Note to the Teacher
The scripture reading today talks more about spiritual gifts. The opening activity is a fun and lively game of “Simon Says.” The discussion encourages students to think about how the body of Christ works together and the importance of their gifts to that body. The activity has students completing their very own spiritual gifts inventory. Times are based on a fifty-minute lesson period but may be adjusted.
1. Ice Breaker: ‘Simon Says Extreme’ (10 minutes)
Ask your students who they think would be the best at leading “Simon Says.” (Or for some cheap biblical humor, make this game “Simeon Says” or “Shimon Says”) Have that student come forward to be Simon. Give the student a sheet of paper with a bunch of weird “Simon Says” options and have that person lead as quickly and intensely as possible. The goal is speed and humor. (See below for ideas.).
Have “Simon” ask the group to all stand up (then call them all out! Because if Simon didn’t say “Simon says, “stand up,” they all have already lost the game.” Start the game for real this time and go until you have only one person remaining. If you are playing this game digitally, make sure you can see the entire person playing on the screen.
Here are a few silly “Simon Says” sayings: (Note: The faster you call each command, the better!)
- Draw with your feet
- Play air guitar
- Roll over
- Waddle like a penguin
- Rub your tummy and pat your head
- Cry like a baby
- Bite your lip
- Raise one foot up as high as you can
- Dance the cha cha
- Pretend to climb a tree
- Crawl like a baby
- Fly like a bird
- Walk on your knees
- Stand on one foot
- Smell your feet
- Give yourself a bear hug
- Walk backward in a circle
- Moon walk
- Any random Fortnite dance
You may choose to transition by saying something like this: “Today we are talking about how we are each part of the body of Christ. Much like the numerous parts of the body we used today to play our ‘Simon Says Extreme’ game, if we all try and do all the things that the church is supposed to do all the time, we’ll get exhausted, look confused, and be tripping over ourselves, even though we are trying to do the best we can. The scripture helps us understand that we are each part of the body of Christ, and each part of the body has a purpose and is expected to work in concert and cooperate with the rest of the body to do holy things.”
2. Read Scripture (5 minutes)
Our scripture reading today is from Paul’s letter to the church of Corinth and talks about how the body of Christ is made up of different parts, each with its own gifts to be used in harmony with one another.
Read 1 Corinthians 12:12-31a.
3. Discussion (15 minutes)
- Why do you think Paul uses the body as an analogy for Christians? Do you think the metaphor of “we are parts of the body of Christ and the body of Christ is the church” makes sense? What is easy or difficult to understand about that metaphor?
- How might this scripture affect how we value diversity in the church? What do you think it means to have diversity in the church?
- Think about the human body. How loud would you be able to clap if you had only one hand? How well would you write using only your thumb? Every part of the body is important and works together to help us express all that it means to be human. Who do you think are the “backbones” of our group? Of our church? How about the heart?
- Have you ever tried to do or be a part of something and it just didn’t feel like you fit? Talk about that experience? How can we help others discover how they fit and use their gifts as part of our group and church?
- Verse 14 says, “Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many.” Think about our church and/or student ministry. How diverse is our church/student ministry compared to our community? How can we be better about inviting people to church who may look or act or live differently than we do? What gifts does our youth ministry bring to the church as a whole? What would the church miss if our group was not part of it?
- What gifts are listed in verses 28-30? (Write these down.)
- Have you heard of any other gifts listed in scripture or worded differently in other Bible versions?
Transition to the spiritual gifts inventory by explaining to your students that they are going to take what may feel like a test: a spiritual gifts inventory.
4. Activity and Discussion ‘Spiritual Gifts Inventory’ (20 minutes)
Explain to your students that today they are going to take a spiritual gifts inventory. Follow the prompting on the spiritual gifts inventory found here: https://www.fumcr.com/June_8_-_Youth_Spiritual_GiftsTest.pdf.
If your students are online, they can fill out the inventory online by clicking here: https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/spiritual-gifts-inventory/en.
Allow plenty of time for students to complete the spiritual gifts inventory. Depending on the size of your group, the inventory may take up the entire time. Play some soft music (optional) and encourage students to take this time seriously. If time allows, ask the following:
- What did you think about the spiritual gifts inventory?
- What was your top spiritual gift? How do you feel about it? Do you think that others would affirm that same gift in you?
- What were some of your other top spiritual gifts?
- How do you think you can use your gifts in the weeks and months ahead?
- How can you use your gifts to provide unity and growth in the church?
- Do you think spiritual gifts always stay the same? Or are they dynamic and grow and change with time?
Thank your group for taking this time seriously and encourage them to continue to grow in their gifts and find ways in the weeks ahead to use those spiritual gifts.
Close your time together in a manner that is typical for you. Consider taking joys and concerns, then asking for a volunteer to close in prayer.
Total time: 50 minutes
- Pens or pencils
- Spiritual Gifts Inventory (1 per person)