September 5, 2009
Get your group started with a look at what spiritual gifts are and when we encounter them.
I'll admit I was a little nervous about the first session of our "Use Your Spiritual Gifts" course. Usually when a small group studies spiritual gifts, the first session is a time when everybody explains what gifts they think they have been given—which is a nice way to learn a good bit more about your group, but doesn't necessarily lead to stimulating discussion.
Fortunately, I was pleasantly surprised with some new information on spiritual gifts that I think will be very cool to talk about in a group setting. Keep reading for more info...
Your group is probably expecting that they will spend the majority of the time talking about each other's spiritual gifts. You can just let people go around and talk about their gifts and count that as the icebreaker, really. It usually helps to have some kind of list of the "accepted" spiritual gifts when you do that. Here's a good example.
But I think Teaching Points two and three are where you can really make some hay in terms of discussion. Did you know that God blesses us with gifts at different stages of our lives? I certainly did not, but it makes a lot of sense after you read study material for Teaching Point Two. Nor did I realize that requesting different gifts is an option, as Teaching Point Three discusses.
These topics can lead to some very interesting discussion themes. It's not in the study, but it would be fascinating to have people talk about which spiritual gifts they would pick out if God allowed us to choose. And that idea leads directly into application—what would you use that gift for? What is stopping you from making that a regular piece of your prayer life? What gift do you need to ask God for now in order to tackle a difficult situation?
If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that I love to talk about teachable moments—those times when the Holy Spirit really moves in a group setting or in the life of an individual member. We can't make those moments happen, of course, but we can prepare an atmosphere that is more conducive to the Spirit's work, and we can focus on themes and topics that match what the Spirit is doing in our lives.
For me, the application section of this study is where I would look for the best chance at a teachable moment, especially those questions we mentioned above.
But I'd love to know what other people think. Keeping your specific group in focus, which part of this week's study do you think has the most potential to be a powerful moment? What kinds of activities, Scripture passages, or ideas could we use to enhance those moments and open the door wider for the Holy Spirit?
Don't hold out on us!
posted by Sam O'Neal on September 5, 2009 4:34 PM