Seven Generations  

20 min

A simple demonstration of how the gospel spread from Jesus through seven generations in the New Testament era.


This is a visual role-play involving people from the group, so you will need 8 people to take part.  The following gives the sequence of people who will participate:

JESUS - Begin by selecting someone to come to the front who will represent Jesus.  Explain that He came to teach, proclaim the Kingdom, heal, and so forth--but that His primary task was raising up the disciples (John 17.4). 

PETER - Select a second person to come and stand next to "Jesus" and that he represents Peter, who was one of the Twelve.  Explain how Peter stepped up boldly to proclaim the gospel on the Day of Pentecost where 3,000 people became believers.

BARNABAS - Select another person to come stand next to "Peter" who will represent Barnabas. This was a man who was probably among the 3,000 at Pentecost.  He went to Antioch to gather believers to form a new church.  He also went away to find Saul and bring him back to Antioch, where they worked together for a year. 

PAUL - Select another person to come stand next to "Barnabas" to represent Saul, who later was called Paul.  Explain how he had become a believer but that the other believers did not trust him, except that Barnabas gave him credibility.  Eventually, the two of them left Antioch on the first missionary journey.

TIMOTHY - Select a person to stand next to "Paul" to represent Timothy.  Explain how Paul found him on the Second Journey and took him under his wing, trained him, and entrusted him to the work at places like Thessalonica and Ephesus.

EPAPHRAS - Select someone to stand next to "Timothy" who will represent Epaphras.  This man, who was from Colosse, was evidently influenced by Paul, but also by Timothy.  Not only did he bring the gospel to Colosse, but he is also known for fervently praying for those people. 

ARCHIPPUS - Select someone to stand next to "Epaphras" to represent Archippus.  Explain how Epaphras likely had a strong influence in this man's life, and how he became known as a "fellow soldier" in the work.  Archippus probably had a strong influence in the life of a woman named Nympha. 

NYMPHA - Select a woman to come to the front to stand next to "Archippus," who will be Nympha. This lady was from the area of Colosse and hosted a church in her house.

After bringing everyone to the front, and having explained this sequence, you can do a quick review.  Then go back to someone in the lineup--Barnabas, for example--and have them step out of line.  Ask what would have happened if Barnabas had chosen not to meet with Paul to encourage him and give him credibility before the other believers.  It will be clear that the rest of the "chain" would not be influenced.

At this point you can ask the probling question, "The gospel has come to you through an unbroken chain. Will the unbroken chain end with you?"

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Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. Prov. 16.3