“Suddenly a sound from heaven like the howling of a fierce wind filled the entire house where they were sitting” (Acts 2:2).
Scripture: Acts 2:1-13
Theme: Pentecost, the Holy Spirit
Supplies: You’ll need a plain kite for each person and some thinline permanent markers.
Overview: The story of the first Christian Pentecost (see Acts 2:1-41) tells of how the Holy Spirit came down “like the howling of a fierce wind” and filled the apostles. The Greek word that is translated “Holy Spirit,” pneuma (NOO-muh), also means “wind” or “breath.” Help your youth experience the Pentecost story by gathering to tell it outside on a very windy day. Provide kites, on which youth will write individual prayers, and then watch their prayers soar in the wind.
Opening Words: Say something like, “We’re going to take advantage of this windy day as an opportunity to reflect on and experience the story of Pentecost. The Bible says that, on Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came down with ‘a sound from heaven like the howling of a fierce wind.’ We often associate the Holy Spirit with wind. In fact, the Greek word that is translated ‘Holy Spirit,’ pneuma (NOO-muh), also means ‘wind’ or ‘breath.’ As we feel the wind on our faces today, let’s pray to be filled with the Holy Spirit to do God’s work in the world.”
“Holy Spirit, Rain Down” (Russell Fragar)
“Come, Holy Spirit” (Mark Foreman)
Scripture Reading: Ask for some volunteers to take turns reading aloud the Pentecost story from Acts 2:1-13.
Activity: Go Fly a Kite
Talk with youth about the first Pentecost. Help them imagine the Holy Spirit coming down in such a tangible and incredible way. Ask them to imagine the feeling of being filled with the Holy Spirit in that setting and the excitement of a Christian movement being born. Ask the youth, “What would it be like if we were so filled with the Holy Spirit that thousands of people around us came to believe in Jesus?”
Now ask the youth to reflect on these questions and thoughts as they write the Scripture verse Acts 2:2 on their individual kites, along with a brief prayer for them to be Jesus to people they meet. Before flying the kites, allow any youth who wish to read aloud their prayers.
After youth have read aloud prayers, help students get their kites in the air (if they need help). Once everyone has their kite up and flying, read aloud Acts 2:1-13 again as their prayers reach upward. Then allow youth to have some fun simply running around and flying their kites.
Closing: As you prepare to leave, gather together and pray, asking God to fill your group with the Holy Spirit and to give all of you the strength, the courage, and the faith to tell the world about God’s love and salvation in Jesus Christ.
This worship experience is an excerpt from the new book Worship Feast: Outdoors, by Jenny Youngman.