It’s Your Thang – #2

by | All Youth, Complete Meetings

It’s Your Thang – Spiritual Gifts

Scripture quotations are from the GOD’S WORD translation, used by permission.
GOD’S WORD is a copyrighted work of God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society. Quotations are used by permission.
Copyright 1995 by God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society. All rights reserved.

The purpose of this session is to introduce youth to their spiritual gifts, explain each gift, and challenge them to begin thinking of a specific ministry or ministries where they can put their gifts to work.

You may want to divide this session into two halves. During the first session, pass out a spiritual inventory quiz and allow your group plenty of time to answer all the questions. (A spiritual gift inventory is a series of questions that can help determine possible spiritual gifts based on responses to the questions. You can find one at your local Christian bookstore).

Activate Your Audience

Would You Rather…

This activity is adapted from the popular book from Youth Specialties (author Doug Fields) by the same name. Have everyone in the group stand up together. Explain that you are going to read a statement of the form, “Would you rather A or B?” Those who choose A must move to the left side of the room. Those who choose B must choose the right side of the room. Allow for a few moments of frenzied activity followed by playful and perhaps heated discussion between the two groups about which decision is best. You can use the questions found in the book, or you can use those listed below:

Would You Rather…

kiss a dog or a cat on the mouth?

eat cow eyeballs or monkey lips?

die by a fire or by a drowning?

win free tickets to a professional football game or baseball game?

live without TV for one year or be homeless for one month?

have a phone or a TV in your room?

keep your siblings or be an only child?

win a million bucks all at once today or get $1000 a week for the rest of your life?

lose both arms or both legs?

work during the summer or stay at home all day?

Bring them Closer

Groupies

Explain that everyone is alike in some ways and everyone is different in some ways, as the previous game revealed. Explain that you are going to call out a category, and everyone must group themselves according to their favorite in that category For instance, if you call out, “Pizza,” then everyone would group themselves according to the different types of pizza available. Other favorites include color, fast-food-restaurant, movie, song, TV show, band, teacher at school, etc. You could also try it with the category “worst” instead of favorite. This will set the tone for you to explain that there are categories of Spiritual gifts, and God gives each of us different gifts according to His will.

Music

Lead your group to sing some songs that focus on the power of God’s Spirit and His influence in our lives.

Communicate the Word: It’s Your Thang — Spiritual Gifts

Each time you explain a specific spiritual gift, you might have everyone who has that gift to stand so that others can see who has what gift. This will also relate back to the earlier activities. Perhaps you could divide everyone up into groups according to their top spiritual gift and have someone else lead them in a short study of their particular gift.

I. What is a spiritual gift?

A. What it is not

1. A talent (something you just happen to be good at)

2. An ability (a developed skill)

3. A personality trait (whether environmental or genetic)

B. What it is

1. You get it when you become a Christian (Ephesians 4:7, I Corinthians 12:7)

a. There are no believers without gifts

b. There are no unbelievers with gifts

2. It is a supernatural ability that works through God’s Holy Spirit (I Peter 4:11)

a. The reason you have it is to do God’s work

b. You supply the availability and God will supply the ability

3. Your gift is not for you — it is for the youth group and the Church (Ephesians 4:12)

4. God gave us all different ones so that we could all work together (Romans 12:4 – 6)

II. What are the spiritual gifts?

A. Apostle/Missionary (I Corinthians 12:28)

1. Supernatural abilities

a. Leave home/family/friends

b. Travel on the road

c. Adapt to foreign cultures/food/etc.

2. Possible worldly weaknesses

a. Demands everyone travel as a missionary

b. Thinks people who cannot handle foreign culture/food are wimps

3. Ministry opportunities

a. Missionary (home or foreign)

b. Traveling business person who adapts to and witnesses in each new situation

c. Reaching beyond your own clique and group at school to reach people different from you

B. Prophet/Preacher (I Corinthians 14:3 – 4)

1. Supernatural abilities

a. Not afraid to tell individuals and groups that they are right/wrong in God’s eyes

b. Apply God’s Word to specific situations to determine right/wrong

c. Sense the need for revival in the youth group or Church

2. Possible worldly weaknesses

a. See everything as black or white (no gray areas)

b. Hurt people’s feelings by loveless criticism (hate the sinner as well as the sin)

c. Tend to be depressed too often about the bad stuff going on in the youth group and Church

3. Ministry opportunities

a. Help individuals see that they need to turn back to God

b. Bring about revival in the youth group and Church

c. Help others resist peer pressure by encouraging them to do what’s right

C. Evangelist (Ephesians 4:11, II Timothy 4:5)

1. Supernatural abilities

a. Talk about Jesus anytime, anywhere

b. Identify with people right where they are and explain the Gospel in related terms

c. Know just what to say to people when witnessing

2. Possible worldly weaknesses

a. Too much talking and not enough doing/caring for people

b. Tend to be flighty — you cannot spend much time working with one person

c. Look over physical/emotional needs and still expect a spiritual commitment

3. Ministry opportunities

a. Form a specific witnessing effort at school

b. Win people to Christ one by one

c. Come up with new and unique ways to share Jesus

D. Pastor/Teacher (Ephesians 4:11 – 12, Romans 12:6 – 7, James 3:1)

1. Supernatural abilities

a. Strong desire to see individuals and groups learning God’s Word

b. Sensitive to people caught in sin — you want to help them get back on track gently

c. Can communicate easily and well to others

2. Possible worldly weaknesses

a. Become angry at people who don’t have the same love of God’s Word as you

b. Despair and discouragement when people don’t respond to your care

c. Concentrate more on your speaking/writing/helping than the people you are trying to help

