Pentecost (Elementary Lesson)

This grab-and-go lesson teaches kids that God sent His Holy Spirit to help them.
11 min read

He provided redemption for his people; he ordained his covenant forever—holy and awesome is his name.

Psalm 111:9

Lesson Overview and Supplies

Connect (10 Minutes)

Toss and Tell

Yarn (1 skein)

Gather (30 Minutes)

Remember Verse

Game: Hopscotch

Index Cards (10)

Masking Tape

Pen

Beanbag

Storytelling

Bibles

Butcher Paper (8′)

Tape

Marker

Discussion Questions

Respond (15 Minutes)

Play Dough Prayers

Play dough (1 small lump per child)

Craft sticks (1 per child)

(Optional) Change Your Seats

Chairs (1 per child minus 1)

Bless (5 Minutes)

Bible

Leader Preparation

Here you’ll find a list of resources along with encouraging articles that help you prepare your heart to present the lesson.

Inspire

Shares personal stories from fellow ministry leaders about how God has worked in their lives.

light-bulbs-blue-background-concept
Image Credit: Feodora Chiosea/iStock/Getty Images Plus

One of the most powerful and meaningful experiences in my spiritual life was the day I began learning about the Jewish roots of Christianity. I heard a speaker who began to explain what discipleship meant during the time of Jesus.

A command to “go and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19) was much more than inviting people to ask Jesus into their hearts. A disciple was someone who gave up everything to follow a rabbi. A disciple lived with his rabbi, memorized the things the rabbi said, ate with him, and walked like he walked. A disciple’s goal was to be just like his rabbi.

I found it all very beautiful. And also intimidating. For me to love Jesus the way a disciple truly should seemed like a challenging task. But God doesn’t leave us to do this on our own. The story of the Holy Spirit coming at Pentecost is a refreshing wind of God’s grace. He sent the Holy Spirit—the third member of the Trinity, God Himself—to live within us and guide us in truth.

It’s through the love, power, and prompting of the Holy Spirit that we can live as disciples of Jesus. What a beautiful God.

Denise Morris
CrossRoads Church

Equip

Offers perspective and context to the lesson’s Bible passage.

The day of Pentecost marked the beginning of the fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant, in which God had promised to bless everyone through Abraham’s seed. Pentecost also marked the initial fulfillment of the Davidic covenant, in which God had promised a king who would rule forever and be a blessing to the nations. Pentecost also began the fulfillment of Joel 2:28, in which God promised to “pour out [His] Spirit on all people.”

Right before His ascension, Jesus commanded His church to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). Jesus also gave the gift of the Holy Spirit to empower His followers to fulfill that mission. The new covenant, introduced by the shedding of Jesus’ blood, also brought the new heart, promised in Jeremiah 31:33, in which God promised, “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts.”

On the day of Pentecost, three thousand people came to faith in Christ. Pentecost was also known as the Festival of First Fruits. During this festival, Jewish people would offer the first fruits of their harvest to God and ask Him to bless the rest of their crops. The three thousand new believers were the first fruits of all believers that would come through the church, forever.

At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit also empowered the disciples to preach the good news in many languages—the good news that would eventually travel the world.

Support

Provides reflection and assessment through encouragement, prayer, and time in God’s Word.

Jesus charged the church with the task of “[making] disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). We have the ability and privilege to do this because of God’s Spirit inside us.

The Great Commission is clear. God wants us to be about the work of spreading His love and helping make disciples to follow and serve Him. Along with giving us His Spirit,

He’s given us gifts we’re to use to glorify Him and edify the church. As you prepare for this lesson, think about how the Holy Spirit has used others to change you.

How has He helped you to be more merciful, more patient, or more kind? Then ask yourself: What does it mean to help others be followers of Jesus? How is God calling you to bring others into His story, to “make disciples of all nations”?

Pray the kids in your ministry will be filled with the Holy Spirit so they will have the desire and the ability to be used by God. Pray God will use them to be disciple-makers.

Connect (10 Minutes)

Toss and Tell

Children create a web of yarn as they share fun facts about themselves.

Supplies

Yarn (1 skein)

Relate

CONNECT QUESTION: Welcome and greet children. Open your time by asking this question: If you could change anything in the world, what would it be and why?

It’s so fun to hear all about the things in the world each of you would change. Let’s keep getting to know one another through this fun activity.

Invite children to learn more about one another while they toss around a skein of yarn. Have the children stand up and form a circle—make sure you join the circle too!

