Second Sunday After the Epiphany 2019, Year C — Faith Formation
Greater Gifts Worship Series, Week 2 - Gifted for Others
January 20, 2019
Week 2 — Gifted for Others
Fellowship – Snacks or a Meal (10 minutes with snacks; longer, obviously, if there is a meal)
Gathering and Opening (10-15 minutes)
Begin by exploring participants’ results from their spiritual gifts assessments. What did they find surprising? Were there results that participants disagreed with? What new areas of ministry might some participants need to explore? (An optional exercise would be for participants to try and guess other participants’ spiritual gifts before they reveal their results.)
Group Dialogue (Approximately 20 minutes)
Read: 1 Corinthians 12:1-11
- Count the number of times the word “Spirit” is used in the passage. What might this reveal about the emphasis of this passage?
- Read Ephesians 4:11-13 and Romans 12:6-8. What might these other lists of gifts suggest about the number of spiritual gifts? [Not limited just to those mentioned here.] What other gifts would you add that are not listed?
- Who benefits the most when we are operating out of our giftedness? Us? Others? Both?
- Do you think our spiritual gifts can change over time?
- (R) How might we over focus on our spiritual gifts such that practicing them is self-centered as opposed to being for the “common good” (v. 7)?
- (R) Have participants tell of a time when they operated out of their giftedness and/or when they had to do something they were not gifted to do. Is it always wrong to do only what we’re gifted for?
Practice: Find one way to use your giftedness this week and be ready to report about it next session.
Some denominations emphasize the spiritual gift of tongues, while other denominations totally discount the use of tongues. While some have misunderstood Article XIII Public Worship of the Confessions of Faith in the Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church to condemn the use of tongues, that article is actually addressing the Roman Catholic practice of using Latin in their liturgy that was not understood by the common people (Paragraph 104, page 76). For more information regarding the use of the gift of tongues, check out this short video from Liturgy Man.
Paul’s point about gifts is to highlight that all gifts have the same source (the Spirit, v. 4) and are for the same purpose (common good, v. 7). Paul can then say assuredly that any speech that is truly from God must align with the idea that Jesus is Lord. In Paul’s day, there were those who claimed spiritual insight by the exuberance of their religious experience. Similar in our day are those who also equate religious zeal or the demonstration of a particular spiritual gift with true Christian maturity. Paul instructs them that the test of true maturity is alignment with Jesus as Lord, building up for the common good, and love (as we’ll see in 1 Corinthians 13).
Additionally, Paul goes on to say that though there is a common source for the gifts, not all are gifted in the same way. As opposed to revealing levels of the gifts that are more spiritual (tongues), Paul highlights that the variety of gifts shows that the community needs a diversity of gifts for the community to reflect kingdom values.
Prayer (10 minutes). Share prayer requests and respond appropriately.
Sending Forth (2 minutes). End by praying the following or similar prayer:
Gift -giving God, we thank you for bestowing your grace and gifts among us. We find it overwhelming to acknowledge that because you have empowered us, we are able to do more than we can imagine (John 14:12, Ephesians 3:20). Empower us to discern our gifts and the courage to use the gifts for the benefit of your kingdom. Amen.
Week 2: Second Sunday After the Epiphany – January 20, 2019: Gifted for Others
1 Corinthians 12:1-11
“Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2 You know that when you were pagans, you were enticed and led astray to idols that could not speak. 3 Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says, ‘Let Jesus be cursed!’ and no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit. 4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.”
Our verse for today is from the first letter to the Corinthians, chapter 12, verse 11: “All these [spiritual gifts] are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.”
Let’s think about what this means.
- God gives each person in the church a spiritual gift.
- A spiritual gift is a special ability from the Holy Spirit, who is in our hearts.
- This gift may be strong faith, or a message full of wisdom, or understanding other people.
- Other gifts are healing, speaking God’s message, miracles, or explaining what is said in worship.
- The purpose of spiritual gifts is to build up and add life to the church.
- You may wonder what your spiritual gift is. Listen for it. God will help you discover it.
- You may already know what your spiritual gift is. That’s good; keep sharing it!
- All of us should “be on the lookout” to help one another recognize their spiritual gifts.
- In this way, God encourages us to contribute to our community of faith in Jesus Christ.
Would you like to talk more about your spiritual gifts? Talk to your parents, Sunday school teacher, or the pastor or leaders of the church. They would be happy to talk about them with you.
Dear God, thank you for giving each person in the church a spiritual gift. Open our eyes and ears by your Holy Spirit, so that we will notice the spiritual gifts that you give to us and others. Help us to be generous and share these gifts to build up your church. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.