This is a free Bible lesson for children teaching them about the Early Church. It was first prepared for a Children’s Church setting during the World Cup, but would work well as a Sunday School lesson also at any time of year. Through a study of Acts 2: 42-47, students will discover specific ways that the early church worked together as a team. They will learn the goal of teamwork is to love God and others, based on Luke 10:27. They will also utilize teamwork in the Bible lesson, game, object lesson, and art project.
Bible Story: The Early Church Team
Scripture: Acts 2:42-47 and Luke 10:27
Target Age Group: K-6th grade
Time: 45-60 Minutes
Learning Context: Children’s Church
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Supply List: Bibles (one for every four students), crayons, white paper, optional workout clothes for the teacher, optional whistle and coach’s clipboard, optional sunglasses and hats, optional scarf for a blindfold, ball, goal (or tape marked off on wall for goal), a trophy or picture of one, newspaper, aluminum foil, tape
As the students arrive say: Welcome! Welcome! Clap your hands, run in place. Welcome to Team ____________ (substitute your church’s name.) We’ve got a big game today and we will win. But I’m going to need for us to work together as a team. Who’s in? What? I couldn’t hear you! I asked who’s in?
We’ve got to start today with some stretching. Lead in simple arm, leg stretches. Have students count to ten with you. Now let’s move on to warm-ups. Do jumping jacks, run in place, etc. Use the whistle for effect. Alright great warm-ups everyone! Applaud students! We’re ready for our game plan!
Today we play in a big game against Team Sin-self. Watch out for them. They’re tough, ruthless, and good at hurting their opponents. They do not work together as a team. They’re selfish and miserable. If we’re not careful, we’re going to end up just like them. Let’s be altogether different.
Our best team example is the Early Church Team in Acts 2:42-47. Let’s start our practice today by reading verses as a team. Divide students into groups of four with a Reader (give sunglasses), Illustrator (give crayons and white paper), Writer (give pencil and paper), and Presenter (a baseball hat or team jersey).
As the Reader reads, the Illustrator should draw pictures of what you heard. The Writer should find five ways that the church loved each other. How were they a team? The Presenter will take the Illustrator’s drawings and the Writer’s notes and share them with the group.
Learning Activity #1 “Team Bible Study”: Have students work together as a team to study Acts 2:42-47. Assist groups as necessary. Encourage teamwork. Invite each Presenter to share the team findings. Applaud.
Early Church Teamwork (Teacher Notes for your Convenience):
- They wanted to learn about God.
- They ate together.
- They prayed together.
- They looked for miracles.
- They hung out together.
- They shared with others.
- They looked for needs.
- They were glad and sincere.
- They praised God.
- They grew in number.
Learning Activity #2 “Team Machine”: Now that we’ve learned how the Early Church practiced teamwork, let’s practice a little teamwork of our own.
Divide the students up into teams of four to five students each. Quietly assign each group a machine to emulate as a team. Invite students up to help you with an example. Some suggestions include a washing machine, a car, a vacuum cleaner, a toaster, laptop computer, alarm clock, etc. Allot five minutes for brainstorming. Once each team is ready, have them build their specific machine with each team player for the other students to guess.
Learning Activity #3 “Team Goal”: Invite one student to help with an object lesson. Blindfold the student or have them close their eyes and turn them around three times. Give them a real ball to kick in a goal. (Or have a paper one prepared to tape in a net like “Pin the Tale on the Donkey.”) Most likely, they will miss the target.
Now it’s great to have teamwork and all, but if you don’t have a goal, it’s no good. You want to put the ball in the net, hit that baseball out of the park, and run the ball in for a touchdown. The goal is to win with the help of your team.
Have the same student repeat the challenge. This time, have one team member help him/her with verbal cues. Most likely with help, the student will hit the target.
As we’ve learned, the goal is to win with the help of your team. As followers of Jesus, what is our goal? (Invite student response.) In Luke 10:27 it says that we should, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Our goal is simple. Love God. Love others. How can we do that this week? Brainstorm examples as a personal application.
Learning Activity #4 “Team Trophies”: 1 Corinthians 9:24 says, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” If you win a major sports competition like the World Series or The Super Bowl or the World Cup, what would your team receive? (A trophy) That trophy is your prize for working hard as a team. Show pictures of trophies or bring some of your own if you have an example.
The next verse (1 Corinthians 9:25) says, “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” As important as trophies are, they don’t last forever. What does last forever is whether or not you’ve got a relationship with Jesus Christ.
The Early Church Team knew this and so they worked hard as a team to love God and love others. Because of that, “The Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
Today we’re going to work as a team to build trophies. They will help us remember that we need to work together towards our goals of loving God and others.
Distribute building materials such as newspaper, aluminum foil, balloons, tape, etc. Have students create a trophy together in groups of 2-4. If there is a particular sporting event occurring at the time, print out a picture of that particular trophy and have the students recreate that as a model. Or, encourage them to use their originality to create a unique trophy!
Close in Prayer: Thank God that He invites us to be a part of His church. Thank Him for the early church teamwork example that was left for us. Pray that our churches would work together to love God and love others. Pray that others would come into relationships with Christ.