Hold the end of the yarn and share a fun fact about yourself.

Then, while continuing to hold the yarn, toss it to another child. That child will share a fact about himself, hold on to his section of yarn, and toss the yarn to another child. This will continue until each child has shared a fun fact about himself.

Gather (30 Minutes)

Children experience and learn more about God through memorizing Scripture, storytelling from The Big God Story, prayer, and discussion.

Remember Verse

Each week children will spend time memorizing a portion of Scripture together. The Remember Verse focuses on a character trait of God that’s highlighted in today’s portion of The Big God Story.

He provided redemption for his people; he ordained his covenant forever—holy and awesome is his name.

Psalm 111:9

Game: Hopscotch

Supplies

Index Cards (10)

Masking Tape

Pen

Beanbag

Prepare Ahead

On the index cards, write the following phrases (and reference) of the verse: He provided / redemption / for his people / he ordained / his covenant / forever / holy / and awesome / is his name / Psalm 111:9

Set Up

Create a hopscotch grid on the floor by using masking tape. The grid should have 10 12-inch squares. Place the index cards in order in the hopscotch squares and tape them down so they’re secure.

Relate

Invite your class to learn the Remember Verse by playing a modified game of hopscotch. To play, have children line up, and have the first player toss a small beanbag onto the first square. The player should then jump over the first square and hop through the remaining squares, saying the phrases in the squares as he goes. Then that player can get in the back of the line. The next player will take the beanbag, throw it onto the second square, and repeat the process.

If a player doesn’t get the beanbag inside the square, he’s out. Keep playing until the beanbag has been tossed into the final square or until one child remains. When you have a winner, encourage all of the kids to say the entire verse together.

Storytelling

Bible Passage: Matthew 28:16–20; Acts 1—2
Storytelling Technique: Creating an Illustrated Timeline
God’s Spirit Changes Everything

Supplies

Bibles

Butcher Paper (8′)

Tape

Marker

Set Up

Tape the piece of butcher paper to the wall near where you’ll be storytelling.

Relate

girl-closed-her-eyes-and-folded-her-hand-in-prayer-on-a-Holy-Bible
Image Credit: Sasiistock/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Lead children in a Prayer of Release to pause, be still, and ask the Holy Spirit to quiet their hearts and minds. From the very beginning of The Big God Story, God planned for Jesus to come to earth, die for our sins, and rise again. Everything in the Bible points to what Jesus did for us so we could be a part of The Big God Story. Draw a picture of a cross at the beginning of the sheet of butcher paper.

After Jesus died and rose from the dead, He appeared to His disciples. One day He met them on top of a mountain in Galilee and gave them a very special mission that we call the Great Commission. To the right of the cross, write “Great Commission” on the butcher paper. Invite kids to turn to Matthew 28 and follow along as you read verses 19–20. Jesus knew He would be leaving soon to return to His Father in heaven, and He told His disciples to continue the ministry He had started on earth.

It was a big job, but the disciples wouldn’t have to do this alone. Why not? Invite responses. Right—because Jesus told them He would be sending His Holy Spirit to give them power. Jesus wouldn’t have to be on earth with them because His Spirit would be living and working inside of them! God’s Spirit would change everything.

Jesus told the disciples to stay in Jerusalem and wait for the Holy Spirit to come. Then something incredible happened.

Jesus was taken up to heaven! Next, draw a picture of Jesus ascending into heaven. What do you think it would have been like to see Jesus rise up into heaven? Invite answers. Great thoughts. It would have been an incredible sight to see!

The disciples obeyed Jesus and stayed in Jerusalem to wait for the Holy Spirit to come. While they waited, the city was celebrating Pentecost, the festival of the harvest.

Pentecost was a time when Jews from all over would come to Jerusalem to celebrate. While all of the disciples were together, something amazing happened. Read Acts 2:2–4 while the kids follow along in their Bibles. Draw a picture of a great wind and a flame. Can you imagine, all of a sudden, a sound like a powerful wind filling our classroom? And then everyone here beginning to speak in a different language?

That would be so crazy!

This event was the moment God poured out His Spirit on earth, and His Spirit changed everything. Now people could experience God’s presence and comfort and help all of the time! People would never have to feel alone because God’s Spirit would always be with them. Also, God’s Spirit would empower His people to share the good news of Jesus with the rest of the world. His Spirit really did change everything.

