A discussion starter exploring the impact of the Holy Spirit on the lives of the first Christians at Pentecost. Helping young people to discover more about the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives today.
I WAS THERE
Divide the young people into small groups. Explain that each group is going to script and perform a short interview, featuring one of the characters involved in the events on the first Pentecost. Give each group one of these characters;
- One of the believers in the upper room (Acts 2: 1)
- A God-fearing Jew (Acts 2: 5)
- One of those who mocked the Christians (Acts 2: 13)
- Peter (Acts 2: 14)
- One of the new believers (Acts 2:37, 41)
- A member of the early church (Acts 2: 42-47)
Ask each group to read Acts 2: 1-47 together, using a modern translation of the Bible. Then decide who will be the interviewer and who will be the interviewee. The rest of the group helps with the preparation and scripting of the interview.
Talk about the character.
Decide on a name for your character (unless it's Peter). Imagine what it must have been like to be involved in the events. How do you think they felt? Were they afraid? Were they surprised? Were they happy or angry? Why?
What did they do? What did they hear? How did they react? What was their impression of what was happening? What difference (if any) did it make to them?
Some of the answers will be in the passage. The group will have to use their imagination for others.
Prepare the interview.
What was the character like i.e. their personality, accent etc? What questions will help him/her tell his story? What does he/she want to say?
Practice the interview once or twice before it is performed to the rest of the group. Have each one performed in sequence, so a complete picture of the whole event is given.
Allow 20 minutes for each small group to prepare their interviews. After the interviews, discuss with the whole group;
- What were the effects of the coming of the Holy Spirit?
- How did people react to his coming?
- Where do we see the Holy Spirit at work today?
- Do people react any differently to him today?
THE SPIRIT IN US
Use a flipchart or whiteboard with the words 'The Holy Spirit' written in the middle of it. Prepare 15 cards and write one of the Bible verses (see below) on each card.
Ask the young people to divide into pairs and give one or more cards to each pair. Ask them to look up the Bible reference and discover what it says about the Holy Spirit. Then ask each pair to write what they have learned on the other side of the card, before taping their card(s) to the flipchart or whiteboard around the words 'The Holy Spirit.' Allow a few minutes for this.
- Romans 8: 9 (Lives in Christians)
- Acts 13: 2 (Speaks)
- Romans 8: 26 (Prays with us)
- Acts 8: 29 and Romans 8: 14 (Leads)
- Acts 16: 6, 7 (Commands)
- John 14: 26 (Teaches)
- John 16: 8-11 (Convicts)
- John 14: 26 (Reminds)
- Acts 1: 8 (Gives power)
- Galatians 5: 22, 23 (Changes lives)
- Acts 5:3, 4 and 2 Corinthians 3: 18 (Is God)
- Hebrews 9: 11 (Is eternal)
- Genesis 1: 2 (Is creator)
- John 16: 7-15 (Is a person)
- 1 Corinthians 12: 7-11 (Gives spiritual gifts)
Before Jesus ascended into heaven he promised the disciples that he would send someone to guide and enable them to live godly lives. When we accept Christ as our Saviour this promise is true for us and the Holy Spirit enters our lives. This means that God is with us continually, ready work in and through us.
Invite some of the young people to talk about how they think the Holy Spirit has worked (and continues to work) in their lives. If they wish, they can refer to some of the answers on the flipchart or whiteboard. Alternatively, invite an adult from your church to be interviewed on God's work, through his spirit, in their lives.
In a time of quiet prayer and reflection ask the young people to consider where they need the Holy Spirit to work in their lives today. Use the flipchart or whiteboard as a visual prompt. If appropriate, encourage the young people to pray for each other.
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