Acts Chapter 1: Patience

25 February 2009 — 2 Comments

This post is part of a 5-session teaching series covering the first 5 chapters of the book of Acts in the New Testament. It is designed to be used in a small group environment for young people aged 11-14, but can be adapted for other purposes. The young people were encouraged to read the chapter in advance.
I originally planned on writing a 12-part series, but our groups fell behind and I didn’t continue the notes. For more youth group resources check out my page here.

Image credit: JustinLowery on Flickr

Acts Chapter 1: Patience

To set the scene of the book and to explore the idea of patience.

The book of Acts was written by Luke and follows on from where his gospel finished ([youversion]Acts 1:1-2[/youversion]). Jesus had died, risen, and appeared to his disciples telling them to wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit from God ([youversion]Luke 24:49[/youversion], [youversion]Acts 1:4[/youversion]).

Activity: Fruit Pastille Patience
Give everyone in the group a Fruit Pastille (or other mouth watering sweet) to put in their mouth. Tell them that they are not allowed to chew or swallow the sweet until the person on their left has finished theirs. Then get the first person to start chewing. Obviously the people towards the end of the queue will have to wait the longest with the pastille in their mouth. See who manages to cope best and then try it the other way around.

Reading: [youversion]Acts 1[/youversion]
Your group should have read the chapter in advance. Take a few minutes to recap on its content for those who haven’t.

Illustration: Heinz Ketchup
Use the famous Heinz commercial where the guy rests a ketchup bottle on top of a building, then goes to the street, buys a hotdog and catches the ketchup as it falls. The strap line is “The best things come to those who wait!”

You may find other videos with similar themes. There are many commercials for Guinness that use the same strap line.

More Info: Being Prepared
One definition of waiting is to “remain in readiness for some purpose”. Waiting is not about sitting around being bored, it’s about excitedly preparing for something that’s about to happen so you’ll be ready when it does, just like in the commercial. Jesus told a parable about waiting in [youversion]Matthew 25:1-13[/youversion]. He was talking about being prepared for when He returns.


  • Do you find it difficult to wait for things? What have you ever had to wait for?
  • What would it have been like for the disciples waiting for the Holy Spirit? Did they know what to expect?
  • Has God ever told you to wait for something? Do you have dreams for the future that God has promised you?
  • Which of our 5 Values (Follow, Honour, Serve, Support, Share) apply to this passage? What can you learn from it?


  • Pray for specific dreams God has given each person, and that God will reveal plans to those who have none.
  • Pray that the group will understand what it means to be patient and that God helps them to wait in anticipation.
  • Pray for any issues affecting the group this week.

In your personal quiet time with God this week, make space to just ‘wait’ on God. Get rid of other distractions and ask God to speak to you while you listen. You may find this difficult at first so try to get into a habit of doing it regularly.

Further Reading: [youversion]Romans 5:3-5[/youversion]

We also have joy with our troubles, because we know that these troubles produce patience. And patience produces character, and character produces hope. And this hope will never disappoint us, because God has poured out his love to fill our hearts. He gave us his love through the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to us. (New Century Version)


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I am a qualified youth worker, writer and consultant based in Littlehampton, UK. I've worked in the voluntary youth sector for over 12 years, am married to Kirsty and we have two daughters named Hope and Eloise. Check out 'Journeying Together: Growing Youth Work and Youth Workers in Local Communities' and read my opening chapter.

2 responses to Acts Chapter 1: Patience

  1. KellyJean Gettelfinger 18 May 2010 at 3:19 pm

    It would be so fantastic if you could complete the 12-part series for the study of Acts that you had originally planned. I read through the first two installments (chapters 1 and 2) and can't wait to offer them to my students this fall. We are studying Acts this fall and your rescources have been inspiring. Thank you.

  2. Hey KellyJean, I'm really glad that you're finding this series useful. I'd love to write the rest of the series although I haven't really planned to do so yet! I think finding the time is going to be difficult, but I'll see how we go! Maybe I can do a chapter here or there!

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