After this happened, a large crowd began to form. People from other countries could actually hear Jesus’ disciples speaking their languages! It was a miracle. People were amazed by what was happening and began to ask what it all meant.

Peter, Jesus’ disciple, began preaching to the crowd. Draw a picture of Peter preaching to a crowd. He told them The Big God Story and how every event in The Big God Story pointed to Jesus. He also reminded them of a prophecy about this very day. Read verses 17–18, 21. When people heard Peter’s message, they felt convicted and asked what they should do. Peter told the crowd that because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, everyone could call on God and be saved. And because of that, everyone could receive the Holy Spirit.

That day, three thousand people believed in Jesus and received the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit changed everything! And He changes everything for us too. Share a personal story about how the Holy Spirit has changed you.

Discussion Questions

  • Before He left them and went into heaven, what did Jesus command His disciples to do? Matthew 28:18–19
  • What happened to the people at Pentecost? Acts 2:2–4
  • How can we receive God’s Spirit? Acts 2:38
  • How did God’s Spirit change everything?
  • How has God’s Spirit changed you?

Respond (15 minutes)

Children reflect on what the Holy Spirit is teaching them and respond to God through creative activities and games.

Play Dough Prayers

Children work with play dough as they consider areas where they need the Holy Spirit to change them.

Supplies

Play dough (1 small lump per child)

Craft sticks (1 per child)

Relate

After Jesus rose up to heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit to His people. When we believe in Jesus, we receive the Holy Spirit, and we can be changed too.

Give a lump of play dough to each child, and invite the children to ponder some ways they feel like they still need the Holy Spirit to change them. Then allow the kids to mold the play dough into things that represent ways they need the Holy Spirit in their lives. They could also draw or write in the play dough with craft sticks.

Change isn’t something we can do on our own. We don’t change just because we work harder or try harder. God has given us His Spirit to live inside of us and help us.

We can trust that the Holy Spirit has the power to change us and show us how to live each day.

Invite kids to take their play dough again and mold it to represent ways they can trust the Spirit to change them this week. Children can either shape the play dough or use craft sticks to write words or draw pictures in the play dough.

(Optional) Change Your Seats

In this game, students will change seats as they recall that the Holy Spirit lives in us and changes us.

Supplies

Chairs (1 per child minus 1)

Set Up

Set up all the chairs in a circle with the seats facing inward.

Relate

Although change can be difficult, many times it’s very good. When God’s Spirit came at Pentecost, things changed for the better. All people could have God’s Spirit living inside of them all of the time!

Today, invite your class to play a game in which they have to change their seats many times to try to stay in the game. To begin, choose one child to stand in the middle, and have the other children sit in the chairs. The child in the middle will call out, “Change your seats!”

The kids will move seats by going either to the seat on their right or left. When the child in the middle calls out, “Change your seat, the Spirit is here!” kids will have to get up and run to another seat, but they can’t go to a seat on their immediate right and left. The person in the middle will also try to grab a seat for himself.

The child left without a seat will now be in the middle, and the game starts over. Play long enough that several children get a chance to be in the middle.

Bless (5 Minutes)

Children receive a blessing from their leaders and sometimes one another. A blessing can be a prayer of commission, a portion of Scripture, or words to encourage and guide.

Supplies

Bible

Relate

Invite children to sit together in a circle. Then read the blessing from 2 Corinthians 3:18:

And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

Invite the students to hold out their hands with palms up as you bless the group:

May you know that God’s Spirit has changed you so that you might become more like Him. Then go to each child individually and say, (Child’s name), may you be transformed by God’s Spirit.

Send home Remember Verse cards and the At Home Weekly with your kids.

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Download 4 free weeks of Bible-in-Life Curriculum

Bible-in-Life curriculum helps you build a ministry program that works for your volunteers, your budget, and your church.
little-girl-BIL-curriculum-cta

Download 4 free weeks of Bible-in-Life Curriculum

Bible-in-Life curriculum helps you build a ministry program that works for your volunteers, your budget, and your church.
little-girl-BIL-curriculum-cta

Download 4 free weeks of Bible-in-Life Curriculum

Bible-in-Life curriculum helps you build a ministry program that works for your volunteers, your budget, and your church.
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  Updated on January 14, 2021

About the Author

  • Tru is a life-changing, spiritually-forming, parent-engaging, kid-captivating, downloadable curriculum designed for churches of all sizes and denominations

© 2020 David C Cook. All rights reserved.
© 2019 David C Cook. All rights reserved.
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