15 minute Story planner
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor page 384
As you talk about God's plan you could show the illustrations on pages 281, 376, 379 and 385 of The Children's Bible in 365 Stories.
1. Setting the scene - 2 mins
Find the New Testament section in a Bible.
Show and talk about ‘The Early Church FlashCards’ cards one and two
2. Starter question - 1 min
What are you planning to do this afternoon? Can you think of things that need to be planned? How about a party? Or a holiday? Or how about planning what to do when a friend comes to stay?
Did you know that right at the beginning of time God made a plan? God has had a plan ever since Adam and Eve disobeyed him in the garden. His plan was to make a way for people to become close friends with him again. All the way through time God’s plan has been unfolding: he sent his Son to the earth (this was all part of God’s wonderful plan); Jesus died on the cross (still part of God’s plan); God raised Jesus back to life (all part of God’s plan); Jesus went up to Heaven (still part of God’s plan); the Holy Spirit came down (all part of God’s big plan).
3. Tell the story with props - 4 mins
Click on the images at the beginning of this post to download more web resources
- The Holy Spirit arrow (see Printables)
- ‘Jesus came to make a way’ infographic (see Printables)
- ‘God has given us his Spirit’ speech bubble (see Printables)
- ‘Sin’ infographic (see Printables)
- “Saying ‘Yes’ to God's love and forgiveness” infographic (see Printables)
4. Story activity - 6 mins
Option 1 - Enjoy the puzzles in this weeks Dead Sea Comic Caper (see Printables)
Option 2 - Help the children to imagine how big a crowd of 3,000 would be.
You will need: ‘3,000 people’ (see Printables), pens and a calculator.
Before the session print off three or four copies of the ‘3,000 people’ on a page. Find out how many pupils attend the local schools and how many people attend your church.
1. Show the children a copy of the ‘3,000 people’ print out. On the paper draw a circle around the approximate number of people that attend the local school.
2. On another copy draw around the approximate number of people that attend your church.
3. If the children in your group are interested in sport, find out how many people the nearest stadium seats; photocopy or print off a sufficient number of pages of ‘3,000 people’ to represent how many could attend an event held at the stadium.
Option 3 - For older children ask the following questions and help them work out the answers:
1. If there are 52 seats on one coach, how many coaches would you need to take 3,000 people on a journey? (Answer: you would need 57 coaches to take a crowd of 3,000 people on a journey)
2. If Peter had spoken to one person a day from the crowd of 3,000 – how many years would it take him to speak to everyone? (Answer: just over 8 years)
5. Reflective prayer - 2 mins
Father we think about the day your Holy Spirit came to be with people in a new way. We picture the crowd pushing forwards to see the disciples. We imagine Peter standing up and then the silence as the onlookers strained to hear what he said. We remember Peter’s words: ‘God has given us his Spirit’.
Father we thank you that because Jesus lived, died and rose again everybody everywhere can now say ‘Yes’ to your love and forgiveness and become close friends with you. We thank you that when Jesus went up you did not leave the disciples on their own, but sent your Spirit to be with them in a powerful and amazing way.
Father we thank you that the Holy Spirit is with us today comforting, teaching and guiding us. Thank you that just as the disciples received the Spirit’s gifts and were changed from the inside out, we too can be changed by the power of your Holy Spirit. With the powerful help of the Holy Spirit we too can learn and grow to live your way, the way you created us to live. Amen.
With younger children, or during a shorter session you may wish to select just one or two phrases from the reflective prayer.
Alongside this story, make the craft...