Power for Service

Primary Pals for Teachers
Unit 12 - God's Power Works Through Others

TEXT: Acts 1:4, 8; 2:1-6, 14-18


The students will be able to explain what power for service is and how to receive this blessing.


Introduction: Show your class a circle which you have cut into three equal sections, but hold back one of the sections. Label the two portions you have displayed with the words "Salvation" and "Sanctification." Point out that it appears something is missing to make a complete circle. This is the special blessing God has provided which you will be talking about today: the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Show the third piece, which is labeled with those words.

  1. In His last meeting with His disciples on this earth, Jesus commanded them to tarry in Jerusalem until they received this special blessing.
  2. The Holy Spirit would give them power to become effective witnesses for Christ in all parts of the earth.
  3. On the Day of Pentecost, the disciples were gathered together and were in one accord (sanctified).

Climax: They were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues as a witness to this.

Conclusion: Peter confirmed to the multitude that this was a fulfillment of Joel's prophecy. This special anointing of power for service is available today for the one who is saved and sanctified.

Response: The students will be able to describe the special blessing which was received on the Day of Pentecost. They will be able to tell what the experience does for the one who receives it.


Jesus Christ was crucified on the day of the Passover feast. The next great festival on the Jewish calendar was the Feast of Weeks, or Pentecost, meaning fiftieth, because it was exactly 50 days after Passover. It was a time when Israel was to gather at Jerusalem, rejoice in the Lord, and give freewill offerings in thanksgiving for the harvest (Deuteronomy 16:9-12). It was also associated with the giving of the Law to Moses which happened 50 days after the nation left Egypt.

The Lord chose this day to begin a new era in His dealings with man. In the Old Testament the Holy Spirit came upon special men in order to accomplish specific tasks. (Judges 13:25; 14:6; 1 Samuel 16:13; Ezekiel 3:12) Now, as God had promised (Jeremiah 31:33; Ezekiel 11:19; 36:27; Joel 2:28; Mark 1:8; and John 15:26) He was sending the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity, to dwell within those who would believe (Acts 2:38-39). The purpose was to empower the believers not just for a limited time for a specific task, but to be witnesses of Jesus in every area of their lives (Acts 1:8). Note the dramatic changes in the lives and witnessing of the Apostles before and after Pentecost.

It is said that the Holy Spirit:
comforts us (John 16:7)
guides into truth (John 16:13)
directs our affairs (Acts 13:2; 16:7)
is the Spirit of Christ (Romans 8:9)
will raise us from the dead (Romans 8:11)
illuminates and teaches (1 Corinthians 2:11-13)
causes our lives to be fruitful (Galatians 5:22-23)
can be grieved (Ephesians 4:30)
makes us holy (2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2)

What a wonderful day it was when God baptized those 120 people on the Day of Pentecost and opened to every believer the ministry of the Holy Spirit. God chose that feast day when so many Jewish pilgrims were in Jerusalem, to manifest His power. The news of the great event must have spread throughout the whole Roman Empire in a very short time.


  • Visualize the importance of the baptism by showing your class a large circle cut into three sections labeled with the names of the three experiences. The circle is not complete without all of the pieces. We want to be a complete Christian, and receive all that God has for us.
  • Tell the testimony of someone who was quiet and afraid to speak up for Christ until that one received the power of the Holy Spirit.
  • Make a list of what the Bible promises the Holy Spirit will do in our lives. (See Background Information for this lesson.) Write your list on a chalkboard, and discuss the importance of each one. Have in mind hypothetical examples to illustrate each one on the age level of your students.
  • Bring a little gift for each child in your class. Keep the gifts hidden in a paper sack. Ask the children if they want a gift and if they really believe there is one for them inside the sack. Then give them the gifts. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a gift of power to use in God's service. We need to believe that God has it for each one of us.
  • A flashlight without batteries has no power but with batteries there is power for the light to shine. God can give us power to work for Him, as He did for Peter, John, Paul, Philip, and many others.
  • To explain what the Power is and how to receive it, use this new version of the oil and water example. This will make three layers; each can be a different color. Needed: glass jar, water, oil, alcohol, food coloring. The first layer is water which is salvation; it can be colored or clear. The second layer is oil (salad oil type) and this will be sanctification and is yellow, (the intensity will depend upon the oil used). The third layer is alcohol and will represent the Holy Spirit. It should be colored with food coloring; the darker it is the greater will be the contrast. As each layer is added describe what it represents and the order of God's gifts to us. DO NOT STIR! (This will mix the water and alcohol and the three layers will become two.)


