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BIBLE PASSAGE: Acts 2

BACKGROUND: It has been 50 days since the Passover festival, which followed Jesus’ death and resurrection. Jesus had been taken up to heaven only a week or so previously, and here his followers (perhaps  around 120 of them, see Acts 1:15) are waiting for the Holy Spirit, as promised by Jesus. What happens next changes their lives and the course of history. They go from waiting around to proclaiming the gospel, from quietness to not being able to shut up, all because of the enabling of the Spirit.

 

WELCOME ACTIVITIES

OPTION ONE: Speaking other languages You will need: long sheets of paper and marker pens (optional)

Challenge your congregation to say some- thing in another language. You could do this as people arrive, encouraging them to chat to others about the languages they can speak or to write a message on the long sheets

of paper placed around your worship area. These could be words of praise to God or simply ‘Welcome’ or ‘Hello’.

Alternatively, you could do this at the start of the service, inviting some volunteers to say something in a language they can speak. Ask them how they came to speak this language.

 

OPTION TWO: Testimony

You will need: a volunteer to give their testimony

Before the session, find someone in your congregation or wider community whose life has been dramatically changed.

At the start of your service, chat to them about how their life changed. Was it dramatic? What was it like before and after? What brought about the change?

 

BIBLE STORY

You will need: long strips of red, orange and yellow material; Acts 2:7b-11 written out on slips of paper (see below)

Before the service, write out the questions and statements below (taken from Acts 2:7b-11, CEV) on separate slips of paper and find volunteers to read them out:

  • Don’t all these who are speaking come from Galilee?
  • Then why do we hear them speaking our very own languages?
  • Some of us are from Parthia, Media, and Elam. Others are from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, parts of Libya near Cyrene, Rome, Crete, and Arabia.
  • Some of us were born Jews, and others of us have chosen to be Jews.
  • Yet we all hear them using our own languages to tell the wonderful things God has done.

 

Ask for volunteers to hold your lengths of flame-coloured material. (You could use ribbons, crepe paper or worship flags if you can’t get long pieces of fabric.)

Challenge the congregation to make a sound like a rushing wind using their voices, hands and feet. Give them a moment to think about what noises they can make. Once everyone is ready, ‘conduct’ the sound effect from the front. Start off quietly, like the noise of a soft breeze. Then get louder and stormier, from a strong wind to a hurricane. Then bring the noise level back to a breeze, then stillness.

Split the congregation into two and ask one side to say: “What does this all mean?” and the other: “They are drunk!”

Read Acts 2:1-2 and then get the congregation to ‘perform’ their rushing wind, starting quietly and ending with a wild hurricane. Read verse 3 and ask your volunteers to run around the church trailing the coloured fabric behind them. Read verse 4 and ask people to shout out words in different languages, including words of praise to God if they know them.

Read Act 2:5-7a, then ask your volunteers to stand and read their lines. After this, read verse 12, asking one half to shout “What does all this mean?” and then verse 13, with the other half shouting: “They are drunk!”

 

SMALL GROUPS

 

You will need: copies of the questions below; Bibles

Break into small groups – made up of one or two families, or different mixed-age

groups – and give each group a copy of these questions and a Bible:

  • If you had been in the room with the disciples, what would you have thought?
  • If you had been in the crowd and heard the disciples, what would you have thought?
  • What do you think this all means?
  • What do you know of the Holy Spirit?

Give the groups time to chat about these questions, referring to the Bible passage if they need to.

REVIEW

You will need: a roving mic (if needed)  Get some feedback on questions two and three from ‘Small groups’ using a micro-phone to hear people’s contributions if your meeting space is large.

 

RESPONSE ACTIVITIES

Set these three activities up in different parts of your meeting space. Explain what each one is and encourage people to go to the one that will help them process what they have discovered most effectively.

 

OPTION 1: Art

You will need: art materials Encourage the congregation to create a

picture of the events from the Bible story or a response to what God has been saying to

them today. You may want to encourage some discussion about the story as people work.

 

OPTION 2: Discussion

You will need: volunteers to facilitate discussion; paper and pens

Gather people together in small groups, each with a facilitator, and challenge them to think about the difference the things they have discovered today will make in their lives.

 

OPTION 3: Evangelism

You will need: paper and pens

Ask people in the group what they can do to tell others about Jesus, as Peter goes on to do in the rest of Acts 2. Help people come up with a plan of what they might do at work, school or college. Then pray together, asking the Holy Spirit to help you.

 

CLOSING

Bring everyone back together and ask if anyone would like to share what they did, thought about or discussed during the response time. Thank everyone for taking part and say an appropriate blessing to close the service.

 

CREATIVE WORSHIP SUGGESTIONS

Use flame-coloured flags and ribbons during sung worship to echo the Spirit in the story. Leave art materials out for people to use to worship God as others sing.

