If you’ve been keeping track, we are currently in week eight of our study of the book of Acts, even though we’re only on chapter four! Our senior pastor asked us during staff meeting if we are tired of the book of Acts, but to be honest, none of us really are. We have been growing in a deeper sense of worship and God’s presence is tangible on Sunday mornings. The entire body is learning quite a bit – adults and children alike. I hope that you have enjoyed the series too. This week we explored the first portion of chapter four, the aftermath of the healing of the lame man.
Goal: Today we will learn that there is power in the name of Jesus.
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
- Name tags
- Baby names book or a device to look up meanings of names
- Several Bibles
- Bowls of rice
- Device to play YouTube video
- Styrofoam plates
- Washable paint (various colors)
- Baby wipes
Introduction: Prepare name tags with each child’s name printed on one. Underneath, write the meaning of each child’s name (i.e. Abby – Father rejoices). Give each child his or her name tag to wear. If there are any new children, have extra name tags available and a book of names to look up the meaning of their names. Remind the children that last week we talked about Peter and John healing the lame man in the name of Jesus. Explain that just like our names have meaning, so does Jesus’ name, but His is even greater!
Lesson: (Note: I relied heavily on this lesson plan from Ministry-to-Children, but adapted it for my purposes.) Have the children sit in a circle and have several Bibles available. Remind the children of the chorus of the song “Walking and Leaping.” The lame man was excited that he had been healed and so were the other people around him! Peter began to tell the crowd that the lame man was healed because God had given him the power to do it. Explain that at that time some people didn’t believe in Jesus. Just a few months earlier, they had nailed Jesus to a cross. These people were not happy that Peter and John were telling others about Jesus.
Open your Bible to Acts 4. Read verse 1 to 3 aloud. Ask the children, “Why did the priests arrest Peter?” (They arrested Peter and John because they were teaching the people about Jesus and the power in His name.)
Have a volunteer read Acts 4:4 aloud. Ask the children to repeat about how many people believed in Jesus. Explain that Peter and John probably didn’t mind being arrested because people were still hearing about Jesus! They knew that they had done the right thing.
Read Acts 4:5-7 aloud. Point out that the Jewish leaders wanted to know “by what power or what name did you do this?” Jesus’ name is powerful!
Have a volunteer read Acts 4:8-10 and another read Acts 8:11-12. Ask the children how Peter says we can be saved. (Jesus is the only One who can save people. No one else in the world is able to save us.)
Read Acts 4:13 aloud. Explain to the children that Peter and John hadn’t ever gone to school or had any sort of special training. They were just ordinary people that Jesus chose to use to do His work. As review from last week, ask the children, “If Peter and John were just ordinary people, where did they get the power to heal the lame man?” (They healed the lame man through the name of Jesus.)
Have a volunteer read Acts 4:14-18 aloud. Ask the children the following questions:
- What did the priests tell Peter and John not to do? (They told Peter and John not to teach others about Jesus.)
- Do you think God wanted Peter and John to stop teaching about Jesus? (No, God wanted them to keep telling others about Jesus)
- Who should Peter and John listen to? The priests or God? (God)
Have a volunteer read Acts 4:19-20 aloud. Ask the children who Peter and John said they would listen to – the priests or God. (They said they would listen to God and keep telling others about Jesus.) Relate this discussion to the J.A.M. Time theme of respect. Talk about how to show respect for those in authority, just like David did with King Saul, but still obey God.
Have the children form groups of three or four. Give each group a blindfold and a bowl of uncooked rice. Explain that in each bowl there are several paper clips hidden. Tell the children that one person in the group will be blindfolded and have 30 seconds to find as many paper clips as possible. Give each child in the group a turn. After the groups have finished, discuss the following questions:
- How many paperclips did you find when you were blindfolded?
- Was it easy or hard to find the paper clips? What made it easy? What made it hard?
Explain to the children that just as they had to search for something they couldn’t see, we trust in God, who we cannot see. But, just because we cannot see him, doesn’t mean He isn’t there! He is always there and willing to listen when we pray and ask for things in Jesus’ name.
Move over to the chalkboard with the key verse printed on it. Sing “You Will Receive Power” to this tune. Use the following motions:
You will (Point right index finger out, point left index finger out)
Receive power (Hold arms up in a flexing position)
When the Holy Spirit comes on you (Wiggle fingers in front of face to look like rain)
You will be my witnesses (Point right index finger out and sweep arm from right to left side)
In Jerusalem (Hold hands in the shape of a roof – like a house)
In all Judea and Samaria (Hold out right hand, hold out left hand)
And to all the ends of the earth (Hold arms out wide)
Acts 1:8! (Pump fists in the air on each beat)
Conclusion: Ahead of time, prepare a piece of butcher paper with the following written on it: There is power in the name of Jesus. Write the word “Jesus” in very large bubble letters. Have this out on the table. Have the children gather around it and explain that in a few minutes they will dip their hand in paint and have the opportunity to put their hand print inside the bubble letters. This will be a reminder that the lame man held his hand our asking for money, but Jesus gave him something so much better: healing in the powerful name of Jesus!
I was very systematic with this, as I didn’t want any of the children to get paint on their Sunday clothes. I brought the paint around to one child at a time. Immediately after child had dipped his or her hand in the paint and left a hand print on the paper, I sent the child over to the trash can where I had set out a box of wipes. The child wiped his or her hand off, then returned to the table so as not to bump into the next child who would need to wipe his or her hands off. I also made sure that everyone’s sleeves were rolled up to further avoid messes. It may seem like a little much to some, but none of the kids ended up with paint on their clothes an my khaki skirt was paint-free as well.
Check out the final product! I love it.
Did you enjoy reading about this lesson? Take a look at the rest of our lesson plans on the book of Acts!
- A Miraculous Catch (John 21:1-25)
- Jesus Ascends to Heaven (Acts 1:1-11)
- The Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-13)
- The Holy Spirit Can Live in Your Heart (Acts 2:1-13)
- There’s a System in Place (Acts 2:14-21)
- Go, Team Fillmore! (Acts 2:42-47)
- Peter and John Heal a Lame Man (Acts 3)
- Healing in the Name of Jesus (Acts 3)