Interruptions during worship are something we may be far too familiar with. In this passage from Acts 4, the church shares all they have, so nobody is in need, and we see the example of Barnabas giving. These games play on the ideas of gifts, sharing, and working together.

In One Hand

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All Ages

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Any size group

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No Setup time

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Noisy game

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Space needed

How many coins can you hold in one hand? Stack as many coins in one hand as possible and walk ten steps. Eventually, you won’t be able to hold any more. How many people could have shared this load?
Link: God calls us to share, not hoard.

Controlled Destination

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All Ages

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Any size group

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Requires setup time

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Noisy game

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Space needed

This simple group ball game uses a parachute or large sheet. The ball must touch each of the 3–5 destinations in order without leaving the parachute sheet. Destinations can be marked by making boxes with tape.
Link: God’s family thrives when it works together.

Three Word Stories

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Ages 7+

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Small group

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No Setup time

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Quiet game

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Can be seated

Make up a story as a group, taking turns to each say the next three words.
Link : Everyone contributed. (Even if they were not controlling the story)

Divide and share

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Ages 7+

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Any size group

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No Setup time

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Quiet game

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Can be seated

Sit the children in a circle or round a table and give each child a piece of paper. Ask them to fold it in half as many times as they can. 8 is the limit. Talk about how small we managed to make the piece of paper by keeping it together. Now get them to open their piece of paper up and tear it in half, placing one half in the middle of the circle. Repeat this until you have just a tiny piece of paper. How many times did they tear their paper when they give it away?
Link to : we achieve more together than alone.

 

Shared Owners (Acts 4)

Here are the images you need for the hero’s attributes linked to ‘Shared Owners (Acts 4)’ – also referred to as ‘Barnabas’, ‘the early church’, or ‘first church of Jesus believers’.
Each hero set contains a high quality graphic of the character, a take home bible card and a colouring page.

The images are displayed small here, click on the image you wish to have, then save the image that loads.
(These images are not copyright free, they are for personal/classroom use only.)

 

117-Barnabas-Card117-Barnabas-Card
117-Barnabas117-Barnabas
117-Barnabas-Colouring-1117-Barnabas-Colouring-1
117-Barnabas-Colouring-2117-Barnabas-Colouring-2

 

ps. If you want images for some apostles try this post to get images of the first 4!
 

 

This passage can be a little idealised and often the verses get pulled into economic and social theory arguments – but whatever we think of them we know that the first Christ followers really did try wholeheartedly the ‘shared owner’ model. This paper craft is the key verse in this taken very literally, the apostles feet becomes the resting place for gifts.

 
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It can be hard to know how to serve and imitate the call to be shared owners in God’s kingdom. This is especially true for children who often have everything through their parents. This craft gives them an answer to draw upon. As you flip the various sections you find suggestions for ways to serve God’s community.

 
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We’ve over-spilled the lectionary this week to bring you an introduction to a face that is very familiar in the acts narrative -that of Barnabas. While his name is not really Barnabas at all, it’s Joseph, it seems this new moniker of Barnabas is something the Apostles bestowed upon him, suggesting a close familiarity in the burgeoning group. He is described as a Levite from Cyprus, so no rough fisherman, and was probably highly respected y means of birth. That his fields’ sale is enough to be mentioned in scripture shows it was almost certainly significant.

This retold version of the Bible passage is supplied for inspiration, feel free to omit or embellish to give it your personal voice.

Main Passage : Acts4:32-37

Biblical retelling of Shared Owners (Acts 4) for youngsters.

 Joseph, who everyone called Barnabas, had joined a new Jewish group in Jerusalem. It was lead by the apostles of Jesus from Nazareth. Jesus had not been an ordinary Jew; he’d been the Messiah, God’s own son that the Jewish people had been waiting for. He’d upset a lot of people because he wasn’t the type of messiah they wanted. Jesus didn’t lead an army or throw out the Romans; instead he told people to love their enemies, to care for those who were overlooked, and to be a servant to all. The authorities had killed Jesus, but death was no obstacle for Him. Jesus came back to life. Meeting Jesus’s followers had totally changed Barnabas’s life.

Those who believed in Jesus shared everything. Absolutely everything. They gathered together every day to pray, praise God, and find out how they could serve each other. The apostles would teach the truths they had learnt from Jesus, heal the sick and provide for the poor. Some of the women would cook huge meals and feed anyone who was there. For example, a man got a new job but had no shoes, and the next day a shoemaker brought him a pair. It was that kind of group; everybody shared everything.

One day, a man walked up to the apostles and laid a small bag of coins at their feet. He had sold something and wanted the apostles to give the money to those who needed it. The next day there was another gift laid at the apostles’ feet, and the day after that too! Barnabas prayed he would have something to give. He wanted to help the community of Jesus followers. It was a servant’s prayer, a good prayer, a prayer he hoped would make Jesus smile.

A few days later his prayer was answered. A man asked Barnabas if he would sell his field. It was a large field that had belonged to Barnabas’s family for many years. The man was really surprised when Barnabas joyfully shouted ‘Yes!’ straight away. He was so surprised that Barnabas had to explain that he hadn’t even thought of selling his field but God had answered his prayer.

The next day after work, Barnabas went to meet the other followers, unable to stop smiling. As soon as he arrived, he ran to the apostles so fast that he almost tripped… twice!. Then, he gently placed the bag of gold at their feet. Peter picked it up and tipped the contents onto his hand expecting a few small coins. As the bright gold coins rained over his hand and onto the floor, the apostles stood open mouthed.

Barnabas could have kept the money, but he had understood what it meant to serve even when it cost you. God had plans for Barnabas, and this was just the first step.

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