Objective

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.

Materials

  • large "puzzle" of church with laminated pieces.

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.

  • dry-erase markers.
  • handouts
  • masking tape

Opening Prayer

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

Ice Breaker

  • Begin by dividing up the youth into groups of three.
  • Give the youth 3-5 minutes to think of two activities or vocations they truly enjoy doing and one thing they hate to do. 
  • Within each group of three, one person will present to the other two the three activities and it is up to them to guess which activities of the three are enjoyed and which one is hated.  The other 2 members of each group then proceed to do the same. 

Ask the following:

  • How accurate were you in your guesses?
  • How were you able to guess the right activities?
  • Were you surprised by any of the answers?
  • Did you learn something about the people in your group?

Discussion

  • Does anyone know the derivative of the word, vocation?
  • What does it sound like?
  • What does it mean?

State (Summarize in your own words)

Vocation comes from the Latin vocari which means to call. In Greek: klisis means calling. Vocation is our response to God’s call to serve Him.  Everybody has been called to serve in some specific way.  God wants each and every person to utilize his or her talents according to His purpose. Sometimes people are puzzled about what their greatest gifts and talents are and that the purpose of this session is to help them gain a better understanding of them.

Activity

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:

  • What activities bring you the most joy?
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.
  • Briefly define and discuss the concept of “gifts” to the whole group.

State (Summarize in your own words)

Another word for “gift” could be talent.  Every person on this earth has been given gifts.  It’s just up to us to figure out what they are.  For example, some people are great artists (iconographers), musicians (composers, chanters, singers, instrumentalists), teachers, pastors, mothers, listeners, etc… Not everybody has the some gifts.  They are as diverse as we are. 

Ask them to answer and discuss within their group the following questions:

What activities are you particularly good at? 
What is one of your gifts?

State  

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.)

  • Instruct the youth to write on their puzzle piece under their joy and gift a particular need they may be able to satisfy based on their previous answers.
  • Assemble the puzzle.  Have the participants put the puzzle pieces together. What is created? A church! Discuss the concept of the church as the body of Christ.

(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.

Discussion

  • Did anyone learn anything about yourself that you didn’t know before?
  • Was anyone surprised?
  • How could someone go about turning a gift into a vocation?  In the world? In the Church?

Closing Prayer

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.

Contact: Fr. Jim Katinas