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Free Workshop Rotation Model Lessons - Season 2

 A lesson for

Middle School Sunday School   |    Youth Group    |     High School Sunday School

Curriculum > Youth > Year 1 > Lesson 20


  • What does Jesus tell the disciples to do?
  • What do the disciples receive when they do what they were told to do?
  • What does this story say about Jesus' ministry?


  • Device that allows class to view this video clip (from the movie How to Train
    Your Dragon 2
  • Print out and then cut out words for activity of "Catch Phrase" - print from this .PDF
  • You'll want a bag or bowl to put the cut-out words in, also
  • A timer that can easily count down 45 seconds (a smart phone or stopwatch would work well)



  • We start today’s class with the opening question. One of the teachers will ask the question and then to give you some time to think of an answer, the teacher asking the question will also answer first to give you some time to think.
  • Once the teacher answers the question, we'll go around the circle.
  • When it's your turn, start with your name and then answer the question to the best of your ability.
  • Here's this week's question:  What's a trick you've learned to help you do something better that you would be willing to share with the rest of us? (For example, when using Microsoft Word, pressing the shift key + F3 key will toggle the caps/case of the letters of the word your cursor is on. Or, when trying to give a pill to a dog, wrap it in a soft treat, like a small balled-up piece of bread. Or, when learning to water ski, keep your eyes on the boat in front of you and not on your skis).


  • In today's scripture story, we'll read the story of Pentecost.
  • Together, the disciples listen to and obey Jesus' instructions that then result in receiving God's Holy Spirit
  • One of the results that happens after receiving the Holy Spirit is that more people have a chance to hear about and learn about God.
  • As we'll see, this happens because there's a lot of communication with groups of people taking place.
  • To get started, we're going to explore how difficult a result this is to achieve. Because, successful communication with large groups of people is not an easy thing to accomplish - having lots of people try and understand one person can just as often result in confusion and not clarity.
  • To help us understand how groups of people might misunderstand what a person is saying, we're going to do an activity where one person tries to communicate to us and the group will have to try and figure out what that one person is trying to communicate


  • Here is a bowl with slips of paper in it.
  • Each slip of paper has a word on it.
  • There will be two teams
  • One person from one team will come up to the front and take a slip of paper.
  • Using whatever words or actions the person wants OTHER THAN SAYING THE ACTUAL WORD ON THE PAPER - the person will try to get their team to guess the word on the paper.
  • If the team guesses correctly, the team gets a point, and the person takes another piece of paper and does it all over again.
  • If the word is too hard, the person has one "pass" to use per 45 seconds - no point or penalty will be assessed.
  • The person will have 45 seconds to get their team to guess as many words as possible.
  • Then someone from the other team will come up and do the same thing for their team.
  • Any questions?


Use the words from this .PDF list


  • In the last few classes, we've been talking about the "fight or flight" response to situations -- that when we are in stressful situations, our biological response is to run away or fight.
  • For instance, we saw how the Pharisees chose to fight Jesus.
  • But, we also saw that Jesus chose neither option of fight or flight, but instead chose to respond to the Pharisees with a prayerful decision.
  • The result of this prayerful decision was not easy on Jesus - he was killed because of it.
  • So at first, it looked like the Pharisees chose the more powerful response, right? It looked like they had won…
  • But once Jesus is resurrected, we then see that God's way of life is better and more powerful than the results of a fight or flight response.
  • We saw that the Pharisees' way of living and their decision-making resulted only in death.
  • And we saw that God's way of life did not end with death, but continued with more life
  • During our last lesson, we looked at how Jesus' prayerful decision and resulting resurrection started to become contagious and spread to his disciples.
  • Resurrected Jesus reminded the disciples to not be scared and run away (to their old lives), but to go out and share God's (better) way of life with others.
  • In today's story, known as the Pentecost story, we'll see how the disciples finally start sharing God's way of life with others and then, how God's way of life continues to be passed on by the disciples
  • Let's see what happens

READ SCRIPTURE ACTS 1:1-14; 2:1-9, 12-13, 38-41

Recommend class reads it out loud; one person per verse

Acts 1:1 In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning 2 until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. 3 After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over the course of forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. 4 While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. 'This', he said, 'is what you have heard from me;5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.'

6 So when they had come together, they asked him, 'Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?' 7 He replied, 'It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.' 9 When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.10 While he was going and they were gazing up towards heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. 11 They said, 'Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up towards heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.'

12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day's journey away. 13 When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying, Peter, and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. 14 All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.

2:1 When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.3 Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

5 Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. 6 And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each.7 Amazed and astonished, they asked, 'Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? 12 All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, 'What does this mean?' 13 But others sneered and said, 'They are filled with new wine.'

38 Peter said to them, 'Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.' 40 And he testified with many other arguments and exhorted them, saying, 'Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.' 41 So those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons were added.

