Use this children’s Sunday School lesson to teach about Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Spirit.
Needed: a volunteer to play Peter (You can do this if you want.), flame relay cards
Intro Game: The Spreading Flame
Divide students into two or more teams. Print out or draw pictures of flames and place them at the opposite end of your play in front of each team.
When you say, “Go!” the first player from each team will run toward their pile of flames at the opposite end, grab one, and run back to their team, handing the flame to the second player.
The second player then runs and does the same, handing the flame they retrieve to the third player. Play continues until each team member has run and handed another a flame.
The first team to have all of their team members holding a flame wins.
Explain that in the story today, one fire splits into many flames and that each person needed their own flame.
Read Acts 2 or summarize it with the following script.
Tell students, We have a special guest with us here today. He is one of Jesus’ first followers. Everyone, welcome Peter to our class.
(“Peter” comes in.)
Peter: Hi, everyone! My name is Peter, and I was with Jesus almost the whole time He was doing His work. I even saw Him when He came back to life, and I was there when He went up in the clouds to go back to Heaven.
But what I want to tell you about today is what happened after that. Ten days after Jesus went back up to Heaven, the other disciples and me – there were 120 – were all in a house together, praying.
And while we were praying, a big gust of wind came into the house. And then, there was a big flame of fire just floating in the air above us. All of a sudden, that big flame of fire split apart into a bunch of little flames, and those little flames came down and landed on each of our heads. The fire didn’t burn us, though, because it wasn’t really fire. It was the Holy Spirit, coming down on us.
The Holy Spirit came to rest on each of our heads to show that we all need the Holy Spirit living inside of us.
Then, we all started talking in different languages, even languages that we didn’t know. The Holy Spirit knows all the languages we didn’t know. The Holy Spirit started making us speak all the different languages.
Nobody in the city knew how we were doing it. Some people were silly and thought we were drunk, but that wasn’t it because none of us had been drinking wine or beer or anything. It was the power of the Holy Spirit that was making us speak in different languages.
Then, I told everyone who was listening to us about Jesus and about how God told us that He would send the Holy Spirit to come down on us. I told them about how Jesus died to forgive us for our sins and about how we’re supposed to believe in Him. I said that if people believe in Jesus, then the Holy Spirit would come live in them too.
And do you know what? About 3,000 people believed in Jesus that day. The other disciples and I baptized them, and the Holy Spirit came down and lived inside of them.
That was the first day that I felt the Holy Spirit living in me, and it was great. I hope all of you believe in Jesus and get to feel the Holy Spirit living inside of you too.
(Have students thank “Peter” for sharing his story.)
Review and Discussion Questions
What was the fire that came down and landed on the disciples? (The Holy Spirit.)
How were the disciples able to speak in other languages that they didn’t know? (God gave them the Holy Spirit to live inside of them, and the Holy Spirit was giving them the power to speak the different languages. It was a miracle from God.)
Do you think you have the Holy Spirit living in you? (The Holy Spirit lives inside of everyone who believes in Jesus. So, if you believe in Jesus, you have the Holy Spirit living in you.)
What do you think the Holy Spirit does for you? (The Holy Spirit gives us our talents so that we can use them for God and helps us to do the right things and stand up to and resist the temptation to do wrong things. It tells us what God wants us to do.)
How many people believed in Jesus that day? (About 3,000.)
That’s a lot of people. They became Christians because Peter told them about Jesus. And Jesus wants us to tell people about Him too, just like Peter did, so that even more people can believe in Him.
We should all try to tell our friends and our family members about Jesus so that they can be Christians too and go to Heaven when they die instead of going to Hell.
Game: Pass it On
Have students sit in a line or a circle, holding hands with the person next to them.
Have them all close their eyes. The leader should be on the end with their own eyes open. The leader will squeeze the hand of the person next to them. That person will open their eyes and then squeeze the hand of the third person.
So, when a person feels their hand being squeezed, they should open their eyes and then, pass the squeeze on. The goal of the game is for everyone to open their eyes, going down the line or around the circle, as fast as possible. Play a couple of times to get your speed up. Feel free to rotate who starts the line or circle.
Tell students, When we believe in Jesus, it’s like our eyes are being opened, and we can see the truth. And if we believe in Jesus and can see the truth, then it’s our job to tell other people about Jesus so that they can believe in Jesus and see the truth too, just like how we passed our hand-squeeze down the line today.
Game: The Spreading Flame
Play the intro game again, reminding students that we all need to have the Holy Spirit living inside of us.
Game: Disciple Tag
Choose one student to be It. When they tag someone, that person links hands with them and joins their team. They continue adding people to their team, linking hands with each one until all but one student is part of their chain. That remaining student becomes It for the next round.
Play two or three rounds and then, explain that when we tell people about Jesus, we want them to believe in Jesus too. If they do, they become a Christian and join our team. Then, they help us tell more people about Jesus.
Jesus, we thank You for sending the Holy Spirit to live inside of us. Help us to follow His leading and help us to tell other people about You too so that they can have the Holy Spirit come and live inside of them. Amen.
You can also find this lesson for Kindle or in print in my book, The Rock.