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The Holy Spirit: the right tool

To help the children to understand the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.

by Janice Ross

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To help the children to understand the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need sandwich ingredients: an uncut loaf of bread, some butter, a bowl of mashed tuna, and a tomato.

  • Utensils such as a cake slice or fish slice, a fork, a rolling pin, a tin opener.


  1. Say to the children that you hope they don’t mind but you didn’t have time for breakfast/lunch before assembly today and you are starving! Would they mind if you just made a quick sandwich?

    Take out all the sandwich ingredients from one bag and all the utensils from another. Lay them on the table.
  2. Start by attempting to cut the loaf with a cake slice or fish slice. Then choose a fork to spread the butter with. Take out some tuna with the end of the rolling pin and bash down. (The idea is to make quite a mess!) Then take your tomato and tin opener and look quizzically at the two items. How about this tool? Decide on the cake slice or fish slice again as a better option. Slice another piece of bread for the top, complete the sandwich and start to eat.
  3. Ask the children what they found wrong with your sandwich-making. They will hopefully suggest that you used the wrong tools and therefore got in a mess! Explain that if we have the right tools for a job then we are more likely to do the job well.

    For example, scissors can cut grass, but the headteacher is more likely to give the janitor/caretaker/site manager a lawnmower. Can the children think of any other examples?
  4. Jesus knew that when he returned to his Father in heaven, his friends the disciples, whom he would leave behind, would need some help. He wanted them to have a powerful tool to help them spread the Good News about God’s love. He knew that they would probably try quite hard on their own to tell others the message but he also knew the difficulties that the early Church would face and that their own strength wouldn’t be enough for the task. This is what he said:

    ‘Stay in Jerusalem until I send you the promised Helper. He will bring you power. He will lead you into all the truth. He will guide you. He will encourage you. He will be like the tool you need for the job of taking my message to the world.’
  5. The disciples waited, and at Pentecost the Holy Spirit came to them. On that day Jesus’ disciples first proclaimed the gospel message. Hundreds and thousands of people who heard the message joined the early Church, and people are still joining the Church today.

    You could say that the Holy Spirit acts like the best tool to do the job!

Time for reflection


Are you ever in need of help to live the right way, to make the right choices, to have the right attitude to people or work?
Jesus sent us a helper to be with us for ever. He knew we couldn’t do all this on our own. Christians call this helper the ‘Holy Spirit’.


Dear God,

Thank you that you sent the Holy Spirit to help the early disciples.
Thank you that he was like the perfect tool to help them spread your Good News.
Thank you that you have promised us that help too.



‘God’s Spirit is in my heart’ (Hymns Old and New, 180)

‘All over the world’ (Come and Praise, 61)

Publication date: May 2009   (Vol.11 No.5)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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