The Holy Spirit. Leader Guide Unit 6 lesson 3

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1 The Holy Spirit Leader Guide Unit 6 lesson 3

2 Scripture Acts 2:1 13 Lesson Overview: Spiritual Dimension As concrete thinkers, preteens tend to have some very interesting ideas about who the Holy Spirit is. Let s face it: the whole concept of the Trinity and the Holy Spirit isn t an easy one for even adults to fully wrap their minds around. There are some key teachings on the person of the Holy Spirit that we need to impart to our students. First, they need to understand that the Holy Spirit is a person, not a force or a small green grasshopper that tells us when we shouldn t do something. Second, they need to understand why God has gifted us with the person of the Holy Spirit. The Helper is there to do just that help. Whether or not students can fully embrace the idea of God living in us, or the idea of God in three persons, they can identify with personal traits and the need for help in their lives. Helping them understand these truths will give them a foundation upon which they can continue to discover the wonder of the Holy Spirit. Biblical Commentary Acts 2:1 13 brings the long-awaited Helper that Jesus had promised the disciples. Pentecost was a Jewish harvest festival that was celebrated on the fiftieth day after Passover. It celebrated the end of the barley harvest and the beginning of the wheat harvest. As Jesus followers are gathered together, the Holy Spirit comes to them with the sound of a violent blowing wind, and tongues of fire come to rest on each person. It would seem that the separation of the tongues of fire signals that, from this point on, God s presence will not just rest with Israel, but with each individual. As the Holy Spirit filled each person, they began to speak in other tongues. When God-fearing Jews (verse 5) heard them, they were amazed. They Jews couldn t understand how Galileans could be doing this. Galilee was not viewed by those in Jerusalem as an impressive place to call home. Two responses can be seen to this amazing event. The first is one of wonder at what God is doing now. The second was ridicule. Many of the Jews were amazed, but still others accused the Spirit-filled people of being drunk. Rejection will become a common theme in Acts, and for the early church. Reflect on these themes: Would you describe your life as being filled with the Spirit? Why or why not? Do you really believe the Holy Spirit will empower you? If you had been in the crowd that day and heard the speaking of tongues, how would you have responded? Think about your students: Do your students understand who the Holy Spirit is? How can you help them understand that they can be filled with the Holy Spirit? What things might be standing in the way of your students grasping whom the Holy Spirit and his role in their lives? Resources Bibles Pens and markers Whiteboard Copies of handout Translated sentences (for activity in Explore section) The Last Remaining Languages video clip: Messages to Parents and Preteens For Preteens: The following are a couple of text messages, Tweets, or Facebook statuses you could send out to preteens in order to promote the meeting and prepare them for it. Read Acts 2:1 13 this week and bring your questions. Talking about the gift of the Holy Spirit this week. Bring your questions and your language dictionary! 2

3 For Parents: Here are some text messages to get parents and preteens talking before your next meeting, and a follow-up to equip parents to continue encouraging their preteens to engage in the mission of God. Read Acts 2:1 13 this week with your preteen. Spend time talking about how you would have responded if you were there. Talking about the gift of the Holy Spirit this week. Share your thoughts about the Holy Spirit with your preteen. Dear Parents, This week we are continuing our series entitled Purpose. In this unit we are looking at the mission of the church. This week we studied the arrival of the Holy Spirit that Jesus had promised his followers. The Holy Spirit plays a huge role in the mission of the church, and he enables and empowers all that we do. Here are some questions to keep your dialogue going with your preteen: Who is the Holy Spirit? Why is the Holy Spirit so important for accomplishing the mission Jesus has set before us? How can we listen to the Holy Spirit in our own lives this week? Let me know if you have any questions as we continue through this series. Thanks for sharing your preteen with us. 3

