Paul’s First Missionary Journey

Subject : Christian Religious Studies


Term :First Term


Week: Week 4


Class : Basic 6 / Primary 6



Previous lesson :

The pupils have previous knowledge of the importance and significance of Paul’s repentance and conversion


Topic : Paul’s first missionary journey


Behavioural objectives :

At the end of the lesson,  pupils should be able to

  • Say the people that went with Paul during his first missionary journey
  • Mention various cities that were visited by Paul during his first missionary journey.
  • State the reasons for embarking on such journey in the first instance
  • Write out what the people did to Saul or Paul when he embarked on his first missionary journey


Instructional Materials :

  • Wall charts
  • Pictures
  • Related Online Video
  • Flash Cards.
  • The Holy Bible

Methods of Teaching :

  • Class Discussion
  • Group Discussion
  • Asking Questions
  • Explanation
  • Role Modelling
  • Role Delegation


Reference Materials :

  • Scheme of Work
  • Online Information
  • Textbooks
  • Workbooks
  • 9 Year Basic Education Curriculum
  • Workbooks
  • The Holy Bible


Content :

How Paul and Barnabas were selected for missionary work

There was a church at Antioch in Syria. Antioch was the headquarters of Gentile Christians. The believers were first called Christians there.

In the church at Antioch, there were prophets and teachers. Their names were


Simeon who was called Niger

, Lucius of Cyrene,

Manaen who was a member of the court of Herod the Tetrach,

and Paul.

One day, while the members were worshipping and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’

Then after fasting and praying, the members laid hands on Paul and Barnabas and sent them forth for the work of evangelism. Evangelism among the Gentiles was the work the Holy Spirit said he had called them to do.

Places Paul preached and the people he preached to

When Paul and Barnabas were sent forth, they went to the seaport of Antioch called Seleucia.

From the seaport, they sailed to the island of Cyprus.

They started their first missionary work on the Island of Cyprus.

The first place Paul and Barnabas preached was called Salamis, on the island of Cyprus.

They also preached at Paphos and probably some other places on the same island.

From Paphos, they sailed to Perga in Pamphylia..

At Perga, the young man that was with them, called John Mark, left them and went back home to Jerusalem.

John Mark was a cousin of Barnabas. From Perga, they went to Antioch of Pisidia.

At Antioch, on a Sabbath day, they preached to both the Jews and the Gentiles in a synagogue. They were asked to come and preach again on the next Sabbath. But the Jews there became jealous when Paul and Barnabas went back. They turned the people against them. As a result, Paul and Barnabas were driven out of the place, but they shook off the dust on their feet as a testimony against the people.

Paul and Barnabas left Antioch and went to Iconium where they preached to both Jews and Gentiles. They converted many people but the Jews from Pisidian Antioch came there and turned the people’s mind against them.

Again, Paul and Barnabas had to leave Iconium for Lystra which was a completely pagan society. At Lystra, there was a man that was crippled from birth. When Paul was preaching, the lame man was listening attentively. Paul healed the man in Jesus’ name.


The people of Lystra saw the miracle that Paul had performed and thought that Paul and Barnabas were gods. They therefore shouted in Lycaonian (their native language) that the gods had come down to them in the likeness of men.

They called Barnabas Zeus and Paul Hermes.

Paul was called Hermes because he was the chief speaker.

The people of Lystra then started trooping to the temple of Zeus with oxen which they had decorated. They were going to sacrifice these to Paul and Barnabas as gods. Paul and Barnabas saw them and rushed out to stop them, telling them that they were not gods but men like them. Paul and Barnabas told them that they had come to Lystra to stop them from worshipping idols, and to turn them to the worship of the living God.

They told the people that it was the living God who created Heaven and Paul and Barnabas in a ship with other people on the way to the Island of Cyprus

Earth and all the things in them that made them have fruitful seasons, through which they had food to eat.

With great difficulty, they succeeded in stopping the people from making sacrifice to them. They converted many Lystrans to Christianity.

Later, the Jews from Pisidian Antioch and Iconium also came to Lystra and turned the people’s mind against Paul and Barnabas. The Lystrans changed and started attacking the missionaries. They stoned Paul and left him outside the city thinking that he was dead. Paul and Barnabas stopping the sacrifice them!

Those who had become believers at Lystra came and helped Paul.

They took him back to the city. The next day, Paul and Barnabas went to Derbe. At Derbe they preached the word of God and converted many people. Paul and Barnabas did not have any problem or opposition at Derbe. Paul’s first missionary journey ended at Derbe.

Then from Derbe they went back to Antioch in Syria, their headquarters, passing through all the places they had visited. Paul left unconscious outside the city of Lystra




The topic is presented step by step


Step 1:

The class teacher revises the previous topics


Step 2.

He introduces the new topic


Step 3:

The class teacher allows the pupils to give their own examples and he corrects them when the needs arise




The class teacher wraps up or conclude the lesson by giving out short note to summarize the topic that he or she has just taught.

The class teacher also goes round to make sure that the notes are well copied or well written by the pupils.

He or she does the necessary corrections when and where  the needs arise.



1 Where were the apostles first called Christians

2. Who said that set apart for me Paul and Barnabas

3. Where were Paul and Barnabas called gods

4. Mention four cities that were visited by Paul and Barnabas during the first missionary journey.

5. What is the name of the last city that was visited by Paul and Barnabas during their last missionary journey


Prepare for the next lesson by reading about

The second missionary journey of Paul