The Outsiders Join Us
Note to the Teacher
This lesson follows Peter as he learns to value the Gentiles as they are, rather than first converting to Judaism. The Ice Breaker invites youth to think about habits/people they find unappealing. The discussion follows Peter as he tries to understand and accept the vision that it is a sin to keep people away from God. The Activity ties back to the Ice Breaker, inviting youth to wonder about the people who may exhibit the behaviors they don’t like.
|Time||Description of Activity|
1. Ice Breaker: Tic Tac Gross
Give each youth a blank Tic Tac Toe board, but tell them we’re going to use it like a mini-Bingo card. They can write FREE in the center square. In the remaining 8 squares they write behaviors/traits that they think are unappealing. Then have the youth mingle, sharing their answers with one another. If they match with someone, they can put an X in that square. Can anyone get three in a row? Four corners? Cover their whole board?
2. Discussion Part I (Acts 10:9-23)
Our Scripture reading today is about Simon Peter, the disciple and early church founder, and how he came to change his mind about who can be part of the church. And like us, he didn’t learn the lesson all at once.
Read Acts 10:9-23
Why didn’t Peter want to eat the animals offered in his vision?
Cornelius is introduced as a centurion and God-worshipper. This means he is a Roman soldier. He is a Gentile (non-Jew), though he worships God anyway. There were many such people as the church emerged. Called God-worshippers or God-fearers, they stretched the early church to figure out how to deal with people who accepted Jesus but did not want to become Jewish.
3. Discussion Part II (Acts 10:25-43)
The next day Peter follows these men to Cornelius’ house.
Read verses 25-28.
It seems that Peter now understands his vision, that a person can’t be unclean, or unacceptable to God. After a few words from Cornelius, Peter continues. Will you keep reading verses 34-43?
4. Discussion Part III (Acts 10:44-48)
Peter has a vision and struggles to understand it. Just as he seems to be getting it, his language starts to revert to his earlier ways of thinking. Then, in our last section of Scripture, the Holy Spirit actually interrupts Peter. As we read this, notice that the Spirit moves while Peter is speaking.
Read verses 44-48
Take this lesson to the next level by getting student’s hands and imaginations involved using the activity Exploring Fitting in and Belonging: A Dramatic Activity from the Youth Worker Collective available at https:/youthworkercollective.com/exploring-fitting-in-and-belonging-a-dramatic-activity/ Ask: What is the difference between ‘fitting in’ and ‘belonging?’
Close in the manner that is typical for you. Consider taking joys/concerns from the students, then asking for a volunteer to close in prayer.
- Tic Tac Toe boards
- Writing utensils
- Cleared space for performing skits
- Bibles for all students
 These were animals forbidden to eat according to Kosher laws.
 See Verse 15.
 Circumcision, dietary laws, sacrifices at temple, etc.
 every nation, whoever, Lord of all, healing everyone, etc.
 The Apostles/disciples
 Pentecost (Acts 2:1-15)
 He admits that no one can stop them from being baptized.
 ‘Fitting in’ is a superficial connectedness. We change who we are to fit the group. ‘Belonging’ means we are accepted as we are.
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