Pentecost is a significant event in the Christian calendar as it marks the birthday of the Church. It is the day when the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles, enabling them to speak in different tongues and share the good news with people from different nations. This year, why not celebrate Pentecost with your youth ministry group by having a birthday party for the Church? It's an excellent way to teach your teens about the significance of this day and how they, too, can be sent to share the good news, just like the disciples.
Birthday Party Decorations and Supplies
To prepare for your birthday party, start with decorations. Balloons and streamers are always a hit, and don't forget to make posters that say “Happy Birthday Church!” and hang some drawings of symbols of the Holy Spirit. You can also pick up birthday-themed plates and napkins to add to the festive atmosphere.
Birthday Party Food
No birthday party is complete without food, so make sure to get a cake from your local bakery with “Happy Birthday Church!” written on it. Add ice cream, and if you want a full meal, pizza is always a hit with teenagers.
Birthday Party Gifts
You can also encourage your teens to bring canned goods for a local pantry or baby items for a crisis nursery or pregnancy support center.
Pentecost Birthday Party Games
To keep the party going, plan some traditional party games with a Pentecost twist.
- Pin the Flame on the Disciple's Head: Blindfold a player, spin them around, and have them try to pin a flame on a picture of one of the apostles. This game is a variation of the classic game "Pin the Tail on the Donkey."
- The Spirit Says: A take on the classic game "Simon Says." Players must follow instructions preceded by the phrase "The Spirit says," but not follow those without it.
- Holy Spirit Musical Chairs: Use some Holy Spirit-themed praise and worship music while players walk around a circle of chairs. When the music stops, players have to sit in a chair. Remove one chair each round until only one player remains.
- Bible Charades: Split the group into teams and take turns acting out a Bible story or character for their teammates to guess.
- Fruit of the Spirit Scavenger Hunt: Hide items around the room that represent the different fruits of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23. The first team to find all of the items wins.
- Holy Spirit Hot Potato: Players pass around a small ball or stuffed toy while music plays. When the music stops, the player holding the ball has to say a prayer to the Holy Spirit or name a gift of the Holy Spirit.
- Pentecost Pictionary: Players draw a picture of a scene from the Pentecost story or a symbol of the Holy Spirit. Teammates have to guess what the drawing represents.
- Holy Spirit Bingo: Create Bingo cards with symbols of the Holy Spirit (dove, flame, wind, etc.) and Bible verses related to Pentecost. Call out the verses, and players mark off squares on their cards until someone gets Bingo.
Take a few minutes to focus on Pentecost and the importance of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Have a core team member give a brief testimony about a Holy Spirit moment they experienced, then break into small groups and discuss. Here are some questions to get the discussion started:
- How do you think the disciples felt after the death of Jesus? What evidence is there that the Holy Spirit help them overcome their fear and discouragement?
- Can you think of a time when you felt the Holy Spirit moving in your life?
- What are some of the gifts you possess? How might the Holy Spirit be calling you to use these gifts to grow the Church?
Holy Spirit Prayer
Conclude the party with a prayer to the Holy Spirit. St. Augustine's prayer to the Holy Spirit is an excellent choice as it speaks to the desire for holiness in all areas of our lives. Celebrating Pentecost in this way can help your teens to deepen their faith and understand the significance of the Holy Spirit in their lives.
Add an outdoor activity to your Pentecost birthday party by flying kites to teach children about the Holy Spirit's likeness to the wind. Although invisible, the Holy Spirit's work can be felt and observed like the wind's effects. After flying kites, prompt reflection with questions that relate the experience to the Holy Spirit's influence on individuals.
This game is a simple yet fun addition to a Pentecost birthday party that also is a lesson on the Holy Spirit. Reflection questions and a relevant scripture passage are provided to transform the game into a teaching experience or short lesson plan.
Add a litany prayer to your Pentecost birthday party with this option that requests the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Typically recited in group settings, the prayer features prompts followed by responses that recognize the Spirit's impact on diverse facets of life.
Enhance your Pentecost birthday party with a Holy Spirit worksheet that outlines the Gifts and Fruits of the Spirit, defined with encrypted answers that require a letter substitution code to decipher. This activity serves as a fun gathering exercise.