  1. For what reason were the followers of Jesus to remain in Jerusalem? Who gave them this instruction?
  2. What was the "promise of the Father"?
  3. What is power for service? Service to whom?
  4. How is this power obtained?
  5. Do all Christians need this special power, or do only the ministers?
  6. What was the Day of Pentecost? What happened to the disciples on that day?
  7. What special witness does God give to those who receive the gift of His Spirit?
  8. How do we know that this witness is a definite language that others can understand?
  9. What was spoken in Old Testament times regarding this experience?
  10. Do you think this is something that is still important to people today? Why or why not?
  11. Can anyone receive the baptism?
  12. Why do you speak in another language?
  13. Was Peter the same man after he received the Holy Spirit? Was he bold, shy, brave, loud, bashful?
  14. Which comes first? Put these in their proper order: sanctification, salvation, baptism of the Holy Spirit.
  15. How old must you be to receive this power?
  16. Explain what you should do to receive this power.


  • When teaching preschoolers this lesson, you may wish to focus on working for Jesus. Show pictures of children helping others. Explain that Jesus can help us want to work for Him. Illustrate this thought by telling a present-day situation on their level, perhaps dramatized with dolls.
  • On separate sheets of paper, trace around both hands of each student. Across the top write "These Hands Work for Jesus." Let them color the hands as you talk about things little ones can do for the Lord.
  • Teach your children this fingerplay entitled "God's Helper."
     I know that Jesus loves me (Point up)
     So I try every day (Point to self)
     To do the things that please Him. (Point up)
     I listen, sing, and pray. (Cup ear, then fold hands in prayer)
     I share my things with others. (Point around to others)
     And speak with good words too. (Touch mouth)
     And what my parents tell me, (Shake finger)
     I'm always sure to do. (Nod head)


Put portions of the memory verse on pieces of paper and have a contest between classes as to who can put the verse into the right order first. The verses can be taped to children's fronts or hung on a clothesline or pinned on a board. This could be used at the end of the five lessons. Give each group (or five individuals) a memory verse and time them for a winner.

Bring a white glove and a Bible. When we are saved we become like a white glove but without the Holy Spirit (typified by your hand) we aren't very effective. Show that as the Holy Spirit enters a life there is power for service. The hand enters the glove and it is then able to act—it has power!

Illustrate the importance of a power source by setting up a toaster in front of your group. Leave the cord obviously dangling, unplugged. Put a piece of bread in the toaster, and tell the students you are going to make a piece of toast. They may immediately tell you to plug it in—if they do not, go ahead and "make" the toast, and then inquire of them why it isn't brown. Bring out that the toaster will not work unless it is plugged into the power source. Christians also need to be plugged into a power source.

Wrap three gifts, in three graduated sizes. Have each successively larger gift also be a little more decorative or beautifully wrapped. Explain that God has three experiences for each of us. We can take just one or two, but all three are there for us if we will just seek for and accept them from Him.

Pretend with your group that you are going to write a recipe for power. Draw a large recipe card on your chalkboard. Have students suggest some ingredients that should be included, and in what amount. These may include faith, prayer, action, etc. Write out directions for combining as if you were writing a recipe.


  • Pentecost — Family Life Institute Tape No. 61
  • Stories About Peter — Pict-a-graph, Standard Publishing
  • The Life of Peter — Biblegram (for flannel board), Child Evangelism Fellowship
  • Acts, Volume 1 — Witness for Christ — Biblegram, Child Evangelism Fellowship