What is the Holy Spirit? Children’s Sermon (Acts 2:1-21; John 16:4-16)

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The Holy Spirit can be a challenging element of the Trinity to explain or discuss with children (or anyone, for that matter!). At Pentecost, we celebrate the coming of the Spirit and the “birthday” of the church. This message seeks to communicate to students who the Spirit is and what He does for us. We may not see the Holy Spirit physically, but through his power all things take place!

Law/Gospel Theme: Jesus promised to send a helper and comforter who would guide, speak, and glorify the Father. He gave us the Holy Spirit to enable us to connect with Him. Through the Holy Spirit, we are able to believe in God. We also have peace in the spirit, and he enables us to pray when we don’t know what words to use. It may seem harder to identify the Holy Spirit than the Father and the Son, but He is everywhere! Note: we might be in the habit of referring to the Holy Spirit as an “it”; however, the language of the Bible is clear that the Spirit is a person, and since that person is one with the Father and the Son, we use “he” as a descriptive pronoun.

More Teaching Ideas for Pentecost:

Optional Materials: Straw, balloon, other optional “windy” elements (hair dryer, fan, etc.), as desired.

Bible Passage: Acts 2:1-21; John 16:4-15

Note: You may wish to embellish the Pentecost story with extra “wind” or “fire” elements, if you are going in depth on that passage of Scripture. If you are focusing on the Holy Spirit, it will be helpful to use items that show wind or air movement.   

What is the Holy Spirit Children’s Sermon (Acts 2:1-21; John 16:4-16)

Greet the children, carrying some tools that demonstrate air movement.  

Hello, children of God!
What does air look like? Can you see air? I guess it might seem tricky to describe how air appears, but we can definitely see what it does. After all, without air (take a deep breath) we would be dead! We need it to give our bodies oxygen and help everything function. We can also feel it, if the wind is blowing or air is coming our way (blow through straw or use a hair dryer). We can see the wind bending trees outside, or creating ripples in water. We might hear it (if using a balloon, let some air out of it). And sometimes a gentle breeze can bring us comfort or relief from a hot day. Air is essential to make a lot of things happen!

Well, wind relates to our Bible passages today, because we are talking about the Holy Spirit. Do you know who the Holy Spirit is? Sometimes it’s difficult to understand or describe. We know that the Trinity consists of God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit, but sometimes it can be harder to identify the Spirit. He is a person, just like the Father and Son, though we might sometimes hear the Spirit called “it.” In the Gospel today, Jesus promised the disciples that He would send a special helper to them. He told them the helper would guide them and glorify Jesus. And He kept that promise!

Today we celebrate Pentecost, when that Holy Spirit came to the disciples. They were all waiting together, and there was a big rushing wind that came in, and tongues of fire rested on everyone’s heads. They were filled with the Holy Spirit and were able to do amazing things through the power of the Spirit! That was really the start of the whole church. And it might be the most visible we can point to the Spirit, but it certainly isn’t the only evidence we have of Him!

We need the Holy Spirit to live, just like we need air to breathe. The Holy Spirit gives us comfort and peace in our lives, like that gentle summer breeze. He helps us to pray, too. Sometimes we aren’t sure what to say or how when we are talking to God, but the Holy Spirit can fill in the gaps and pray for us when we are uncertain. The Holy Spirit also helps us to have faith. He gives us the strength to believe in God. So we might not see Him with our eyes, but we feel Him and know we need Him. It can be a little tough to understand…but the Spirit helps with that, too!

So on Pentecost, and every day, we celebrate that Jesus came to give us life, and that He sent the Holy Spirit to give us comfort, help, and faith. All things that have or will happen are through Him. We thank God for that power. Why don’t we say a prayer right now and ask God to help us understand and appreciate that amazing gift?

(Have kids repeat each line)
Dear God,
Thank you for providing all that we need
Thank you for the Holy Spirit
Help us to trust in you
And to remember all we have is from you
Thank you for comforting us and helping us
Thank you for your love
We love you, God!
In Jesus’s name, Amen!

Bible Verses/story to Reference:

When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. -Acts 2:1-4

“I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. 5 But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7 Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; 11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.   12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.  
-John 16:4-15

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