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Free Workshop Rotation Model Lessons - Season 2

 A lesson for

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Curriculum > Youth > Year 2 > Lesson 3


  • Read the story of Pentecost
  • Focus on the difficulty of language (again) and how God helps us with this difficulty
  • Highlight the similarities and differences between Pentecost and Tower of Babel stories


  • Device that allows class to view this video clip (from the movie Gridiron Gang)
  • Words for Mad Gab activity (download and print this .PDF)



  • 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 is something you like to do with a group of people?


  • Our last two classes have been about language and today's class will be about that too
  • In the first class, we read and discussed how God created using language
  • In the second class, we read and discussed the story of Babel, a story where humans attempt create things without inviting God into their communication causing the building project to fall apart.  
  • In today's story, we're going to jump into the New Testament and read a story that's probably pretty familiar to us: Pentecost.
  • In so doing, we'll also be talking a little bit more about … talking.
  • To help us get warmed up for the story, though, let's do the following activity of MadGab


  • The way Madgab works is that a number of words are put together that, at first, do not make sense when said aloud.
  • But, if said fast enough or slow enough, they will form a phrase that might sound like something else, something that makes sense.   
  • For example, consider the words of "Dear Scott."
  • The person reading the phrase will say it slow, will say it fast, will say it a lot.
  • But, as the listener, you might eventually hear the phrase: "Dearest God."
  • We will split into two teams.
  • The team that's "up" will get 1 minute to guess the phrase.
  • If you don't guess it correctly within the minute, then the other team gets 15 seconds to correctly guess the phrase and then "steal" the point.
  • Every correct answer is worth 1 point.
  • Teams will take turns.  
  • One of the teachers will be the all-time reader.
  • The first set of phrases and names are from the Bible and then depending on the time, we might do some different phrases as well.
  • Any questions?


Use words from this .PDF list


  • Were you able to guess any phrases that you had not heard before?
  • Were the phrases you had heard before easier to guess than the ones you hadn't heard before?
  • This game is the reverse of what usually happens in life, where we say something clearly, but someone hears it incorrectly.
  • Or, take for example what autocorrect does on our phones - it thinks it knows what we're saying and adds or changes words that we've said/typed and then gets it wrong in a funny way.
  • In other words, communication can be difficult.
  • But in today's story, we see just the opposite happen.
  • We see communication get easier (at least for some of the people for some of the time)
  • Let's see what happens in it

READ SCRIPTURE ACTS 1:12-14, 2:1-13, 38-47

Recommend class reads it out loud; one person per verse

Acts 1:12 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.

Acts 2:1 When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. 4All 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? 9 Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs-in our own languages we hear them speaking about God's deeds of power." 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.

42 They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. 44 All who believed were together and had all things in common; 45 they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.

ASK – answers are in parenthesis

  • In verse 1:14, what are the disciples doing? (are together in a room, devoting themselves to prayer)
  • In verse 2:1, are the disciples still together? (yes)
  • In verse 2:4, what are the disciples filled with? (the Holy Spirit)
  • And what does the Holy Spirit give the disciples the ability to do? (speak in other languages)
  • Verse 2:6 - what gathers around the disciples after they've received the Holy Spirit? (quite the crowd)
  • Verse 2:8 - why are the people in the crowd amazed and astonished? (because they can understand what is being said in their own native language)
  • Verse 2:9-11 - Are there a lot of different languages represented in the crowd? (yes)
  • Verse 41 - How many people listen to Peter and decide to sign-up and learn from him and the other disciples? (3000)
  • Verse 42 - 47 - after the event of Pentecost, does it sound like the disciples and the new people who had signed up were still getting along, communicating, and staying together? (sounds like, yes)


  • First thing to remember about this story is that it, Pentecost, is considered the birth of the church.
  • It highlights the graduation of the disciples to apostles, focuses on the amazing transformation that takes place for Peter, and speaks to the continuation of Jesus' resurrection.
  • In other words, there is a lot going on in the story!
  • But for today, we're going to look at how language brings people together and how it is a story that is directly opposite of the Tower of Babel.
  • At the start of the Tower of Babel story, we saw how the people could all speak the same language
  • Their goal was to build a city and tower that would make a name for themselves and keep them from being scattered.
  • The result, though, was that the tower wasn't finished and they all ended up speaking different languages and then went in different directions.
  • When we talked about that story last week, one of the things we discussed was how the people hadn't invited God into their planning and how their communication didn't go well because they hadn't invited God into it.   
  • In today's story, we see the result of the Tower of Babel story being undone.
  • We see the solution and reversal  to the Tower of Babel story
  • Pentecost starts a small group of people who gathered together to invite God into their lives.
  • And then, we see that small group speak to a much larger group of people - all of whom are speaking different languages.
  • But as the small group of people speak with God's help, the larger group understands them.
  • And by the end of the story, at least some of the people in that larger group decide they want to stay gathered with the disciples.
  • Pentecost story is the opposite of the Tower of Babel story, but it has the outcome (made a name for themselves and kept the people from being scattered) the people in the Tower of Babel wanted, but didn't get.


  • In the first class of this session, we talked about how God created with words and then gave words to us, humans.
  • In the second class, we read a story of how people were scattered when they tried to use words without inviting God into their words
  • In today's class, we see how inviting God into their lives helped the disciples better communicate with each other and others.
  • In our movie clip from The Gridiron Gang, we're going to see something similar happen.
  • Two coaches who coach a team of high school students who have troubled pasts are trying to find other high schools to play against.
  • It doesn't go so well, until…
  • Let's see what happens


ASK – answers are in parenthesis

  • What was the response of the first three football coaches that the main two coaches talked with? (No, no, and no)
  • Was "no" the initial answer of the fourth coach as well? (yes)
  • What changed the fourth coach's mind? (simple answer: Because Jesus said so!  Complex answer:  both coaches spoke a common language, the language of God as the ultimate authority)


  • I like this clip because, once God is introduced, then the coaches are able to "speak each other's language" so to speak.
  • And that language, with God invited into it, changes the one coach's mind.  
  • It is that possible outcome that I hope you can see when we put together all three of the stories from this session and look at them together
  • We see that God gave us the same tool that God used to create with.
  • We then see that using words without God makes things difficult. Words are hard.
  • But, we also see that when we seek God first, when we pay attention to God, then we will be better at using language.
  • We get better at naming things.  
  • We get better at speaking to others.
  • And, because we are asking for God's help, better understanding can happen between you and others.   
  • Language isn't easy to master, and in order to use it best, and avoid the pitfalls of using it incorrectly, consider asking God for help, even with our everyday conversations.


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Acts 1:12-14 and Acts 2:1-47

Pentecost and Language


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