When One Teaches, Two Learn

Figuring out children's ministry one day at a time

Jesus Ascends to Heaven – Acts 1:1-11

on September 9, 2012

Today we dove into the Act 1, Scene 1, entitled “And So It Begins,” of Swell, our study of the book of Acts at our church.  The sermon covered Acts 1:1-11 and focused primarily on the importance of waiting on the Holy Spirit.  We covered the story generally, then worked specifically on that point of waiting for the Holy Spirit.

Goal: Today we will learn about Jesus’ ascension into heaven and the importance of waiting for the Holy Spirit.

Key Scripture: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”  – Acts 1:8, NIV (Note: This will be our key scripture passage for the next few weeks – possibly through all of Act 1 – so we have enough time to really work on memorizing it.)


  • Suitcase, packed with items one might take on a trip
  • Stickers, small treats, etc.
  • Chalkboard & chalk
  • Rhythm sticks and noisemakers (tambourines, triangles, etc.)
  • Blue paper cups
  • Cotton balls
  • Pencil
  • String
  • Paper cut-outs of Jesus
  • Hole punch
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Cups prepared for the Stackable Memory Verse activity

Introduction:  Pack a suitcase with various items one might take on a trip and place the suitcase near where you will be sitting when the children enter.  Explain to the children that you will be going on a trip soon.  Open the suitcase and show some of its contents to the children.  Repack the bag, then tell the children that you are leaving now, but will be back soon.  Tell them to watch and wait for you.  Roll the suitcase with you, walk out the door, and close the door.  Count to 10, then reenter the room.  Express excitement to see the children again (say things typical to what one might say when returning from a trip – “So good to see you,” “My, how you’ve grown,” etc.).  Bring back “souvenirs” for the kids – stickers, small treats, something to that effect.

Explain that today’s Bible lesson is about a time that Jesus had to say goodbye to his friends, just as you said goodbye a few minutes earlier, and he also promised to return.

Lesson: Remind the children that last week we discussed Jesus having breakfast with his disciples on the beach He was resurrected.  Explain that Jesus appeared to many people in the days that followed – 40 to be exact – and proved to them that he really was alive.  Tell the children that soon before he returned to heaven, he told his followersto wait in Jerusalem because He was going to send them a special gift – the Holy Spirit.  Explain that Jesus promised to return, but asked His followers to tell others about Him until he was able to return.  Point out the key scripture on the chalkboard and read it aloud.

Sing the Donut Man song “They Had to Wait” using the rhythm sticks (on the x) during the chorus and noisemakers during the words “joyfully, joyfully” in the verse.

They had to wait xx for the Lord xx to send xx His Spirit xx

They had to wait xx for the Lord xx to send xx His Spirit xx

They had to wait xx

Then joyfully, joyfully, they ran to tell the news

Joyfully, joyfully, Christ can live in you

But first…

They had to wait xx for the Lord xx to send xx His Spirit xx

They had to wait xx for the Lord xx to send xx His Spirit xx

If you aren’t familiar with the tune, I found it on the iTunes store.

Conclusion:  Have the following activities prepared in case extra time remains:

Sing “They Had to Wait”:  Allow small groups of children to sing “They Had to Wait” and use the instruments.

Jesus Ascending Craft: Give each child a cup and have them decorate the cup with blue paper and cotton balls to make it look like a sky.  Poke a hole in the bottom of the cup using a pencil and insert the string through the hole.  Tie a knot so the string will not fall out of the hole.  Allow the children to color their cut-out picture of Jesus, punch a hole at the top, and attach the image to the end of the string.  Pull the string and watch Jesus ascend into the clouds.

Stackable Memory Verse:  Prepare the memory verse in stackable-cup format (see image).  Have the verse posted in the room for the children to follow, then have them stack the cups in the correct order.

(This image came from http://www.whenyourise.com/2011/10/gods-big-picture-lesson-3.html.  The original author used this method to learn the books of the Bible, but I have adapted it to use for Bible memory verses too.)


14 responses to “Jesus Ascends to Heaven – Acts 1:1-11

  1. […] “Swell.” If you missed the first two lessons in this series, you can find them here and here. We started into the second chapter with the story of the arrival of the Holy Spirit at […]

  2. […] you would like to see more from our study on the book of Acts, check out Lesson 1, Lesson 2, and Lesson 3.  I’d love to hear your feedback! Share this:Like this:LikeBe the first to […]

  3. […] on a whim to temporarily cover some windows, but they have so come in handy for several lessons like this one and this […]

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