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 5: Sharing
To learn about how the early church supported each other and explore how we can do the same today.
Activity: One For You, Two For Me
Don’t announce this activity to the group, instead just let it happen and see who figures out what’s gong on first!
Take a large bag of sweets and casually hand out one sweet to each person. Once everyone has got one, take two for yourself and eat them both. If someone points out that you had more than them, just gently dismiss it with an excuse. Next, hand out another round of sweets doing exactly the same thing. Keep this going as many times as you can making it more and more obvious what you are doing.
At some point, it will become a big deal and the group will loudly complain. Ask them why they think this was unfair and what they think you should have done with the sweets. Lead the discussion into [youversion]Acts 5[/youversion]
At the very end of [youversion]Acts 4[/youversion] (32-37) we are told that the group of believers start to share everything that they own. In verses 36-37 they meet a man from Cyprus, Barnabas, who sells a field and places a pile of money at their feet to bless them. In [youversion]Acts 5[/youversion] Ananias and Sapphira also sell a piece of land in order to bless the disciples but do not give them the full amount. They choose to hold some money back for themselves. Peter challenges both Ananias and Sapphira seperately saying that they have lied to the Holy Spirit. When they hear this they drop down dead!
Reading: [youversion]Acts 5[/youversion]
Your group should have read the chapter in advance. Take a few minutes to recap on its content for those who havenâ€™t.
Illustration: Indiana Jones
Show the clip from Indiana Jones and the Temple Of Doom where Indy and his companions arrive in a remote Indian village after jumping out of a crashing plane [DVD Chapter 7, 0:19:00 to 0:21:40]. Although the villagers live in poverty, they offer a meal to the travellers.
Read the story of the widow’s offering in [youversion]Luke 21:1-4[/youversion]. What did Jesus say about her? How is it similar to the film clip? This was how the first Christians lived, sharing everything they had.
- Have you ever given to any charity? Which one? Why?
- Do you think we should give to the work of the Church around the world? Why?
- What other ways can you share with and support the people around you?
- Which of our 5 Values (Follow, Honour, Serve, Support, Share) apply to this passage? What can you learn from it?
- Pray that we may be challenged by the issue of giving
- For those in Churches and Charities worldwide who are look after the money so that it goes where God wants it.
- Pray for any issues affecting the group this week.
This week, find an opportunity to share something worthwhile with another person. It might be food, money or simply your time. Be glad that you are able to help.