Song Themes: Made in God's imaged and filled with His Spirit.
Remember one another
Is anyone celebrating something that happened this week? Let’s share so we can all thank God together.
Is anyone struggling, feeling sad, lonely or scared? How can we pray for one another?
Remember what we learned last week
Practice the Following Jesus Liturgy (With our youngest kids only focus on the portion that we’re currently learning)
Leader: As disciples we listen to, obey, and follow Jesus. He gives us commands. Can you tell me what the next word in this command is? Repent and...
Repeat this a few times with the kids and ask them what repentance means. What are are believing in after we repent? Talk about the command "Repent and Believe"
Reflect: Acts 2:38
Tell the story of Acts 2 in your own words. This will help you emphasize key concepts. Share about the disciples waiting, being filled with power, speaking in other tongues, and going out in boldness to preach the gospel. Emphasize that many heard and believed in Jesus and the Church grew.
Read Acts 2:38 - Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Key concept, Repent, Believe, and BE FILLED with the Holy Spirit).
Respond: The Role of the Holy Spirit
Experience: Empowered to Live!
What is the role of the Holy Spirit? Who is He? How does He help us?
Have a conversation with the kids asking them what they know about God's Spirit. Introduce key concepts like, "Because of God's Spirit we can do His will. We can hear His voice, receive His wisdom for our lives, and be empowered to serve others."
What does life look like without the Spirit?
Explain that for thousands of years God had not yet put His spirit in His People. They had to work VERY hard to come to Him (sacrifices, offerings). Now, though, we have the sacrifice of Jesus to cleanse us AND His Spirit to empower us! Now we can be near to God, hear His voice, obey Him and serve Him. We can do all of this while enjoying Him and being His friend! That's the power of the Spirit.
Have a stack of books on one side of the room. Tell the kids that they need to be moved to the other side of the room. Explain that the books represent the Gospel. We need to take it over "there" (other side of the room, but you could pretend it's another region).
Now choose a child to volunteer. Explain that you're going to gently tie the child's hands together behind their back. Using a scarf, or whatever material you have, tie their hands behind their back. Of course this will be silly and kids will have fun with it wondering what is about to happen.
Ask the child to pick up the book and carry them to the other side of the room. Share that this is God's command. He tells us to take the gospel, love others, spread the good news and make disciples. Now go!
Let the child try and pick up the stack of books, but make sure it doesn't work!
This is life without the Spirit. God gives us commands but we are unable to complete them. On our own we are bound up and we struggle to do what He's asked.
Now model praying for the child and blessing them with the Spirit and untying their hands. "Lord, I bless little Timmy to be filled with your Spirit so that He would have everything He needs to love and obey you." Release their hands and tell the child to try again. Follow the command and take the books to the other side.
Cheer for them! Celebrate! With God's Spirit we can be His disciples! We cannot do it on our own, but we need Him to empower us to follow Him!
Take a minute to debrief the exercise with the kids. Have they every been asked to do something that seemed impossible? Have they every wanted to make the right decision but kept messing up. Jesus tells us to repent, believe, and be filled with the Holy Spirit! It's good to apologize, but then we actually need HELP to do what's right.
Pray with the Children to receive God's Holy Spirit, the HELPER! Bless them to be filled with the fruit of the Spirit and to grow in their dependency on Him.
Be led by the response and reactions of the children to make this prayer time a meaningful response to the activity above.
Listen: Put it all Together
If you have extra time and want to rehearse the bigger story, enjoy this 3 min video.