Studying the Acts of the Apostles
In 2024 the Rt. Rev. Dr. David G. Read invites the diocese to study Acts. He states, “The Acts of the Apostles is the first book of the New Testament following The Gospels of Jesus Christ. Authored by Luke, the book of Acts describes the early life of the Christian movement as it wrestled with its relationship to Judaism, and as it learned to share the Gospel in the midst of the cultures of the 1st century. It is a story of missional movement and action as the Holy Spirit empowers the followers of Jesus Christ to live in the power of Christ’s resurrection and proclaim the Gospel throughout the Mediterranean, eventually reaching Rome – the center of the Roman Empire. As modern-day disciples of Jesus, we too find ourselves needing to learn to share the story of Jesus Christ in a culture and time when generations of people do not know him, or are not in a relationship with him. May the faith and work of the earliest Christians inspire us to do the work God has given us to do in our day.”
The diocesan Christian Formation Committee has put together Bible study recommendations for children, youth, adults, and intergenerational groups. These recommended studies may be used during Sunday school, mid-week formation, or anytime a church gathers to study the Bible together. For bilingual or Spanish-speaking congregations two of the adult studies are also available in Spanish. The Bible Project videos in Spanish are linked below. For a copy of A Journey Through Acts translated into Spanish please email Suzanna Green at email@example.com. Printed copies will also be available at council.
If you want to skip this section on instructions, feel free to scroll down to the bullet pointed resources listed by age group below. Otherwise, read on to learn a bit more about how to use various materials for different seasons or in a different setting or order than they might be originally designed.
For Adults, there is a whole range of books and resources that the committee has put together. Most of these resources can be used as a Sunday school, Bible study, or small group study any time of year. A Journey Through Acts and our Spanish translation of this resource were originally designed to be studied during the Eastertide season so you will see some wording to that effect but they make a great study for any time of year. The recommended books linked below will also be available at the St. Mark’s bookstore booth at Council 2024.
For Youth the Christian Formation committee recommends Acts: A Movement Begins from Download Youth Ministry or The Bible Project Luke-Acts series episodes 6-9. Both of these resources would make a good short-term youth group or Sunday morning study
and could be used any time during the year. The intergenerational curriculum listed below or Lesson plans that Work lessons for older children would also make great curricula for mixed-age groups such as those with elementary children and youth in the same class or for youth groups with mostly middle school aged students.
For Children the Christian Formation committee is again recommending Lesson Plans that Work and Rotation.org lessons on the book of Acts. Lesson Plans That Work is a free resource that follows the Revised Common Lectionary. There is a lesson for younger children and older children based on each week’s readings. The Lesson Plans that Work lessons on Acts are meant for the season of Easter, but these lessons could be used any time of year as a standalone 7-week study on Acts. If you chose to use them in this way we recommend using them in this order: Called and Counted, Pentecost, I Believe, What's in a Name, One Heart and Soul, Called to Teach, and Baptism for All.
The Rotation.org lessons are designed to teach the same Bible passage over a few weeks. You can choose to make this a shorter or longer Acts study based on how many of the rotation lessons you decide to use on each Bible passage. Each passage has at least four different types of lessons (i.e. art, science, games, etc.). If you choose four lessons you can teach the same Bible story for four weeks at a time and use these lessons for a whole season. In the children’s list below the committee also included an article highlighting some teaching topics on Acts for children. If your church would like to create your own Acts study for children this article would be a great starting point.
For intergenerational groups including multi-age or all-ages formation the Christian Formation committee recommends GenOn Ministries God’s Word in Community: Messages from Acts curriculum. This resource is also designed to be used in the Spring as it roughly follows the Year B lectionary but the lessons can be used any time of year.
If you need more ideas or suggestions of how to study Acts with your congregation or how these particular studies could be used please reach out to Suzanna Green, Bishop’s Deputy for Christian Formation, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- A Journey Through Acts
- Acts NT Wright For Everyone Bible Study Guides
- Acts to Action: The New Testament's Guide to Evangelism and Mission
- Acts: Catching up with the Spirit
- Conversations with Scripture: The Acts of the Apostles
- Good Book Club Bible Study for Luke-Acts
- Guide to the Book of Acts
Commentaries/study Bibles for deeper study:
- Acts: A Theological Commentary on the Bible
- The Book of Acts as Story
- The Life with God Bible
- Working Preacher
- Acts of the Apostles Yale Bible Study
- Acts overview
- Luke-Acts Series Episodes 6-9
- Serie Lucas-Hechos episodios 6-9
- Easter 1-7 and Pentecost Lesson plans that Work
- Rotation.org Acts Lessons
- The Book of Acts with Children: 5 Teaching Points