Discipleship Activities for the Family

Family faith-sharing tip:

You have been given spiritual gifts that you can use at home, as well is in your church and community. Take time to reflect on how you could also use these gifts to build up the people in your own family. Encourage your children whenever you see them using their spiritual gifts, and support them as they develop confidence in using their gifts. Help them to use their gifts in creative ways to serve your local church and to experience the happiness and wonder of using their special gifts from God.

Focus:

  • Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-12, 27; Matthew 25:14-30
  • The Holy Spirit gives each of us special “welcome gifts” when we choose to follow Jesus. These gifts are specially designed for us so that we will enjoy using them to share God’s love.

Gather together:

  • A simple, age-appropriate craft kit, small construction toy kit, or the ingredients for a simple recipe that you can easily make with your children
  • Several small, attractive gift boxes or bags, and gift-wrap paper
  • Sticky tape and scissors
  • Plain heavy paper or folded card blanks
  • Coloring materials and marker pens

What you do:

  • Prepare for your family time by wrapping each ingredient, craft item, or type of construction toy component as a separate and attractive gift. Use gift boxes, bags, or gift-wrap paper to make them look special. Hide the gifts around the room—one in an obvious place, one in a place that will be difficult to find, and the rest wherever you like.
  • When you’re ready, invite the children to come into the room and help you look for the special gifts. Let them struggle a little to find the hard-to-find object. Then give them one clue at a time until they find it. Don’t let them open the gifts just yet.
  • Read aloud 1 Corinthians 12:4-12, 27.
  • Distribute the gifts equally among the children and let them open them. They may think some of the gifts are a little strange. Explain that the gifts can help us understand more about the gifts that the Holy Spirit gives to followers of Jesus to make our church families happier, stronger, and more loving.
  • Discuss:
    • Why do you think the presents were attractively wrapped? (All God’s spiritual gifts are good and special and things that make us happy.)
    • Why were they hidden and why were some harder to find than others? (Some of our spiritual gifts are more obvious than others—sometimes we find surprise gifts when we’re in a special situation. Sometimes we get new gifts as we grow. Some gifts take a bit longer to discover.)
    • What are some of the reasons that God’s Holy Spirit gives us different and special gifts to use? (To help us work together, to encourage us to get involved, to make sure we’re not overloaded by having too many things to do, and to make sure that a church has people who are gifted to do all the important jobs a church needs to have done.)
    • What would happen if we didn’t use and share our gifts with each other? (We would miss out and our church would miss out. Our gifts might be taken away and given to other people.)
    • What lovely things could we make with all the different gifts we have? (It is hoped that they will suggest putting them together so you can make something special.)
  • Enjoy making whatever project the “gifts” will make. Together you can create something much more special than if you each kept your gifts to yourself. Perhaps you can make something you can share or give away to bless others.

Prayer/reflection activity:

  • Give each person a sheet of heavy paper folded in half to make a blank greeting card.
  • Invite them to draw a picture of a beautiful gift on the front of the card. Then ask them to add a tag to the gift that says, “To (person’s name), sent by the Holy Spirit, with love from God.”
  • Pass the gift cards around the family. Write some of the gifts you’ve seen each other use inside each other’s cards.
  • Give the cards back to their owners.
  • Thank God for the different gifts of the Holy Spirit that He’s given to each of you. Ask Him to show you some special ways you can use your gifts to help others.