A class / session for a Childrens' Club, ages 3-6 (UK Foundation + KS1)
Memory Verse: John 14v16
We did this at our "HotShots PLUS" club, and it went down really well...
To get the ball rolling, ask the children if they can remember what they did at Easter.
Remind the children of the Easter events - get them to tell you what happened. If they know about the Ascension, let them tell you about that, otherwise mention it briefly.
To help us think about Easter, this song focusses on the cross as where we see God's love (1 John 4:9-10), and also talks about the Resurrection and what it means for us today.
Get them to think about what it would be like for Jesus' friends without him! eg: "Once Jesus had gone back to heaven, he wasn't there - how do you think Jesus' friends would feel without him?"
Explain that it's OK, because the night before Jesus died, he made a promise to his friends.
Read them John 14v15-17 (our focus is on v16)
Jesus promised that when he went back to heaven they wouldn't be on their own, but that they would have God with them. "God with them" would be the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus called "the Helper" (ESV / GNB ).
Let's see how that happened...
Don't be scared by puppets - no-one looks at your lips once the puppet's talking. Or you can do "cuddly toy whispers in my ear" puppetry: "Oh, what's that teddy? [put teddy by your ear] Oh, you want the children to sing a song? [put teddy by your ear] but you want them to do it standing on their heads?..."
Puppet asks the children to say "hello" to him. Then he asks if they can do it in any different languages. Here you might need to do some homework on the internet. You might even be able to find some recordings that they can copy.
Puppet explains that Jesus wanted his friends to talk to lots of people about him. But if you want to talk to lots of people, you need to speak lots of languages - and when the Holy Spirit came, that's what God helped them to do.
Tell the story, getting the children to act out bits - like the noise when the Spirit came, use a hand to be the flame above their heads, and get them to say "hello" in lots of languages for v6.
I'd suggest reading to v8, then explaining that lots of people were there from lots of different countries with funny names.
Bring the threads together:
You can use questions to help the children to get these points. Eg: "Can anyone remember what Jesus promised his friends?" etc
We finished with this. It is a memory verse 'rap', with some background music. There are parts for a leader and for everyone else. We learnt it first and then did it to the backing track. The kids got it really easily.
Two other Holy Spirit songs you could use are:
The headband is made from card, stapled or stuck to fit.
The flames are coloured paper, glue on.
The tube is rolled cardboard, the 'flames' are cellophane, or tissue paper, or just coloured paper.
You can find the windsock idea on google. We found that by shrinking the tube, the children could blow through it to move the flames. It also made a good rushing sound...
Get everyone under the chute (with the chute under their bottoms) as you talk about the disciples inside the house.
Then get outside the chute, and make big waves to make a lot of rushing sound.
Then float the chute up and all let go at once (ha ha) for tongues of fire!
Relay race, but instead of passing a baton, they say "Jesus is the Saviour of the World" to the next person
Because the HS was helping the disciples to go to the ends of the world. Give each corner of the room a country, perhaps one that you learnt to say "hello" for earlier. Shout out a country, or "hello" in that language, and the children run to that corner. If you want to be competitive, the last one there can be 'out'.
At various times during the year, Christians like to zoom in on special events in Jesus' life, and important celebrations in the church's life.
Of course, Christmas and Easter are the biggest and best festivals, celebrating Jesus' birth, and then his amazing death and resurrection for us. Another favourite is Harvest, when we say "Thank you!" to God for his wonderful provision of food.
At these times, its great to have special songs for children to sing in church, or in their Sunday schools and clubs, midweek clubs and school assemblies. We all need songs for kids that are based on the Bible and take it seriously, while still being great fun to sing and memorable. We need songs that can be part of a church's worship together, as well as being enjoyable to sing in the car on the way home. That's what we've got here - not so many you'll be confused, but just enough great songs to help you out.
All the songs are available in a variety of forms - Sheet Music in PDF format, as MP3 downloads (both full tracks and backing tracks), and on good-old audio CDs.