in Christ.
With years of experience in family ministry and children’s ministry, she is passionate about seeing churches partnering with families to encourage faith formation at home and equipping parents to disciple their kids in the faith. She holds a Masters of Arts in Ministry focusing on Family, Youth and Children’s Ministry and is completing a Doctorate of Ministry in Spiritual Formation at Wesley Seminary, she also blogs at www.refocusministry.org and is a contributing blogger at D6 Family, ChurchLeaders.com, and Seedbed.
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