Youth Group Devo: Understanding Your Spiritual Gifts

The Backdrop
Think about your favorite movie scene that probably plays out this way: Two things are joined together, and something magical happens. Maybe it’s two halves of a coin, a key and a lock, or a carved piece that fits a carved out shape in a wall.

There is something similar to this in the Christian walk: It’s the process of finding God’s call on your life. For some, it’s a moment; for others it’s a journey. No matter how it comes about, one thing that is definitely part of the process is your spiritual giftedness. Similar to coins, locks and carvings in movies, when you are joined with your spiritual giftedness, something magical happens. Yet it’s more than magic; it’s God’s supernatural power working in you.

The reality plays out this way:

The What
The Bible has three main passages that teach about spiritual gifts. The verses below are snippets from each passage. Read these verses from your Bible; if you’re not comfortable marking in your Bible, print them out on a separate sheet of paper. As you read, do these things:

1. Draw a smiley face over references to you.
2. Draw a gift box over words such as gift or give.
3. Draw a symbol over references to God, Jesus or the Holy Spirit. (You may want to use a different symbol for each reference, such as a cloud for God, a cross for Jesus and a flame for the Holy Spirit).

The Word
“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us” (Romans 12:3-6).

“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good” (1 Cor. 12:4-7).

“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4:11-13).

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Pet. 4:10).

The So What
Take a minute to review all the things you just discovered about yourself, gifts and God—all the things you just marked. Use that info to answer these questions:

Where do spiritual gifts come from?

What are they used for? What’s the purpose?

Who gets a spiritual gift? Who distributes spiritual gifts?

Based on these verses, why is it important to seek out your spiritual giftedness? What do you have to benefit? What do others have to benefit from you experiencing your spiritual giftedness?

Seal the Deal
The verses you just explored teach us about spiritual gifts. The verses referenced below actually list the different spiritual gifts. You’ll notice each passage contains different gifts. Take a minute to compile a list of the different gifts that are noted in all the passages. This list can be your gateway into discovering God’s call on your life. Focus on three or four gifts that interest you. Think about how each of these might be represented in your youth ministry. Then try them out! The best way to know if you have a particular gift is to serve in a named area of giftedness (such as helps, administration, mercy, etc.) and see if your work has any impact. In other words, are people encouraged and ministered to by your presence and actions?

Romans 12:6-8
1 Corinthians 12:7-11
Ephesians 4:11-13
1 Peter 4:10-11

As you experience your giftedness you will find yourself being used by God in ways you can’t imagine. Just as in the movies, two things will be joined together (you and your gifts), and something magical will happen!

NOTE: Churches can have different interpretations on the subject of spiritual gifts. This devo is simply an opportunity for you to see firsthand what the Bible says; feel free to consult a youth worker or pastor in your life after you do the devo.

barry

Barry Shafer

Barry Shafer has been communicating the truth of God’s Word since 1984 as a volunteer youth leader, youth pastor, pastor, author and speaker. Barry, with his late wife Dana, founded InWord Resources in 1996 to strengthen youth ministry with discipleship materials and experiences that meaningfully engage teens in Scripture. Barry is author of Unleashing God’s Word in Youth Ministry (Youth Specialties/Zondervan) and has written numerous teen devotionals and small-group Bible studies. When Barry’s not studying, writing, being a diva spouse, or “daddy-ing” Reade, you can find him reading on the porch, biking on a trail, pulling for the Packers, or playing a little golf.