Welcome to our public Pentecost ~ Acts 1 and 2 ideas and lessons forum. Don't forget to check out the supporting members' "Wind, Fire, Faith!" Pentecost lesson from our Writing Team. The lesson summaries and Bible background are open to all. If you're looking for Ascension lessons and ideas, go to our Jesus After the Resurrection forum.
We used the Rocket Workshop last year and it was FANTASTIC! Children and adults were so excited about launching the rockets, it clearly demonstrated the power of the Holy Spirit. I could envision multiple generations gathered around and and how much fun it would be!
I think the Rocket Ship idea above would also make for a great family activity!
Below is what our church did for Pentecost one year:
Pentecost Worship Workshops
Instead of an hour worship service or adult education classes, or some special "family" program on Pentecost, we had our children prepare and lead a series of fun Pentecost lessons and invited the adults to quickly "rotate" through two of them. (You have to have more workshops running simultaneously to handle the number of adults, as you don't want to overflow any one workshop.)
[If you are substituting the workshops for worship that Sunday, include a Worship "kickoff" and brief elements of worship at the end of each lesson plan.]
Here is how we did it.
On Pentecost Sunday, unknown to the congregation, as they arrived they were given a fruit name tag. After a very short worship opening and one song, they were then told that "just like on the first Pentecost, they were going to be swept out of their upperroom to do something very different."
They were then sent off to attend two 20 minute workshops --attending according to their fruit sticker. The workshops were run by the kids!
We used the month of May's Pentecost rotation to plan for the first Sunday in June (Pentecost) workshop celebrations that were going to be led by the Sunday School. (Note: We are a small congregation.)
May rotations: I planned 8 simple workshops, each to cover approx 20 min (which the adults would take part in -in June). Two to four children per workshop were designated teachers of that workshop. I sat down in advance with the children determining with their assistance who would do which workshop - we mixed ages, so younger children would be assistants to older children.
In these May workshops, the children were given their lesson and materials to prep and practice. Teachers assisted as needed with their prep work. The Sunday before our big day we had our practice run through were teaching teams each taught their lesson to another team, then switched, so the other team could also practice.
they all worked on their greeting skills - in readiness to welcome their students (parents/congregation) to their specific workshop.
openings (bible or storybook reading) if not covered by activity)/closings.
they became familiar with their lesson activity, preparing samples, reviewing/preparing questions, etc. so they could then teach it:
Video - previewing it and creating questions.
Art - create sample(s) of their activity so they could assist adults in the making.
Cooking - Pentecost utensil skit, follow-up questions, and decorate a Pentecost muffin.
Computer - activity Fall of Jericho Quiz prep and play.
Drama - make copies of skit to be used, gather props, create some questions.
Music - Pentecost Duet and "Joyful Joyful We Adore" (Bells). For this workshop we made sure to pick older children who played an instrument.
Storyelling - Flannelgraph and Jeopardy group style like Quiz except with 4 answer choices.
Games - Life Size Tic-Tac-Toe Board Quiz Game, players game pieces.
If this interests you and you'd like more details of what the kids did in each workshop just let me know.
A neat component that we used in on the day of Pentecost was a dove release outside in our prayer garden.
This was the last "station" the children went to and they each had "flame" bandanas on their head. We had a church member dressed up as an Apostle standing on a platform. We played loud wind and tongues music. He read from the book of Acts 2:16-21. He then asked "Christian, what do you believe?" and led the Apostles Creed.
When it reached the "I believe in the Holy Spirit", the doves were released (they were hidden). We contacted a local wedding dove "vendor" to get the birds.
The whole church then went inside and had birthday cake and sang.
I originally did this as a children's sermon in worship and we had the gifts pre-purchased and pre-wrapped for the kids to open and "give" to the church. It was a blast and gave us an opportunity to talk about all the parts of the church the kids didn't often see or think of.
The second time we did this was as a fellowship gathering after worship. And this time we invited the congregation to "purchase supplies," wrap them and bring them for the celebration. We organized the list and "who was purchasing what" just like we did our Christmas angel tree -- by putting "gift tags" on a large gift-wrapped box in the church entry and inviting people to "take a gift tag" and return the next Sunday with the item. So many people took two tags we ran out and had to improvise some duplicates. (You can always use more TP.) We had the kids help unwrap everything and the adults thoroughly watching. I estimate we saved our budget about $500, and we received several "checks" from those who were there the previous Sunday and wanted to contribute.
Tip: Have wrapping paper as some people will forget to wrap their gifts when they bring them.
Suggestion: Invite people to wrap the gifts in newspaper or something used or that can be recycled.
I've wanted to do this a THIRD time with a different twist: giving the Church acts of service to celebrate its birthday: pulling weeds, stacking canned goods, cleaning a closet, volunteering at local mission, signing up to teach, be a greeter, etc. etc.
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