Activity 5 – Fruit of the Spirit and loving your neighbour

Pupils consider how Baptism by water and the Holy Spirit inspires believers to follow Jesus in Loving your neighbour as yourself. They consider the difference that developing the ‘fruits of the spirit’ make  in helping a believer love others.

For example they investigate what inspires Christians to serve their ‘neighbour’ overseas, through charity work or for example the Church of England ‘Diocesan Companions’.

They explore an example of the Church of England Diocesan Companions live relationships e.g. Angola, London, Mozambique Association (ALMA) between Christian believers in their local church communities in the UK and communities  overseas, for example in Mozambique.

Key Questions

How does being Baptised into the Christian faith and having the help of the Holy Spirit enable a believer develop the fruits of the spirit?

How does having the fruit of the spirit inspire a believer and help them  to live out the commandment to ‘Love God and Love your neighbour as yourself’?

What motivates and enables individuals and churches to love their ‘overseas neighbours’?

Learning Objectives

  • To understand that the Holy Spirit helps a believer develop the fruits of the spirit.
  • That the fruits of the spirit inspire and help a believer love their neighbour.
  • That there are Christian organisations that are inspired by Jesus’ teaching ‘ love your neighbours
  • To understand how building relationships with our neighbours and examples of social action are expressions of faith and worship
  • To understand how initiatives to work with people overseas are inspired by Jesus’s example of offering people ‘Water of Life ‘

Starter

How do the ‘fruits of the (Holy) spirit’ in a believer’s life help Christian believers share the Love of Jesus with others?

  • The fruit of the (Holy) spirit are qualities that a Christian believes they can develop through the help of the Holy Spirit as part of the new life in Christ, through baptism. The fruits of the Spirit are: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
  • See Bible Text: Galatians 5 v 22-25,  where the apostle Paul, as part of teaching to the early church in Galatia,  encourages believers to develop these  ‘good’ fruits of the spirit and to turn away from bad fruits.
  • Ask pupils to think, pair and share with their neighbour about examples of loving people that they have experienced, and what  qualities they have shown through doing these, that reflect the fruits of the spirit?
  • What helps us to love people?, e.g. do acts of kindness, show patience, self-control etc. Think of an example of helping an individual, the class, your family, a neighbour, communities overseas e.g. charity event?
  • Ask pupils to record their examples on fruit-shaped paper, labelled  with the fruits of the spirit. (These can be added to a class display’ see below)
  • Consider school values and ethos – how do they reflect the ‘fruit of the spirit’?
  • How do we develop these qualities as individuals, in our class, in our school?

 Main activity

What difference can developing the fruit of the spirit make to the way Christian believers show love or offer the ‘water of life’ to others?

The idea of Loving God, and loving your neighbour, is widely explored in religion. What we believe about our neighbour and understand about what it means to love people, has an impact on how we live.

Be a ‘Love your neighbour detective’

Arrange to visit your local church (or a Christian charity) to find out about members of the church or charity love their neighbours – individually, locally and globally.

  • Locally: Look at local church displays and noticeboards for adverts about community events, interview a faith representative to find out more about how the church in the UK works to make a difference in people’s lives e.g. mothers and toddlers, community meals, helping the homeless, debt advice etc. See Visual Resources  UK churches noticeboards Gallery
  • Globally:  find evidence on Church notice boards, leaflets about how the church is  supporting church members working overseas, overseas communities  and projects

Introduce the concept of ‘loving your neighbours overseas: recall the charities explored at the beginning of the unit.  Churches have always had their own overseas links – loving their neighbours.

 Plenary

  • If you were organising a campaign for ALMA to show love your neighbour following Jesus example –what strap lines would you include in your poster to inspire and motivate people to take action? e.g. campaign for cleaner water, or help buy water pumps.
  • Collect class  ideas for fundraising that could make a difference to the overseas neighbour. Find out what priorities the local church has for fundraising on behalf of their overseas neighbour
  • Make a class ‘ Trees of Life – display to show ‘How we, our local church and ALMA  love  our neighbours – ‘individually, locally, globally’ . The paper fruit can be displayed in the branches of the tree related to each investigation, so that comparisons can be made.  For example:
    • tree 1 can be how we love others,
    • tree 2 how our church loves others
    • tree 3 how ALMA/a charity helps people loves others overseas.
  • A river can be created underneath the trees  to illustrate what qualities we need to help others and/to illustrate the Holy Spirit, providing the ‘water of life’. See ALMA River of Life hanging and  river of prayer

Learning Outcomes

  • Explain what the fruits of the spirit are and how they help believers love others
  • Describe what the different community initiatives show about the beliefs and values of Christians
  • Identify similarities and differences in the way in which Love your neighbour has been interpreted by churches and believers related to issues face by overseas neighbours e.g water pumps, water purification see water aid.org

Resources and Points to note