4 Lesson Guide Before your meeting, gather some sentences and translate them into other languages using a web site like microsofttranslator.com/ or even on your smart phone. Be creative. You can even make the sentences about the kids in your group for more fun. Make sure you write down the translation, too. Explore Student Goal: Students will understand that they need help. Welcome your students and open with prayer. ASK: How many of you take a foreign language at school? What is difficult about learning another language? Does anyone know how to say There s a horse in the library in Spanish? (Hay un caballo en la biblioteca) SAY something like: Learning another language can be really difficult and trying to talk with someone who doesn t speak your language can be very frustrating. Let s see how you do with some of these phrases from other languages. Read off the sentences and have your students try to guess what they say. You can give them a hint by translating one or two words for them. After they have gone through all the sentences, tell them what they mean. SAY something like: That was kind of fun, but still frustrating. Now imagine you had something really important to say to someone, but you didn t speak the language. That would be really frustrating. In order to tell them what you needed them to know, you would have to find someway to communicate with them. You would need help. Today we are going to be talking about the ultimate Helper, the Holy Spirit. Encounter Student Goal: Students will understand the impact the Holy Spirit had on the early church. SAY something like: Last week we discussed job Jesus left the disciples to do after he went to heaven. When Jesus told them they were to take the good news to the whole world, he also said he was sending them some help. Let s read about that perfect help. Read Acts 2:1 13 together. ASK: Who is the Helper that Jesus promised would come and help? Why did God give these followers the ability to speak in other languages? What are the two responses of the people who hear this? SAY something like: When the Holy Spirit comes to the followers of Jesus, they are suddenly able to share the good news in many languages. The people in the crowd had come from many other countries. When they heard the good news in their own language, they were amazed. The Holy Spirit allows them to share in this way. Without the Holy Spirit, they never would have been able to share as they did. Now that s some help. I want to share a video with you guys from some other people who need to hear the good news and need some help. Show the video clip from The Seed Company (details in the Resources section). ASK: How does it make you feel knowing there are people who have never heard about Jesus? How many of you have a Bible at home? More than one? Do you think we take our bibles for granted here in our country? Why or why not? SAY something like: The Holy Spirit helped the disciples and followers speak other languages in order to start doing the mission of God, which is reaching others with the good news of Jesus. That was the job he gave them and it s the job he gives us. In order to accomplish it, though, we need help and the Holy Spirit is there to help us. Engage Student Goal: Students will understand the role the Holy Spirit plays in their lives. ASK: If you suddenly had the ability to speak other languages, what s the first thing you would do? What was the first thing the disciples did? 4

5 SAY something like: Jesus had told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit. Once the Holy Spirit came, they got busy doing what Jesus had told them to do, sharing the good news. Jesus had given them a huge, important job to do, and they got started right away. Jesus asks you and me to do the same thing. He wants us to share the good news about him. And just like those first followers of Jesus, we also get help from the Holy Spirit. Let s take a look at some of the ways the Holy Spirit helps us. Read John 16:13. ASK: Does the Holy Spirit sound like a force or a person in this verse? Explain. What are some of the things the Holy Spirit does? (Write these responses on the white board.) Read through the following verses and discuss with your students the many roles of the Holy Spirit: Romans 5:5 (God loves us through the Holy Spirit); 1 Corinthians 6:19 (the Holy Spirit lives in us); 2 Corinthians 13:14 (we have fellowship with the Holy Spirit); 2 Timothy 1:14 (the Holy Spirit helps us); Titus 3:5 (the Holy Spirit renews us); Hebrews 2:4 (the Holy Spirit gives gifts); 2 Peter 1:21 (the Holy Spirit directed the writing of Scripture); Romans 8:26 (prays for us) SAY something like: When we make the decision to invite God into our hearts, we also invite the Holy Spirit, who is God. This is a gift God gives us. The Holy Spirit helps us in lots of different ways if we allow him to. God gave us the Holy Spirit so we could share the good news with other people. Are you asking the Holy Spirit to help you share the good news? Right now, think of one or two people you would like to share the good news of Jesus with. Closing Close your time together by praying and asking the Holy Spirit to make us bold as we share the good news with other people. Ask your students to specifically ask the Holy Spirit to help them share the good news with the person(s) they just thought of. 5

6 Language Match EXPLORE: Before your meeting time, make matches of words (one in English and one in another language, such as Hello and Hola ). Write the words on index cards and hand one half of each set to each of your students. Explain that when you say go, they must find the other half of their match. The first match to find each other wins. Choose fun words and lots of fun languages by visiting Remember to keep a master list for yourself so you don t forget. Share Your Experience encounter: Have your preteens pair up with another student. Ask each student to take turns sharing what the Holy Spirit has done in his or her life and telling the other person about Jesus. This will help them get practice for sharing the good news with friends who don t know Jesus yet. Francis Chan clip Creative Options ENGAGE: Show this clip about the Holy Spirit featuring Francis Chan: This short message focuses on the role of the Holy Spirit in the church today. After watching the clip, ask your students where they see the Holy Spirit at work in the church. Also ask them where they don t see him, but want to see him. 6

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