Objective: To begin to think about the role of the Holy Spirit.
Game - 8 mins
Aim: to play a game about tools, and to introduce the idea that certain tools are just right for getting a job done.
You will need: two tea towels, a small fabric bag, a score sheet (see Printables), textboxes (see Printables) and the objects from the ‘tool list’ (see Printables).
Beware of allergies – make sure it is safe for the children to handle the food used in this activity.
Before the session print and cut out the textboxes and place them in the bag. Fill one of the bowls with cotton wool balls and another with dried pasta. Place the tea towels over the full bowls. Arrange the objects (the whisk etc.) on the floor or a low table.
If you have more than six children in your group, divide them into three or four teams. Before you tell the children what they will be using the objects for, allow one child from each team to pick a textbox from the bag. If you have fewer than six children all the children can pick a textbox. Encourage the children to collect the object that corresponds to their textbox. Show the children the bowl of pasta shapes and the empty bowl. Explain that they need to use their objects to transfer as many pasta shapes as they can from the full bowl to the empty bowl. Encourage the children to take it in turns, while the remaining children count down from ten to zero. When the children reach zero, help them estimate how many pasta shapes were transferred i.e. less than twenty etc. Use the score sheet to record each team’s score.
When everybody has had a turn, place the objects back on the table/floor and put the text boxes back in the bag. Ask the children to pick a second text box and collect the corresponding object. This time they will need to use their objects to transfer as many cotton wool balls to an empty bowl. Again encourage the children to take it in turns while the remaining children count down from ten to zero. Help the children estimate how many cotton wool balls were transferred and use the score sheet to record each team’s score.
Talk about - 7 mins
You will need: a large sheet of paper or a whiteboard, marker pens, the ‘3 in 1’ symbol with descriptions (see Printables), the Holy Spirit arrow (see Printables) and the ‘How to remember the two main things’ (see Printables).
Before the session write the verse on the whiteboard or paper.
Read the verse aloud and explain that this verse will help us learn more about the Holy Spirit. Quickly show the ‘3 in 1’ symbol with descriptions and remind the children that God is three in one. Hold up three fingers then one. The three Persons of God are God the Father, God the Son (whom we call Jesus) and God the Holy Spirit. Each of the Persons is fully God. The three Persons are so perfectly joined they are one. There is one God and he is three in one. Hold up one finger, then three fingers then one again.
Show the Holy Spirit arrow and remind the children that the Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit came to be with people over 2,000 years ago. The Bible tells us that when Jesus went up to Heaven the Holy Spirit came down to earth to live with people in a new way. Christians believe that the Holy Spirit lives with people here on earth. They believe that wherever they are, whatever they are doing, the Holy Spirit is with them. A bit like the wind, people cannot see the Holy Spirit, but Christians believe he is with people, everyday, everywhere.
Underline the phrase ‘God has given us the Holy Spirit’. Talk about the game the children have just played. Talk about how they used the objects as tools. Some ‘tools’ were better than others for getting the job done. Discuss which tools were good for transferring the pasta and which were good for transferring the cotton wool. Talk about how different tools suit different jobs. Explain that a good craftsman knows what is needed for each job. He knows what is good and perfect for what needs to be done.
Talk about God wanting us to live his way; the way he created us to live. Living God’s way is about doing two things: loving God and loving others. You could remind the children how to remember ‘the two main things’ by working through the prompt sheet. Explain that the Bible tells us that on our own it is impossible for us to live God’s way - it’s just too difficult, we keep making mistakes and getting things wrong. However, God knows exactly what we need to live his way. Just as a craftsman knows what is needed to get a job done, God knows exactly the help and guidance we need to live his way. He knows about our difficulties and our troubles and he has the perfect answer… God’s answer is the Holy Spirit. God gives Christians the Holy Spirit to help them live his way.
The Holy Spirit is much better than a tool or an object that a craftsman might use to get a job done. The Holy Spirit is one of the three Persons of God. He is God. He is real and living. He is good, wise and powerful. He is loving, joyful and peaceful.
How does the Holy Spirit help Christians? Christians believe the Holy Spirit comes alongside to teach and guide. They believe the Holy Spirit works in their lives changing them from the inside-out to become more and more like Jesus; to be more peaceful, patient and kind. As the Holy Spirit helps Christians become more like Jesus, more and more they are able to live God's way.
Christians believe that each day the Holy Spirit helps millions of people around the world become more and more like Jesus so they can learn and grow to live God’s way, the way God created them to live.
With older children you might want to dig deeper (see Printables) into the topic of the Holy Spirit and how He helps Christians to live God’s way.