This workshop leader’s Bible study is a historical, theological, and contextual introduction to the Pentecost rotation of Kirk of Kildaire’s Faith Quest workshop rotation program. It is intended to provide workshop leaders with:
· A historical context for understanding the Bible story.
· A Biblical context for reading and teaching the story.
· The theological basis for the concepts to be taught to the children.
In Kirk of Kildaire’s Faith Quest program, workshop leaders attend a one-hour Bible study two weeks prior to the start of a new rotation. This Bible study helps workshop leaders understand how the concepts to be taught to the children are derived from the Bible story and how the lessons in the rotation fit together to reinforce the concepts. It also provides an opportunity for the workshop leaders to grow in their own faith and understanding of the Bible.
It will be helpful to have a chalkboard, whiteboard, or flip chart for writing down questions or observations during the Bible study.
Note: This is not a comprehensive study of the text, but only a few notes to help provide context and background for workshop leaders. Consult titles cited in the reference list at the end of these notes for more information.
Scripture: Acts 2:1-13
Memory verse for this rotation: 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)
· The Holy Spirit came to the community of believers just as God had promised.
· Believing in Jesus Christ allows the Holy Spirit to grow within us.
· The Holy Spirit gives us power to tell the world about Jesus.
· The good news of Jesus Christ is for all who will listen.
· When the Holy Spirit lives in us we feel joy, peace and direction to make the right choice.
· If workshop leaders do not know each other, give them an opportunity to introduce each other and say which workshop they will be leading.
· Begin the Bible study by praying for God’s guidance as teachers begin a new rotation.
Ask a workshop leader to read the text aloud. Since this rotation focuses on an entire chapter, you might want to divide the reading among three or four workshop leaders.
Ask the workshop leaders what questions came to mind as they heard the story or read it before the Bible study. Write down any questions that arise and will need to be answered during the Bible study.
In the book of Acts we find the “story of the church’s beginnings” (Wall, 3). The book is considered to be the second volume following the Gospel of Luke and is attributed to the same author. Luke is believed to have been an educated Greek who may even have been a traveling companion of Paul’s. The book was most likely written sometime between 70 and 100 AD (Willimon, 1).
Acts has aspects of many genres – history, biography, homily and apology – and so “is best regarded under the general category of theological narrative” (Gaventa, 2056). Acts is a story that proclaims to its readers the mighty acts of God in the life of the church and in the life of Christ’s disciples.
In his commentary Will Willimon offers the following outline of Acts:
2:1-9:43 Part One: Witness in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria
10:1-19:20 Part Two: Witness to the Gentiles
19:21-28:31 Part Three: The Final Journey
The theological themes of Acts are woven into a “master story about what God has done to bring salvation to the world.” The “themes are introduced into Acts by the story of the first Pentecostal outpouring of the Holy Spirit and are then developed within the rest of Acts” (Wall, 18). The following themes offer an outline of this master story:
The story of the coming of the Spirit in Acts is exciting and dramatic – wind, fire, people speaking in languages that are not their own and being accused of being drunk for doing it. The story is the fulfillment of prophecies made by John the Baptist (Luke 3:16) and Jesus (Acts 1:4-5). The Spirit has come to equip the disciples for their mission to the world. (Wall, 53).
How are the overall themes identified above addressed specifically in this passage?
Ask each workshop leader to summarize his or her workshop. As they do so, point out the concepts that each lesson reinforces. Ask workshop leaders if they have any questions about the logistics or practical application of their lesson.
Apostles’ Playhouse: The children will act out the Pentecost story using blue and red streamers to represent the wind and flame of the Holy Spirit. They will experience being both the Holy Spirit and the disciples who were touched by tongues of flame. The children will learn about how the Holy Spirit gives us the power to tell others the good news about Jesus Christ.
Creation Station: After hearing the story of how the Holy Spirit came to the disciples, the children will create crowns of waving flames that are marked with “The Spirit of the Lord is upon us” in different languages.
Praising Puppets: The children will hear the Pentecost story and talk about the who, what, where, when, how of the Holy Spirit. They will make fiery tongue puppets and then act out the story. The children will imitate the “whispery gibberish” of the strange languages and hear their own name called out for them to recognize just as the observers that day could understand in their own languages.
Holywood: The children will watch a video that depicts the day the Holy Spirit came to the disciples. They will discuss the Holy Spirit and brainstorm ways to spread the Good News of Jesus to others. They will experience the spreading and indwelling of the Holy Spirit by creating a red streamer web.
Return to the questions that were gathered at the start of the hour. Have they been answered? Are there any further questions about the Bible story or about the lessons?
Close the Bible study with a prayer.
Gaventa, Beverly Roberts. “Acts: Introduction.” The HarperCollins Study Bible NRSV.
Wayne A. Meeks et al. editors. (New York, HarperCollins Publishers, 1993).
Wall, Robert W. “Acts of the Apostles.” The New Interpreter’s Bible, vol. X. Leander Keck, et al. editors. (Nashville, Abingdon Press, 2002). (pp.3-36 and 52-58).
Willimon, William H. “Acts.” Interpretation. James Luther Mays, et al. editors. (Louisville, John Knox Press, 1988). (pp. 1-17 and 27-33).