God Calls Paul and Ananias: A Free Lesson on Calling

God’s call is hard. It’s challenging, and God’s call often takes us far outside our comfort zone. So far, that we might not want to go. This lesson helps explore two moments where God’s call stretched people beyond what they had ever thought they would do.

Opening

Hand out a piece of paper to each person in the circle. Make sure everyone has access to the markers.

For each of the following words below, give the group several minutes for each person to draw a symbol (no words) of that word. See the example under faith. After a few minutes for each word, have several in the group share what they have drawn.

Draw faith
For example, someone might draw a sun, because at the end of each day, the person who drew it has faith that the sun will rise again, and a new day will begin with new possibilities.

Draw hope
Draw peace
Draw love
Draw Your Church
Draw you

The Bible

Have several people share in the reading of the Scripture passages.

Read Acts 9: 1 – 30.

  • If you had been a Christian during this time, what would most likely do if Saul came to your town?
  • What can we learn about Saul from the fact that he had access to the high priest?
  • Briefly describe Saul’s encounter with Jesus.
  • What question does Jesus ask Saul?
  • Specifically, in what way was Saul “persecuting” Jesus?
  • Jesus takes the persecution of His disciples personally. How does this affect you? Does it matter to you that there are people all over the world who are still persecuted for following Jesus?
  • Have you ever witnessed someone being persecuted for following Jesus?
  • Why do you think the Lord struck Saul blind?

Read Acts 9:7.

  • What exactly did the men traveling with Saul hear?
  • How do you explain the difference between what Saul heard and what the other men heard?
  • What do you think Saul was feeling and thinking as he was led into Damascus?
  • Why do you think the Lord kept him blind for three days?
  • What do we learn about Ananias (who was a follower of Jesus)?
  • How would you respond if you were Ananias?
  • Look at Ananias’ response to the Lord in vv. 13-14. Was Ananias being disobedient? Please explain.
  • How did Jesus respond to Ananias’ concerns?
  • What is the significance of Ananias’ calling Saul “brother”?

Read Acts 9:15-16.

  • What is the “call” on Saul’s life?
  • How is this call from Jesus different from what Saul has been doing up until now?
  • How will Saul have to behave differently?
  • What does it mean to be called by Jesus to do something?
  • Callings can be short term, or they can be long term. Have you ever felt called?
  • What can we learn about obedience from both Saul and Ananias?
  • What does it mean to obey God?
  • What happens when we disobey God’s call for our lives?
  • What happens when we obey God’s call on our lives?

Closing

Share prayer requests. Close in prayer.

SHARE

Scott has served in student ministry for over 30 years, the past 23 years at McFarlin Memorial United Methodist Church in Norman, Oklahoma, where he oversees ministries to Kindergarten through 12th grade as the director of student ministries. Having grown up in an incredible and life-changing youth ministry at Pioneer United Methodist Church in Walla Walla, Washington, Scott got his start in student ministry at Simpson United Methodist Church in Pullman, Washington while a student at Washington State University. He will never forget his first official Sunday as a youth director when 2 of the high school students who showed up were older then him! Scott has a passion for missions and leadership develop, and desires to create life-long disciples for Jesus Christ. He and Kristin have been married for 13 years, and welcomed an amazing little girl into the world in May of 2016. You can follow Scott on Twitter: @ScottMeier

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