Reaching Out: Our Call To Minister: Session 2: Gifted to Give
By the end of this session the students should be able to:
- define a spiritual gift as a special ability God gives to people through His Holy Spirit in order that they can glorify God, by showing His love and doing His will.
- list four or five of their God-given talents and abilities
- connect their talents and abilities with the spiritual gifts mentioned in the scriptures
- identify two or three spiritual gifts that they themselves possess
- identify one or two ways they can use those spiritual gifts to minister to someone
Useful scriptural texts:
- Romans 12:6-8
- 1 Corinthians 12:4-11
- 1 Corinthians 12:27-31
- 1 Corinthains 13:1-8a
- Ephesians 4:7-8,11-12
- 1 Peter 4:9-11
- Galatians 5:22-23
- Philippians 4:8-9
- copies of the life of Juliana the Merciful [see Resource 3]
5 Minutes. Review: According to the session last week, how can we show God that we love Him? [Love and serve each other.] What are some concrete was Jesus said we are to do this? [Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick and imprisoned, welcome strangers].
15 minutes. How can I make a difference?! Hand out articles about recent tragedies and problems in your community and the world. Ask, 'What other big problems is the word facing?' Have a couple of volunteers write down all the responses. When there are no more ideas say, 'We've already made a list of people that are in need. How are you going to help all these people fix all these problems?' Point out that no one person can do or be good at doing everything. There is only one God and one Saviour and we aren't God.
10 minutes. Split students up into groups of three or four. Give each group Worksheet #1 on gifts, and the life of St Juliana [Resource 3]. Have the members of each group read aloud to each other the life of St Juliana and discuss the first set of questions on the worksheet. Once everyone has had time to discuss all the questions have groups share what they discussed.
20 minutes. Read together 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 and 27-31. Say, 'While we all share the same call to serve others, we do not all have to do this in the exact same way. Each of us is given special talents and abilities so that we can use them to help others.' Keeping the same groups, have students complete the personal gifts portion of the enclosed worksheet. Once everyone in a group has completed this, have them share their lists with the others in their group. Share and discuss results. [Some students will be unable to see that they have certain gifts. Encourage them to think of how they help their parents, friends, pets, etc] Discuss the difference between really providing for osmoene and just getting rid of some things we don't really want anymore.
Take a look at the list of the people in need that you made in Session 1. Based upon the answers to section three of the worksheet, see if the students' gifts and abilities match any of the needs listed. Explore with them the types of things they could do to minister to some of the people listed. Share teh possibilties with the group. You can help by point out ministries they may not have thought of. For example:
- someone who likes working with children might offter to baby-sit for a busy mother
- someone who likes to read and enjoys people might visit a shut-in who feels lonely and isolated to read the newspaper or a book to them, or run errands for them
- make an effor to learn the neames o fthe elderly in your parish and greet them on Sundays with a few minutes of conversation
Encourage the students to think of ministry in a broad and informal way. Even a smile can be a ministry if it brightens someone's day. Say, 'If each of us used our special talents to help others who are in need every day, think of the difference we could make!'
God knows that we can't save the world. That's His job! God has given each of us special gifts so that together we can help people who are in need and with whom we come in contact.
Announce that at the next 'meeting' after this session they will be actually using some of their God-given gifts by participating in a service project. This will be the only project that they will participate in without completely planning it. It is essential that every effor be made to take theem somewhere where they can be something or someone [avoid fund-raisers]. For this reason it is essential that the teacher visit the location and talk with the appropriate staff/people beforehand. Possible projects might include helping at a soup kitchen [Read the article by Alexander Schmemann, 'Working in a Russian Soup Kitchen;' see Volume 2, Community Service]; a food party; preparing meals or gifts for homeless people and delivering them to a shelter where they can interact with the people they are helping; raking an elderly person's yard or shoveling the snow from their driveway and visiting with them afterwards. Be creative! For ideas check the Resource Handbook or call your local Salvation Army or United Way. Try to bring a couple of teens into teh planning process so that they have a voice as to what type of project they do. THe trip should be completely planned one to two weeks before teh date of the project.
Be sure to obtain parent/guardian permission slips and enough drivers over teh age of 21 for everyone to get there. Organizations often have requirements for volunteering. For this reason, be sure to contact an organization well in advance of the project. After the event make copies of the evaluation sheet at the end of the unit and debrief students about their experience over pizza!