Trish Hahn finds some props to give children a grasp of the invisible but real work of God
This Sunday 28th of May sees the wider Church celebrate Pentecost, the Christian festival celebrating the descent of the Holy Spirit on the disciples of Jesus after his ascension into heaven, held the seventh Sunday after Easter.
For the past two Sundays I have been talking to my Sunday youth group about the Holy Spirit, who he is and what he signifies. The Church believes and teaches that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Holy Trinity - Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
I now have five young people in our youth group, aged from eight to 16 years old and have been surprised to find out that although they come from Christian households, they don’t appear to know many Bible stories. Taking a gentle approach over the past two weeks I have been introducing them to appropriate verses linked to learning about the Holy Spirit.
Acts 2: 1-3 “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a noise like a strong, blowing wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw something like flames of fire that were separated and stood over each person there”.
Fans and feathers
Last week I used several props including a large fan, feathers and streamers to introduce the concept of wind and how we cannot see it we can still feel it when it blows on us. As I live on the east coast of Essex, we have a long pier in our seaside town so I was able to talk about the wind coming off of the sea to introduce the idea of how we can feel the Holy Spirit but not see Him in the same way that we can feel the wind coming off the sea, experience the cooling sensations on our skin but not see them.
Giving a personal example of experiencing the Holy Spirit in my life as a new Christian many years ago enabled me to explain the concept that the Holy Spirit is sent to comfort and help us in times of distress and pain.
This Sunday I brought some balloons with me to explain that a balloon needs to be filled with air to fulfil its purpose, we need to breathe life into it. In the same way that the balloon needs air to fulfil its purpose to be a balloon I talked about the fact that as Christians we need to be filled with the Holy Spirit to enable us to fulfil the purposes and plans God has for each one of us. In the same way, the Church needs to have the life-giving breath of the Holy Spirit to fulfil the plans God has for His Church.
As our young people inflated their balloons, I reminded them that the Holy Spirit will breathe new life into each one of them and enable them to fulfil the plans God has ordained for each of them.
If you are teaching in a children’s group, there is no copyright on these ideas and you might even want to use them at home too?