The Book of Acts
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Take your students on a journey through the Book of Acts where they will learn lessons from the early church after Jesus ascended to heaven and believers received the gift of the Holy Spirit. Students will learn how they too can live a powerful life serving Jesus as the Holy Spirit empowers them.
Access to all 34 sessions on the book of Acts which are presented in chronological order, plus Bible activity worksheets, accessible here. Session titles include:
Children aged 9-11 but can be adapted and used for younger ages too. Small groups. Enquiring, Beginning, Growing. Holiday clubs. Children’s church.
Good. Presentation is all online, but can be printed or displayed in pdf format as needed. Headings and subheadings are clear with explicit links to other resources or websites.
The first session is an overview of the series which follows; this clearly states the lesson objective and gives context to the series. Each session after this has a clear ‘learning goal’ and ‘learning indicators’ to help the teacher know what the participants should be taking away. The ‘learning goal’ is based on the specific passage of the Bible focused on and links this to what children should take away so is comprehensive in telling teachers what is covered.
The leader’s notes are very accessible and comprehensive. The subheadings are clear and the narrative easy to follow. This means the narrative can be used itself for the full session, or leaders can choose to deviate depending on their context and confidence. There are context and background notes which are given throughout for the leader, which are then to be taught to children too.
Children’s workers, aspiring children’s workers and adults passionate about bringing children to Jesus. The comprehensive but simple nature of these sessions means they can be used in various contexts by a range of leaders to teach children about Jesus.
Participant resources vary depending on the session. Some have colouring sheets which are relevant to the story, others have external links and each session includes a supply list which have some element that the children end up taking away. These are all simple to prepare and linked to the stories covered.
Digital material is external to the sessions themselves. For example, there may be a suggestion for specific music, a link to a topical website or a suggested video to watch. All are helpful in reinforcing the teaching aims, but are not explicitly produced by Ministry-To-Children.
Preparation depends on context, however these resources have been produced with an assumed running time of 60 minutes in Sunday School, for ages 9-11. The sessions are flexible and can also be used for younger children (by adapting some of the questions) or in children’s church, holiday clubs or small groups. Preparation is relatively minimal regardless, as there is a supply list at the beginning of each session which consists of standard craft cupboard or home cupboard resources to collate. Leaders need to make sure they have any links loaded, puzzle sheets printed and the session printed too if they prefer to run the session from a hard copy.
The nature of this resource is that it is accessible online so there are various activity sheets which can be printed and used and some guidelines offered through Ministry-To-Children. Some sessions include website links to topical sites e.g. https://www.persecution.com so leaders should check these are working and are appropriate. N.B. A few links for these sessions have been found to navigate to non-working pages.
Interaction is encouraged via discussion and learning activities as well as the teachings themselves. The learning activities are listed at the beginning of the sessions, and some Bible teachings encourage interaction by means of children getting involved in skits and dialogues. Memory verse techniques further encourage children to interact with one another and the leaders.
Comprehensive variety of learning and delivery styles. This is consistent throughout each section of the sessions and includes learning by: sketches, use of props, narratives, monologues, activity sheets, simple crafts, paper activities and many more.
These sessions are intended for use with children aged 9 - 11 years old in a Sunday school setting over a period of 60 minutes. Despite this, they are adaptable to other contexts and ages by tweaking the discussion questions slightly and can be used in children’s church, holiday clubs, after school clubs and small group sessions. The resource is intended to be used however the leader sees fit, to help children know Jesus more. There are notes for teacher’s preparation and each session includes an introductory paragraph summarising the context and teaching objective. It is made clear what children should take away from each session, and this is further enhanced by the ‘Bible story’ subheadings which outline what the sessions cover. The sessions include: Objectives, Supply list, Memory verse, Test, Bible teaching, Prayer and two or three activities. These can be used in many contexts as they do not require ample resources or a large space. Preparation is relatively minimal too: collecting activity materials, reading the resource, loading any links and printing off the session if prefered. This resource is highly adaptable to any church teaching situation, and sessions can be run in chronological order through the book of Acts, or can be done as stand-alone sessions (although each one also includes a recap of the previous session, but this may be omitted).
Children apply the material by learning memory verses and completing learning activities, but the most effective method used is a simple question and answer format at the end of each session, which solidifies knowledge and ensures that children leave the session with good answers.
The ‘Bible Story’ section accounts for approximately half of the running time i.e. 30 minutes. The rest of the material is based on activities which solidify learning and allow application by the children.
Biblical material is presented in a variety of ways throughout the series including: children or adults doing sketches, use of props, first person narratives, reading from the Bible directly and many more. The material is then applied to the various learning activities and memory verse. Leaders ask the children a series of questions about the passage and about how they can relate it to their own lives. Finally children complete a short, informal quiz to see how well they have learnt the material.
Biblical material is applied to everyday life by the use of questions and answers throughout the teaching which link the story to the children’s lives. For example, children learn about Jesus’ followers and why they were chosen; they are then asked whether the qualities which made these followers ideal for the job can be seen in them in their everyday lives and attitudes.
No, this series is open to all and does not include any specific liturgy or denominational slant.
Whole life discipleship is core to this series as the children learn about the beginning of the church, its growth and the early Christians. They are challenged to think about whether people see them as different because they are Christians and encouraged to think about why this should be so. They are challenged about their daily routines in knowing Jesus and making him known; do they spend time reading the Bible? Do they pray every day? Do they know what gifts they have been given to serve with? This series has some brilliant content for helping children grow in whole-life discipleship.
Children grow in faith in three key ways throughout this series: 1) They are given the context of the topic which makes it easier to relate to, e.g. Acts was written by Luke who was a doctor; 2) They are challenged to think about how they practise their faith day to day; 3) They learn how the topic relates to the story of the Bible as a whole.
By covering the book of Acts, children learn a whole host of messages about what God’s purposes are, and how they were rooted in the early church and first Christians. Children learn about Jesus and what he could do, they learn about salvation and how it is for everyone and they learn about the significance of events in context.
This series connects with real life issues by asking children to put themselves in the shoes of the main characters, think about how they would feel and then consider comparable experiences in their own lives. For example, children learn how God can use difficulties in their lives for good and then are challenged to think about how these challenges can make them stronger believers. They learn through the life of Stephen that troubles may come to Christians but that the reward is greater than any earthly pain. They learn about how Jesus and his disciples had the ability to heal people and that the Holy Spirit is what makes God’s power active today.
This resource has personal evangelism at its core. Despite the fact it can be used for outreach work and clubs, the content focuses heavily on evangelism through the nature of the book that is covered. Children learn all about the duties of the disciples, the responsibility all Christians have to serve God (Acts 6:1-7) and the fact that God has given us all gifts to serve and to make him known. Acts 11 teaches children about the early church, the conversion of Saul and his journey with Barnabas, preaching and talking to all people about the good news of Jesus.
This resource points to community involvement through the content itself, by teaching about early Christians and what they had to say about Jesus. The children follow key characters like Paul who demonstrate that we should live trustworthy lives and that the Holy Spirit will protect and enable all of us to point to Jesus in all circumstances. Children are challenged to go out in their communities and share what they have learnt.
The children learn about the global issue of all people needing salvation, and that they can have a role in God’s bigger plan for the world. They learn that faith in Jesus can transform their lives, and give them a new purpose.
Global mission is integral to the content of Acts. Saul and Barnabas’ journey teaches and encourages children to take the message of Jesus wherever they go, because he came for all people and nations.