BIBLE PASSAGE

Acts 2

 

BACKGROUND

It has been 50 days since the Passover festival, which followed Jesus’ death and resurrection. Jesus had been taken up to heaven only a week or so previously, and here his followers (perhaps  around 120 of them, see Acts 1:15) are waiting for the Holy Spirit, as promised by Jesus. What happens next changes their lives and the course of history. They go from waiting around to proclaiming the gospel, from quietness to not being able to shut up, all because of the enabling of the Spirit.

 

WELCOME ACTIVITIES

 

OPTION ONE: Speaking other languages You will need: long sheets of paper and marker pens (optional)

Challenge your congregation to say some- thing in another language. You could do this as people arrive, encouraging them to chat to others about the languages they can speak or to write a message on the long sheets

of paper placed around your worship area. These could be words of praise to God or simply ‘Welcome’ or ‘Hello’.

Alternatively, you could do this at the start of the service, inviting some volunteers to say something in a language they can speak. Ask them how they came to speak this language.

 

OPTION TWO: Testimony

You will need: a volunteer to give their testimony

Before the session, find someone in your congregation or wider community whose life has been dramatically changed.

At the start of your service, chat to them about how their life changed. Was it dramatic? What was it like before and after? What brought about the change?

 

BIBLE STORY

 

You will need: long strips of red, orange and yellow material; Acts 2:7b-11 written out on slips of paper (see below)

Before the service, write out the questions and statements below (taken from Acts 2:7b-11, CEV) on separate slips of paper and find volunteers to read them out:

 

•         Don’t all these who are speaking come from Galilee?

•         Then why do we hear them speaking our very own languages?

•         Some of us are from Parthia, Media, and Elam. Others are from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, parts of Libya near Cyrene, Rome, Crete, and Arabia.

•         Some of us were born Jews, and others of us have chosen to be Jews.

•         Yet we all hear them using our own languages to tell the wonderful things God has done.

 

Ask for volunteers to hold your lengths of flame-coloured material. (You could use ribbons, crepe paper or worship flags if you can’t get long pieces of fabric.)

Challenge the congregation to make a sound like a rushing wind using their voices, hands and feet. Give them a moment to think about what noises they can make. Once everyone is ready, ‘conduct’ the sound effect from the front. Start off quietly, like the noise of a soft breeze. Then get louder and stormier, from a strong wind to a hurricane. Then bring the noise level back to a breeze, then stillness.

Split the congregation into two and ask one side to say: “What does this all mean?” and the other: “They are drunk!”

Read Acts 2:1-2 and then get the congregation to ‘perform’ their rushing wind, starting quietly and ending with a wild hurricane. Read verse 3 and ask your volunteers to run around the church trailing the coloured fabric behind them. Read verse 4 and ask people to shout out words in different languages, including words of praise to God if they know them.

Read Act 2:5-7a, then ask your volunteers to stand and read their lines. After this, read verse 12, asking one half to shout “What does all this mean?” and then verse 13, with the other half shouting: “They are drunk!”

 

SMALL GROUPS

 

You will need: copies of the questions below; Bibles

Break into small groups – made up of one or two families, or different mixed-age

groups – and give each group a copy of these questions and a Bible:

 

•     If you had been in the room with the disciples, what would you have thought?

•     If you had been in the crowd and heard the disciples, what would you have thought?

•     What do you think this all means?

•     What do you know of the Holy Spirit?

Give the groups time to chat about these questions, referring to the Bible passage if they need to.

 

 

REVIEW

 

You will need: a roving mic (if needed)  Get some feedback on questions two and three from ‘Small groups’ using a micro-

phone to hear people’s contributions if your meeting space is large.

 

RESPONSE ACTIVITIES

 

Set these three activities up in different parts of your meeting space. Explain what each one is and encourage people to go to the one that will help them process what they have discovered most effectively.

 

OPTION 1: Art

You will need: art materials Encourage the congregation to create a

picture of the events from the Bible story or a response to what God has been saying to

them today. You may want to encourage some discussion about the story as people work.

 

OPTION 2: Discussion

You will need: volunteers to facilitate discussion; paper and pens

Gather people together in small groups, each with a facilitator, and challenge them to think about the difference the things they have discovered today will make in their lives.

 

OPTION 3: Evangelism

You will need: paper and pens

Ask people in the group what they can do to tell others about Jesus, as Peter goes on to do in the rest of Acts 2. Help people come up with a plan of what they might do at work, school or college. Then pray together, asking the Holy Spirit to help you.

 

CLOSING

 

Bring everyone back together and ask if anyone would like to share what they did, thought about or discussed during the response time. Thank everyone for taking part and say an appropriate blessing to close the service.

 

CREATIVE WORSHIP SUGGESTIONS

 

Use flame-coloured flags and ribbons during sung worship to echo the Spirit in the story. Leave art materials out for people to use to worship God as others sing.