Go Where the Spirit Leads…and Tell Everybody the Good News!
This lesson on Acts 8:26-40 tells how Philip shared the Gospel with an Ethiopian official. We will look at how important it is for us to be willing to share our faith with those around us. Sometimes, the opportunities for these moments drop readily in our laps, or are obviously prompted by situations or by the Holy Spirit’s lead…however, that doesn’t always happen on an elementary school level. In this lesson, we will discuss how it’s important for us to lead lives that point to Christ, being prepared to answer questions, but also willing to just care for others.
Lesson focus: It is important to know about the Bible in order to be prepared to share it with others; often, though, it is also essential to just live out our faith in manners of love and devotion.
Passage: Acts 8:26-40
Key Verse: “How can I (understand),” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. -Acts 8:31
Target Audience: Pre-k through sixth grade (adaptable)
Materials Needed: Crepe paper, Baking soda, vinegar, Bibles, paper towel/toilet paper tubes, long papers
Lesson Opening: We will start off with some “reaction” and “pass it on” activities… to start, grab a roll of crepe paper (any color). Have students sit or stand in a group, and start off passing the crepe paper around. Each student can say the name of the intended recipient, along with a positive word or a word about Christ. In this way, allow the streamers to flow around the room, perhaps going around twice. While still in a cluster, ask what is interesting about this, and explain that the streamers connect us and keep growing the more we toss them. Today, we will read about how we can let God’s love and message pass around, and how it moves.
But first, we will check out how Christ’s love can “flow”… instruct kids to put the streamers in the trash, and let them know we will now watch how reactions can occur, and how our actions can cause reactions with those around us. Create (or have set ahead of time) a little “volcano” of sorts (using empty oat can, clay, etc.). Inside, have prepared water, dish soap, baking soda, and a small amount of dye or paint (for greater visibility). This is probably best done outside. Explain that when we share about Jesus, it’s sort of like a volcanic eruption where God’s love flows like lava! Okay, sort of….have kids take turns pouring vinegar on the “volcano” and watching it “erupt” and ooze…
Acts 8:26-40 Bible Lesson for Kids
For this lesson, provide a bit of background to start. Explain to students that we will be reading a story from the book of Acts, and see if they have knowledge as to what Acts is about. Whose “acts” are they, anyway? Explain (and/or read out loud) the lead-in story, and how the first Christians were not treated well, and had been sent away from the main city (Jerusalem). However, this did not stop them from sharing the good news of Jesus:
Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.5 Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there. 6 When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. 7 For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that city. Acts 8:4-8
Provide each student with a Bible, and invite them to look up the verses following this passage, in 26-40. Have them take a few moments to read it to themselves, helping if necessary.
Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” 27 So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian[a] eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means “queen of the Ethiopians”). This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet. 29 The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.”
30 Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked.
31 “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.
32 This is the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading:
“He was led like a sheep to the slaughter,
and as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
33 In his humiliation he was deprived of justice.
Who can speak of his descendants?
For his life was taken from the earth.”[b]
34 The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” 35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.
36 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?”  [c] 38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. 40 Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.
Ask a few follow-up questions to this story…
- -How did Philip wind up where he was?
- -Who told Philip to talk to the guy in the chariot?
- -What was the man curious about?
- -Who did the Ethiopian work for?
After reviewing some details of the story, discuss its significance. Philip followed the leading of the Holy Spirit in talking to this random guy…as it turned out, the Ethiopian was confused and needed help understanding the Bible. He was so excited to hear about Jesus that he wanted to be baptized and receive a new life right away! How awesome!
-Now, our lives might not have such opportunities…but we can live in a way that makes people wonder, “why are you so special?” or “what do you have that I want?” in a way. We can also make sure we know about the Bible, so we are prepared to share it when the opportunity comes up! How can we do that? Additionally, where can WE go when we have questions about the Bible?? Parents, teachers, pastors? It’s important for kids to have a solid “go-to” plan.
Bible Scroll Craft for Acts 8:26-40
Call it out, scroll-style… have students make “scrolls” like the man in the chariot was reading. Provide long paper to write out the verse on (either one from Acts or Isaiah). Encourage them to crinkle or wrinkle the paper and make it “authentic”, and then attach it to paper towel tubes to look more “scroll-like”.
Close with prayer and thank God for allowing us to share His love with others. Ask for wisdom and discernment in listening for His true voice and instructions.