ASK  – answers are in parenthesis

  • Verse 1:4 - What does Jesus tell the disciples to do? (stay together in Jerusalem)
  • Verse 1:5 - And what is being promised would happen if they stay in Jerusalem? (they will be baptized by the Holy Spirit)
  • Verse 1:6-7 - What do you think - are the disciples following a red herring, again (term from last lesson)? (Yes. But let's not be too hard on them. Jesus isn't. Jesus just gets them back on track by telling them what to expect when they are baptized with the Holy Spirit)
  • Verse 1:9 - Where does Jesus go? (up)
  • And, he doesn't come back. Anyone think they remember the fancy word for Resurrected Jesus' departure? (the Ascension)
  • Verse 1:12-13 - What do you think -- did the disciples listen to Jesus?
  • Verse 1:14 - What did the disciples do when they were together? (constantly devote themselves to prayer)
  • End of verse 1:14 - who is with the disciples? (certain women, Jesus mother and Jesus' brothers. The women, we've seen in other stories are just as devoted as the regular 12 disciples, but Mary (mom) and his brothers haven't been. This is a change in behavior for them, but it looks like they've become disciples, too, of Jesus - this is somewhat reminiscent of Joseph's 11 brothers eventually bowing down to Joseph, once they were all in Egypt)
  • Verse 2:2-4 - So they are all together and praying when what happens?   (the Holy Spirit arrives, like flames, and they are able to speak different languages - they were probably suddenly really good at "Catch Phrase")
  • Verse 2:8 - What ability is being confirmed by the crowd? (that the disciples are speaking different languages and being understood in those different languages)
  • Verse 2:38 - What does Peter say to the crowd that they can receive? (the Holy Spirit)
  • Verse 2:41 - How many people appeared to believe Peter? (3000)


  • The disciples finally get it.
  • They stop getting distracted.
  • They stop being scared.
  • They do what Jesus says.
  • They stay together.
  • They pray.
  • And then they receive God's Holy Spirit
  • Just like Jesus received God's Holy Spirit when he was baptized.
  • Once the disciples receive God's Holy Spirit, they then go out and share it, just like Jesus did.
  • The result is that the disciples now have their own disciples. Again, this is just like what Jesus did.
  • Which means the cycle of Jesus' ministry is starting all over! Only this time, instead of there just being one teacher (Jesus), there are a bunch of teachers (the original disciples).
  • Jesus' resurrection is an amazing thing - and we pay attention to it for good reason.
  • But Pentecost is just as amazing - it is the success story of Jesus' ministry: His students figured out what Jesus was teaching and are then able to continue Jesus' work.
  • And really, until this very story, there are very few indications (if any) to suggest the disciples were ever actually going to figure it out.
  • But they do.
  • And if they disciples can get it right, that means we can, too, if we choose.


  • So…what we see with the disciples in today's story is that they've learned to receive God's Holy Spirit just like Jesus did at his baptism.
  • And then they were able to do some amazing things, like communicate across many languages.
  • By practicing the same things that Jesus taught them, the disciples were then able to do some of the same things Jesus could do.
  • Let's watch a movie clip, now, that shows a similar situation of one person learning from another "person" or rather - in this case -- a flying dragon.
  • Hiccup is a boy who has befriended Toothless, a flying dragon. And they've been learning to fly together.
  • As they've figured out the basics, new issues have revealed themselves. For instance, what if Hiccup were to fall off of Toothless, what would happen to him?
  • In the following clip from "How to Train Your Dragon 2," let's look for what Hiccup's back up plan is should he fall off of Toothless mid-flight…


ASK – answers are in parenthesis

  • What contraption Hiccup using in the clip should he fall off of Toothless mid-flight?  (a flying suit)
  • Did it appear that the suit was similar to something else? (yes -- the wings and tail of the Toothless)
  • Did it look like the suit was working? (oh yeah! looked fun, in a terrifying way)
  • What made the practicing of the flying suit seem less risky/terrifying than it could have been? (the dragon was available to help Hiccup if something went wrong)
  • At the end of the clip, what was Toothless doing to prolong / improve Hiccup's flight experience? (was putting hot air under his "wings" so that he could higher instead of lower)


  • What I like about this clip is that Hiccup's flying suit is built on the same principles of the invention he initially built for Toothless that allowed Toothless to fly again (after an injury in a previous movie)
  • And then, once they are both able to fly, Toothless uses bursts of hot air to help Hiccup stay in the air.
  • Together, they have a flying good time that neither one of them could have experienced individually.  
  • The story of Pentecost is very much the same type of story.
  • The disciples learned to live the way Jesus invited them to live - by inviting God into their daily lives - and once the disciples learned and then were committed to living that way, they receive God's Holy Spirit just like Jesus did during his baptism.
  • What we see in today's story is that this way of being that the disciples learned from Jesus was attractive to others – so much so that 3000 people decided to accept this better invitation in one day!
  • Or put another way, in the same way Hiccup wanted to fly like Toothless, so too did 3000 individuals want to learn from the disciples how to do what the disciples had learned from Jesus.
  • And to tie this back to our previous session, all of this is happens because Jesus kept choosing God's way - instead of fight or flight -- and in so doing, he kept inviting others to choose God's way, too.  
  • In our next lesson, we'll look at some other things the disciples learned by following Jesus.


This material is the copyrighted property of and Nathanael Vissia. It is also free. Please use, improve and share this material. But you may not sell it or require any personal information for it.

Acts 1:1-14 and Acts 2:1-41



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