Week 4 objective: to begin to think about the Holy Spirit putting God’s love in our hearts.
Game - 7 mins
Aim: to place inflated balloons inside a sleeping bag as a solution to the problem: ‘How could you fill a sleeping bag with air?’
You will need: two sleeping bags, three or four bin liners* and around twenty to thirty inflated balloons.
As you introduce the session try and keep the balloons concealed from the children. Divide the children in your group into two teams. Give each team a sleeping bag and (without showing them the balloons) ask them to fill their sleeping bags with air. If a team thinks they have succeeded, inspect their sleeping bag and show them that the air cannot stay inside the sleeping bag if it is folded or laid flat. Ask the children if they can think of any other way they could fill their sleeping bag with air. Show the children the balloons. Divide the number of balloons equally between the two teams. Explain to the children that when you say ‘go’ they need to fill their sleeping bag as quickly as possible with air by placing the balloons inside it. When the children are ready, shout ‘go’. You could make this into a relay race by placing the balloons at one end of the room and the sleeping bags at the other. The team members should take it in turns to collect a balloon then run to the sleeping bag and place it inside.
When a team has finished filling their sleeping bag they should sit down on the floor. Award one point to the team that finishes first. When both teams have finished encourage them to count how many balloons they managed to fit into their sleeping bags. Award a point to the team with the most balloons. The team with two points is the winning team. If both teams have one point, declare the game ‘a draw’.
*Keep the bin liners away from the children.
Talk about - 6 mins
You will need: a large sheet of paper or a whiteboard, marker pens, the ‘3 in 1’ symbol with descriptions (see Printables), and the Holy Spirit arrow (see Printables).
Before the session write the verse on the whiteboard or paper.
Underline the phrase ‘And the Holy Spirit has put God's love in our hearts’. Talk to the children about the game they have just played. Ask them to talk about the different ideas they had for putting air into a sleeping bag. Talk about the solution of putting balloons inside the sleeping bag. Explain that when you put the balloon inside the sleeping bag you put air inside too. The balloon is full of air: wherever you put the balloon the air goes too.
Explain to the children that over the last few weeks we have been learning about the Holy Spirit. We have learnt that he is one of the three Persons of God. We have learnt that he is God; he is good, wise and powerful, and he is loving, kind and peaceful.
The Bible tells us that God is love (1 John 4:8). Wherever God is there is love. When the Holy Spirit works in the lives of Christians he brings God’s love with him. This is a little bit like the balloon bringing the air with it – except you can take the air out of the balloon but you cannot separate the Holy Spirit and God’s love. Underline the word ‘heart’ in the verse. Explain that the word ‘heart’ can also mean ‘the centre’ or ‘right in the middle’. Paul was saying that the Holy Spirit brings God’s love right into the middle of Christian’s lives, right into the middle of everything they do.
If you have time ask the children to think about what a person might be like who has God’s love in the middle of them, or what a person might be like who has God’s love in the middle of everything they do. You could use the following questions as discussion points: ‘How might that person feel?’ ‘How might they feel about God and other people?’ Listen to the children’s answers and respond positively.
As this is the last week of the month cover up the Bible verse and ask the children if anyone can say it from memory. Help the children if they get stuck. If you have a rubber stamper and tickets, stamp the tickets belonging to children who can say the Bible verse. Include those who needed some help.
Song - 2 mins
To the tune ‘Five little speckled frogs’
God gave the Holy Spirit
And now the Spirit’s put
God’s love inside, inside my heart… boom boom.
You’ll find it written down
By the Apostle Paul
In Romans chapter five verse five… boom boom.