Scripture: 1 Corinthians 12:1-11
Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2 You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. 3 Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.
4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them.5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.
7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.
Main Point: Spiritual gifts are abilities that come from God through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. These gifts enable disciples of Jesus to do things they would not be able to do on their own to glorify God and fulfill God’s mission on earth.
Learning Game: Superfight (25 minutes)
Superfight is a commercially available party game about debating who would win in crazy match-ups that the players create. The game has an MSRP of $29.99. It is available at hobby game stores, some big box retailers, and online retailers.
In this game students will take turns battling each other in a "super fight" as they make their champions stronger by adding more and more cards to them and explaining why their guy is better. This is a 1 vs. 1 fight play so that several people can play, a tournament format could work if enough interest and people.
A small rules variant will be used to help this game better connect with the main point. At the beginning of each fight both players will be dealt three white and three black cards as printed in the rules. Also, as printed they will take choose one of each card to create their fighter. Then, they will draw a new black card. During the course of the debate they may play any one additional card to give their fighter an additional power during the course of the debate. Allow the debate to go on for as long as both players seem to have something to say. Once it reaches a stalemate or starts going in circles, call it and allow the group to vote on the winner.
Discussion Starter (10 minutes)
To transition between the game and biblical discussion use the following questions and movie clip:
1. How did constantly giving your champion new abilities make it easier to win the superfight?
2. If you could instantly learn any skill or acquire any ability what would it be? Why?
Facilitator Instructions: The point of these questions is to get the students in the right mindset to think about spiritual gifts. Spiritual gifts come from the Spirit for a purpose, much like the added power in the game as done specifically to enhance their argument.
Next, show clip from Big Hero 6 where Hiro installs Baymax with fighting abilities. Start the clip when Hiro says “If we are going to catch that guy, you need an upgrade.” End the clip after the fist bump.
Biblical Discussion (25 minutes)
Use the following questions to prompt discussion. After each question there are some suggested facilitator instructions. These are tips on how the facilitator could guide the conversation or important information the facilitator should make sure gets mentioned during the discussion:
1. What gave Baymax the ability to fight? Without the programming would Baymax have been able to learn those skills?
Facilitator Instructions: Baymax was programmed to fight, and that was not anywhere near his normal skill set. This question is to introduce and set up the idea that spiritual gifts do not come from ourselves but come from the empowerment of the Holy Spirit
2. Baymax was taught karate, because Hiro needed a fighter. When it comes to God’s will on earth, what kind of skills would you think God needs people to have? How do people get those skills?
Facilitator Instructions: There is no wrong answer here, and it is to get the students thinking in the right direction. It is possible that a scriptural savvy student might get a little ahead here and mention spiritual gifts.
Depending on the biblical knowledge of the group, it might be important to give a brief primer on the Holy Spirit. Good reference points are John 14:25-27; John 16:7-15; and Act 2:1-12. After ensuring that the students have baseline understanding of the Holy Spirit, read 1 Corinthians 12:1-11.
3. Based on what you just read/heard, how would you define a spiritual gift?
Facilitator Instruction: If a white board is available then it might be helpful to list out the spiritual gifts lifted, and it can be helpful to allow the students to ask questions about them. It should be mentioned that the list of spiritual gifts here is not extensive. For instance,
4. Looking at verse 7, what does “manifestation of the spirit mean?”
Facilitator Instruction: A spiritual gift is an ability that comes from God. While spiritual gifts have some connection with normal abilities, a spiritual gift should go far beyond that. Being a manifestation of the Spirit, the gifts come from God and they are fueled by God’s power. Much like Hiro gave Baymax the ability to fight, God gives us the spiritual gifts.
5. Why do you think God gives spiritual gifts?
Facilitator Instruction: As God’s people we are invited to join God in God’s mission to make disciples of all nations, show mercy, stand for justice, and bring light into the darkness. Spiritual gifts are the abilities we need to join God in this work.
6. Why do you think certain people get certain spiritual gifts?
Facilitator Instruction: This is a question that cannot fully be answered, because spiritual gifts come from the Spirit as the Spirit directs. In general though, this can connect back to the game. Often in Superfight abilities are added to fit the context. In the same war Spiritual gifts are given to fit the context.
7. Do you have any experience with seeing spiritual gifts being used?
Facilitator instruction: Spiritual gifts are an odd topic to talk about, and it is an area where Christian doctrine and experience gets a little mystical. It will be helpful if a facilitator can share a testimony here.