3. Ministry opportunities

a. Lead small group Bible studies

b. Counsel Christian friends on what to do in tough times

c. Unify the youth group and Church

E. Encourager (Romans 12:6 – 8)

1. Supernatural abilities

a. Sense when someone is down

b. Help others see the bright, spiritual side of things

c. Spend time and energy cheering others up spiritually

2. Possible worldly weaknesses

a. Become down when others don’t appreciate your encouraging efforts

b. Have a lot of good intentions to encourage people, but never follow through

c. Become hard to cheer up yourself

3. Ministry opportunities

a. Christian comedian

b. Deliver or send cards/letters/gifts to people who are down

c. Spend time one-on-one in person or on phone with people who are down

F. Messenger of Knowledge/Wisdom (I Corinthians 12:8)

1. Supernatural abilities

a. Know what to do in a crisis situation

b. Know what to say to unbelievers’ questions about God

c. Know how to defend your faith on the spot when it is attacked/challenged/debated

2. Possible worldly weaknesses

a. Think you know it all and that everyone should always listen to you

b. Answer to quickly/abruptly without love to an unbeliever

c. Depend on your own wisdom instead of waiting on God’s to defend your faith

3. Ministry opportunities

a. Pull the youth group closer together during a crisis

b. Step to the front of the pack during times of persecution

c. Explain to others intellectually why Jesus is real

G. Server (I Corinthians 12:6 – 7)

1. Supernatural abilities

a. See things that need to be done and do them

b. Accomplish tasks very well

c. Work behind the scenes to take care of things others don’t think about

2. Possible worldly weaknesses

a. Become upset when people don’t notice your work

b. Try and do everything yourself

c. Criticize the way others do things

3. Ministry opportunities

a. Help set-up and tear-down for youth activities

b. Form a team to Adopt-a-Highway and pick up trash in the community

c. Ask youth workers/leaders how you can help

H. Hospitality Giver (I Corinthians 12:8)

1. Supernatural abilities

a. Sense physical needs of others

b. Give time, money, effort to helping meet those needs

c. Let go of your own possessions to help others for a time

2. Possible worldly weaknesses

a. Expect others to meet your needs the same way you meet theirs

b. Keep track of what you give and expect repayment

c. Become down when others don’t appreciate your efforts

3. Ministry possibilities

a. Collect and send food/clothes to disaster relief victims

b. Let others borrow/have your things to meet their own needs

c. Share your room with a foreign exchange student and help them fit in here

I. Giver (I Corinthians 12:8)

1. Supernatural abilities

a. Sense a financial need/burden in others

b. Give your own money to help others

c. Organize people to give money to help others

2. Possible worldly weaknesses

a. Brag about your giving

b. Keep track of how much you have given and expect others or God to repay you

c. Become angry at those who don’t give as much as you

3. Ministry possibilities

a. Donate money to help someone else go to camp

b. Organize youth to give money to help someone in the group/Church that has a need

c. Find and meet financial needs of lost people in your school/community

J. Leader/Administrator (I Corinthians 12:28)

1. Supernatural abilities

a. Sense what needs to be done and how to do it

b. Accept challenges and organize people/resources to solve them

c. Motivate people to become a part of your vision for God’s work in the youth group and Church

2. Possible worldly weaknesses

a. Think your ideas are better than everyone else’s

b. Be upset when you can’t be the leader and you have to follow someone else

c. Treat people insensitively by trying to make them do something they don’t want to

3. Ministry possibilities

a. Organize teams of people in the youth group to perform a specific function

b. Plan and lead a Backyard Bible Club made up of several youth group members

c. Take charge of problems and help solve them

K. Mercy (Romans 12:8)

1. Supernatural abilities

a. Have deep compassion for people who are in pain (emotional/physical/mental/etc.)

b. Can comfort others with ease

c. Very considerate of other people’s feelings

2. Possible worldly weaknesses

a. Become angry with those who do not show mercy toward others

b. Expect people to comfort you the same way you comfort them

c. Lash out at those who are not considerate of you

3. Ministry opportunities

a. Reach out to the handicapped in our group/church/community

b. Defend and stand by those who get made fun of

c. Instill confidence and comfort in the underdogs around you

L. Faith (I Corinthians 13:2)

1. Supernatural abilities

a. Sense God’s presence when no one else can

b. Sense that God is at work when no one else can

c. Trust in God in spite of tremendous obstacles

2. Possible worldly weaknesses

a. Become angry/upset with others who lack faith

b. Believe that you are always right

c. Believe that you are better than others for your beliefs

3. Ministry opportunities

a. Organize a prayer ministry to pray for big things

b. Challenge others to win their campuses to Christ

c. Motivate others in the youth group and Church to rely on God in tough times

M. Discernment (I Corinthians 12:10)

1. Supernatural abilities

a. Sense hypocrisy or dishonesty in the others

b. Sense when God is at work

c. Sense when Satan is at work

2. Possible worldly weaknesses

a. Tend to judge and criticize others for their faults

b. Be melodramatic about spiritual things

c. Arrive at your own conclusions about others instead of depending on God’s Spirit

3. Ministry opportunities

a. Steer the youth group clear of Satanic influences (astrology, Ouija boards, etc.)

b. Steer the youth group toward depending on God’s Spirit for guidance

c. Point out hypocrisy in the youth group and Church

Do Something About It

Explain: Everyone divide up into groups based on your top spiritual gift. If someone ends up alone, have a leader pray with him/her — emphasizing the uniqueness that God has given to this person. Or, direct this person to choose his/her secondary gift and meet with that group. Talk about specific things you could do in the following areas to put your gifts to work. Come up with at least two ideas for each area.

1. Home

2. School

3. Youth group

4. Church (outside of youth group)

5. Work

6. Other (your choice)

Then pray and dismiss yourselves when you are done. You might provide adult leaders to watch over these small groups and make sure the youth stay on track.

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