Paul Preaches in Athens- Mars Hill

Scripture Reference: Acts 17:16-34

Story Overview: The city of Athens was a centre of idol worship (idol- anything that is worshipped above God -often a statue or carving). Paul was able to address a crowd at a huge meeting which took place at the “Areopagus” (Romans referred to this place as Mars Hill in honour of the Greek god of thunder and war). Even though many in the crowd sneered at him, Paul preached that it is wrong to worship idols. There is only one God and He created the universe and all that is in it. Nothing can be worshipped except God.

Suggested Emphasis:
Idols are anything that we love more than God (sports, entertainment, clothes, etc.)

Background Study
Way to Introduce the Story
The Story
Review Questions
Craft and Activity Ideas
Online Resources

Background Study:

Way to Introduce the Story:
Before class cut five small pieces of paper for each student. In class ask the students to use the cards to write down their five most favourite things in the whole world. After everyone has done this then ask them to put the cards in order with the most important thing first. Lead the discussion so that the children will see how that the most important things seem to take the most time, money, etc. Hopefully some of the children will have put “God” on one of their cards. I f they haven’t then give them an extra card so that they can (without embarrassing them). “In today’s story we are going to learn about a city that thought that their idols were the most important things in the world. (Idol- anything that is worshipped above God -often a statue or carving)”

The Story:

Review Questions:

  1. What city in Greece had many idols (even one to an “Unknown god”)? Athens
  2. What is an idol? Anything that is worshipped above God -often a statue or carving.
  3. Why is it wrong to worship an idol? There is only one God and He wants us to worship Him only.
  4. What things can people love more than God? Sports, TV, money, toys, etc.

Craft and Activity ideas for the class (choose age appropriate ones):

  • Ask the class to list things that people consider more important than God.
  • Continue to add words to the “Paul” poster.
  • Continue to trace Paul’s second missionary journey on the map.
  • Look up songs in the church song book that talk about exalting God. (Above All Else, We Exalt Thee, etc.)
  • Sing: I Can Be a Missionary or This Little Light of Mine
  • Craft: Make a relief map of Paul’s Journies featuring the place in today’s story. If you are studying about Paul’s journies over a few lessons then you could add more details to the map each time you learn about another stop on the journey. Instructions on how to make a relief map at
  • Check the Teaching Ideas page on this website for ideas that are adaptable to any lesson.
  • Acts_Paul Find other ideas on the Pinterest Board “Book of Acts:Paul


Other Online Resources:


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