SMALL GROUP QUESTIONS:
1. If Beulah Youth is about building servant-leaders, what area do you want to serve/grow in?
2. What opportunity at Beulah Youth do you wish you could have? What skills do you have do you think are under-utilized/not being developed?
3. What natural skills and abilities has God given you? How can you use them for building the church and community?
4. What spiritual gifts has God given you? How do you know you have these gifts? How can you use them for building the church and community?
5. Read Philippians 2:6-7. What does this passage tell you about servant leaders and their character?
ABOUT US SERIES
WHAT’S THE POINT?
We are about building servant leaders. Giving every student the opportunity to discover their gifts and develop them, while also growing a Christ-like servant heart at the same time.
1 Corinthians 12:4-26
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,[a] and to still another the interpretation of tongues.[b] 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.
Unity and Diversity in the Body
12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by[c] one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
Context of Scripture
The Corinthian church, divided because of the arrogance of its more powerful members, should work together for the advancement of the gospel. They should repent of their rivalries, build up the faith of those who are weak, and witness effectively to unbelievers.
Paul received news that the Corinthian were struggling with division, immorality, idolatry, and theological confusion. He wrote them this letter so that they would become a true dwelling place for God’s Spirit (3:12, 16), stay faithful to the gospel, and be “guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1:8).
Chapter 12 deals with the problem that some of the church were facing, arrogance. There were those in the Corinthian church who thought of themselves as better, more skilled, superior and therefore deserved more. As we unpack chapter 12 it is very clear from Paul that there are diverse skills and roles, yet none is superior to the other. All are needed for unity in the church and for the community to flourish.
Verses 4-11 outline that authority and gifting come from the Holy Spirt, it has nothing to do with the receiver but all about the giver. Therefore in our skills and gifting, we should not boast as it is God who has given them to us. These gifts are also not used for the individual to get famous or receive power, but for the building of the Church.
Verses 12-26 use the analogy of a body. That we all have a role to play even if it appears big or small. And because we are one body with Jesus as the head, when one part hurts, we all should feel the pain, and when one part rejoices the whole body should celebrate.
Paul is very clear that every single person will receive something from the Holy Spirit, and when we understand the gifts we have been given they should be used for blessing the church and those we encounter. Always taking our lead from Jesus, not ourselves.
Share a story from your life where you have identified your gifts and have grown them/used them for God.
WHY DO I CARE?
In life, we often talk about growing in faith or growing our gifts but sometimes it’s hard to put it into words or actions. Growth is natural. We see it in nature as we look at the plants and the trees. We see it in humans as we watch a tiny baby grow into an adult. We see it in a child as their intelligence grows. We see them learning their first words or taking their first steps. Growth is natural. Yet, when we consider our faith in Jesus, often it hard to measure. “Are we growing?”
As followers of Jesus growth is something incredibly important. As we follow Jesus and give full control to Jesus, it’s natural that we begin to grow into the people He intended us to be. As our character becomes more like Jesus’ character, it not only affects us but those around us. When the Spirit empowers us with gifts it is important to care for those gifts, help them grow and use them for benefiting the church and those around us.
Growth is not always up and to the right. It can often be a very staggered, backwards, spun around type of growth. There are moments or markers in our life where we recall the goodness and faithfulness of God and it sparks our obedience to Jesus to go deeper. And then there are mundane moments of life that sometimes allow us to regress in our faith.
As a body, the Church, we have all been given different skills, gifts, strengths and weaknesses. How we use them together can make or break a community. Unity is the ideal. It’s what Jesus prayed for that his church would be unified (John 17).
WHAT DO I DO?
It is important to discover what makes you YOU. How are you wired? What are you passionate about? What skills do you have?
To identify your spiritual gifts it’s important to test them. Gifts like Paul writes such as healing, prophecy, faith, wisdom, tongues. Often it takes good mentors and safe spaces for you to discover these gifts. Which is something we are going to do at Beulah Youth in this next season.
Alongside gifting is character. You can have all the gifts in the world but if you are not becoming more like Jesus your gifts will become your pride, and it will turn you into those early believers in the Corinthian church who were arrogant.
Jesus exampled it perfectly, as the greatest leader, he was also the greatest servant.
“Who, being in very nature God, Jesus did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.”
The best leaders serve. The best leaders are selfless. The best leaders look like Jesus.
Do your gifts build others up? Are you willing to give away the limelight? Are you able to celebrate other’s success? Are you able to identify if you’re an ear, an arm or a leg in the body of Christ?