The Bible Reading Fellowship's Barnabas
website has several very good teaching ideas for Pentecost, as for many other
This teaching activity is based on a
combination of a couple of different Barnabas suggestions: a dramatic reading by Lucy Moore and a drama game by Lucy Moore and Martin Payne.
leader explains that today is Pentecost, when we celebrate the church's
birthday. Questions draw out the children's knowledge of the
Crucifixion, Resurrection and Ascension, and the leader explains Jesus'
promise that after He went back to heaven God's Holy Spirit would be with
His people for ever.
- The story
of the first Pentecost (from Acts 2.1-21) is read. Lucy Moore's
dramatic reading is an enormously effective way of doing this - see below
for one way of laying it out.
leader invites the children to the front to explore what we mean by "the
power of the Holy Spirit", using an activity based on Lucy Moore and
Martin Payne's drama game "Clockwork Power". After all the
children have had a turn, explain that the Christian life is not always
easy but Jesus promised that God's Holy Spirit would be with us for ever,
to power us in our Christian lives. We just have to ask for God's help:
for His Spirit to fill us.
- An adult
to lead the teaching.
- Up to 12
readers for the dramatic reading. A version for six people is
- All the
children in church can be involved in the drama game.
for each person involved in the dramatic reading.
- If you're
using the dramatic reading then the level of preparation will depend on
how many people you wish to involve, and how confident you are that the
people you choose will be in church that week. One option is to
give out the scripts in the week beforehand, to six (or more) regular
members of your congregation who were willing to commit to being in
church that Sunday (much longer notice might have introduced a greater
element of uncertainty to their attendance). The main reason for giving
out these scripts beforehand is that it's unfair to spring the reading's
many 'difficult' place names on people five minutes before the service.
The readers can then have a run-through together when they arrive in
church just before the service. If you're including many more people then
you might feel you want to give them more of a chance to rehearse
together, but on the other hand higher numbers do make it harder for
people to arrange to get together. You'll be guided by your knowledge of
your congregation in this matter.
is a Jewish festival which in Old Testament times celebrated the first
fruits of the early Spring harvest. By the time of the New
Testament it had begun to focus more on God's gift of the Law on Mount
Sinai. It was this festival that Jesus' followers had gathered to
celebrate when they first experienced the Holy Spirit at work amongst
them. For Christians, Pentecost is a celebration of the birth of our
church: the coming of the Holy Spirit to empower God's people to follow
Jesus Christ's example and to share His love with the world.
- The drama
games are intended to help the children to understand a bit about what is
meant by the Holy Spirit "empowering" us to live out our lives as
Christians. Ask them for examples of things that need some kind of
"power" to work. Try to prompt them to come up with examples that use as
many different sorts of power as possible: diesel, electricity, petrol,
gas, clockwork, batteries, calories, wind, moving water, and so on. Every
time a child thinks of an example, ask him or her to act out that object
- or you could ask more than one child to get together to act out some
objects. Lucy Moore suggests asking the children to act out real objects
and then their clockwork counterparts, too.
Pentecost Dramatic Reading
Follow this link to a version of Lucy
Moore's dramatic reading, adapted for six readers.
There are six scripts here, each with one of the reader's speaking parts
highlighted in bold type. There is one section in which increasing numbers
of people say different words simultaneously, to highlight the babble of
different tongues heard at Pentecost. In another section, increasing
numbers of people join in with the words of a Psalm, creating a crescendo
of praise to God. It really doesn't take much practice for confident
readers to create a very powerful effect.