Scripture: Acts 2:1-13
Memory Verse: “But the Holy Spirit will come and help you, because the Father will send the Spirit to take my place. The Spirit will teach you everything and will remind you of what I said while I was with you.” John 14:26 (CEV)
Objectives: From the Bible story in this workshop, the children will hear the story of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit first comes in a very powerful and exciting way. They will make “fiery tongue” puppets and do a group performance to reproduce how it might have felt to be there that day. Lastly during a participatory discussion led by the workshop leader, the children will learn all about the Holy Spirit—how, what, when, where, how!
Welcome and Introductions:
1. You will be reading the scripture passage using the attached version. Please practice reading this aloud several times before you teach. Practice will help you decide where to put the emphasis. You might want to mark words to emphasize. It’s a very exciting story—the children should be very attentive! Before reading it to the children, you can tell them that this story comes after Jesus’ death and resurrection (the rising of Jesus Christ from the dead). When Jesus came back for forty days before going up to heaven, he visited with the Apostles and told them to stay in Jerusalem and wait for a special gift that God, the Father, had promised. This gift was the Holy Spirit! (Acts 1:4-5) Now you will read about that day when the gift arrived.
2. There are comments inserted in italics that you can use to explain some of the passage. Use these if you feel they are needed.
3. Try to keep the Bible Story to 5-10 minutes. The children will be eager to get to the puppet activity.
Note: There is only one skit for this lesson using all the children at once. In this skit, the children are going to operate a puppet on one hand as a disciple and wave a tongue puppet as the Holy Spirit with the other hand. Their script is going to be to talk in a whispery gibberish and occasionally say the name of one child in the class. This will simulate what that Pentecost might have been like—a whir of different languages, with each foreign Jew being able to hear something in his/her own language (in this case, a name) among all the noise. Make sure the children use a whispery tone or it is going to be too loud to hear.
Review the two concepts covered and give a chance for additional questions. Have the children put their puppets back neatly. They may keep the fiery tongue puppets.
Prayer: Close with a simple prayer thanking God for the gift of his Holy Spirit who teaches us the truth about God and Jesus and gives us peace and joy. Ask this in Jesus’ name.
Tidy and Dismissal: Ask children to help clean up as they wait for their parents to arrive. Put pillows behind stage area. Put away boom box, workshop bin, etc
Teacher preparation in advance:
1. Pray: Ask God to give you clarity of this scripture and words to teach God’s children this lesson.
2. Read the scripture passages and attend the Faith Quest Leaders Bible Study.
3. Prepare a closing prayer.
4. Prepare slips of paper for children’s names, cut out “tongues”, test stapler on Popsicle stick or pre-make the fiery tongue puppets.
5. Check out the room before your first Sunday workshop so that you know where everything is located.
Red material for tongues (red streamers, cellophane, tissue paper, felt, foam or other fabric)
Stapler that works on popsicle sticks
Small slips of paper, large enough to write a child’s first and last name
Notes supplied by Lori Houck for curriculum writers' Bible study in March 2003.
(Hold a microphone and look very official as a news reporter)
Reporting to you live from Jerusalem for WWJD News.
God’s Holy Spirit arrived in Jerusalem today. Many Jews were celebrating Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came upon Jesus’ followers and gave them the power to talk about Jesus in foreign languages that they had never learned or spoken before. Followers were said to be expecting this Holy Spirit, having been asked by Jesus to wait in Jerusalem until it came. When asked about this Spirit, also know as The Counselor, one disciple said that it was a gift from God.
According to previous releases from Jesus while he was still alive, the Holy Spirit could not come until Jesus had gone but would then be with the believers forever. Jesus also said the Holy Spirit would speak the truth about God and Jesus, guide Jesus’ followers about the truth, remind us of what Jesus had taught us, would speak only what God had told him and would tell followers what is yet to come.
The Holy Spirit will be living with the followers and will actually be in them.
Let us go now to some of the faithful followers of Jesus who witnessed the Holy Spirit first hand. (turn to the children) Can anyone tell me what it is like to have the Holy Spirit living in you? What does it feel like? What will you do now that the Holy Spirit is living in you? (Ask for the children to make comments into the microphone).
Well, there you have it folks. Stay tuned for a future release from Paul, who will reveal in a letter to the Galatians that the Holy Spirit will provide love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
I’m (your name) reporting to you live from Jerusalem for WWJD News. Thank you and Good night.
Based on Luke 11:13; John 14:15-18, 25-26; John 16:7-8, 12-13; Acts 2:1-13; Galatians 5:22-23.
Pentecost: Acts 2:1-13 (CEV)
(Added information is in italics.)
2 On the day of Pentecost (Pentecost was a Jewish holiday) all the Lord’s followers (disciples and apostles) were together in one place. Suddenly there was a noise from heaven like the sound of a mighty wind! It filled the house where they were meeting. Then they saw what looked like fiery tongues moving in all directions, and a tongue came and settled on each person there. The Holy Spirit took control of everyone, and they began speaking whatever languages the Spirit let them speak.
Many religious Jews from every country in the world were living in Jerusalem. And when they heard this noise, a crowd gathered. But they were surprised, because they were hearing everything in their own languages. They were excited and amazed, and said:
Don’t all these who are speaking come from Galilee? (The Jews from other places knew that the disciples and apostles were from Galilee and did not know all these different languages.) Then why do we hear them speaking our very own languages? Some of us are from Parthia, Media, and Elam. Others are from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, parts of Libya near Cyrene, Rome, Crete, and Arabia. Some of us were born Jews, and others of us have chosen to be Jews. Yet we all hear them using our own languages to tell the wonderful things God has done. (The wonderful things focused on the good news about Jesus since these Jews would have known all that had been previously written about God alone—things Jesus had taught them, how Jesus had died and been risen, how God had a place for them in heaven.)
Everyone was excited and confused. Some of them even kept asking each other, “What does all this mean?” Others made fun of the Lord’s followers and said, “They are drunk.” (Notice how some of the crowd knew something very special was going on and some of them refused to believe that it was special. There are always believers and, unfortunately, non-believers.)