The Beginning of the Church

Friday:The Beginning of the Church
Story Passages: Acts 1:1-11, Acts 2:22-24, 29-41
Other Passages: Matthew 28:16-20, Mark 16:14-20, Luke 24:36-49, John 10:16, John 21:15-19
Objective: The church was begun in order to witness for God in all parts of the earth.
Memory Verse: Acts 2:32, God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact.
Introduction: Where did the Church Come From?
Has there always been a church? If you had been in the Garden of Eden, with Adam and Eve, was there a church there? What about if you were on the ark, with Noah and his family? Was there a church then? Did Abraham go to church? Abraham worshiped God, but he didn't have a church. Where did the church come from?
Story: The Beginning of the Church
After Jesus was raised from the dead, and had been walking around for a few weeks, Jesus told his disciples, Don't leave Jerusalem yet, wait for the Holy Spirit. The disciples asked if Jesus was going to be king right now, in Israel. Jesus said, God the Father decides when that will be. You don't need to know that right now. But when the Holy Spirit comes, you will receive power, and you will be my witnesses all over the world. Soon after that, Jesus went up into the sky, toward heaven, and a cloud hid him from them. Two angels came and told the disciples that he would come back in the same way some day.
A few weeks later, the disciples were sitting in a house in Jerusalem, together, doing just what Jesus had told them to do, waiting for the Holy Spirit. Just as Jesus had promised, he came. They said it looked like tongues of fire, and the power that they were promised came too! A crowd of believing Jews from all over the world were staying in the city of Jerusalem that day, because it was a holiday. They all heard the noise, and came to the house where the disciples were. And the disciples spoke to them, and they all understood in their own languages what was being said about Jesus. After this day, all of those people from all over the world were able to go home and start churches of believers, because they all heard the good news about Jesus from the disciples in Jerusalem that day. The disciples really were witnesses for all over the world, before they even left Jerusalem.
Transition: Waiting for the Spirit
Why do you suppose Jesus told them to wait for the Holy Spirit? Jesus knew that when the holiday of Pentecost came, all those people would be there from all over the world. Jesus told them to wait in Jerusalem, because he wanted them to tell all of those people about Jesus. He wanted the people from all those different countries to all have churches, so they could worship God, learn about Jesus, and be witnesses to their own people. Jesus knew that the best missionaries of all are the people who live there.
The Point: Witnesses in the Church
How do you suppose churches came to [your town]? Somebody came here, who knew about Jesus, and when they came, guess what? They told people about Jesus, right here where they lived. The people who believed got together to pray, to study the Bible, and to worship God, and they invited friends, and pretty soon there was a church. What's a church? Is it a building? (No.) A church might have a building, but what is a church? A church is a group of people, people who believe in Jesus, and tell other people about Him. Are you part of a church? Do you believe in Jesus? Do you tell other people about him?
Invitation: Church Membership
[Invite the children to stay after the lesson and discuss how to belong to the church.]

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