By Fr. Jim Katinas
To give participants a better understanding and appreciation of their unique talents and gifts and how they might be utilized in the service of God, the Church and people.
Take a large laminated piece of poster-board and draw an outline of a church. Proceed to cut it up into the amount of pieces appropriate to the number of people in the group.
Christ, the True Light, who enlightens and sanctifies every person coming into the world, let the light of Your countenance shine upon us that we may see Your unapproachable light; and guide our steps in the way of Your commandments, through the intercessions of Your all-holy Mother and of all the Saints. Amen
Ask the following:
State (Summarize in your own words)
Give each person a piece of the puzzle and have him or her write their name on the top (ask them to write small). Then have them write "Joy=" under their name. Have the participants divide back into their same groups of three. Ask them to answer and discuss the following question:
Have each participant write one of his or her joys on their puzzle piece. Come back together as a whole group. Have a spokesperson from each group talk about their joys.
State (Summarize in your own words)
There are particular "needs" that arise within our lives and the Church community.
What needs do you think are obvious to our lives?
Possible answers: teachers, pastors, parents, prophets, judges, etc...
(Refer to Eph. 4:11 included with handout.)
(Refer to handout for scriptural references)
State (paraphrase in your own words)
The church is a body of living members with Christ as our head. “We though many are one body in Christ.” All these different joy+gifts+needs, which comprise the Church puzzle, come together to form a unity which gives life to the world. Each person in this room has been called to perform a particular function whether one is a teacher, a firefighter, a priest or a parent. Don’t be discouraged if you are having a hard time discovering your talent or vocation. As one grows into the church it will become more obvious what God has put inside you. Just remember that you are one piece of a whole unified picture working to live in this world.
Read Ephesians 4:11-16
And His gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the cunning of men, by their craftiness in deceitful wiles. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into Him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every joint with which it is supplied, when each part is working properly, makes bodily growth and upbuilds itself in love.
Lord Jesus Christ, we give thanks to You for your great blessings you have bestowed upon us. Teach us to recognize our gifts, which you have given us. Guide us as we use these gifts in our lives. Strengthen us to continually look for other ways that we can share our gifts with others. For You are a Good God who loves mankind, and to you do we ascribe glory, to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Romans 12:3-8 (RSV)
For by the grace given to me I bid every one among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith which God has assigned him.
For as in one body we have many members, and all the members do not have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; he who teaches, in his teaching; he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who contributes, in liberality; he who gives aid, with zeal; he who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
Corinthians 12:1, 4-13 (RSV)
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be uninformed… Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in every one.
To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are inspired by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body -- Jews or Greeks, slaves or free -- and all were made to drink of one Spirit. For the body does not consist of one member but of many.
Ephesians 4:7-16 (RSV)
But grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ's gift. Therefore it is said, "When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men." (In saying, "He ascended," what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is he who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)
And his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the cunning of men, by their craftiness in deceitful wiles.
Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every joint with which it is supplied, when each part is working properly, makes bodily growth and upbuilds itself in love.