Gifts and Discipleship (October 19)

Roman 12:1-12


Timothy Brock (Discovering Our Spiritual Gifts, pp. 17, 18, 19) defines the spiritual gifts found in Romans 12:

The capacity to receive, to reveal, or to interpret God's Truth, publicly, no matter the consequences or risks.”

The ability to perform the most basic acts of kindness as a means to glorify God and embody the Gospel.”

The capacity to create an environment in which obedience to God's Truth can be practiced.”

The capacity to inspire, to motivate, and to encourage others in their spiritual formation and personal ministry.”

The capacity to manage one's own resources (income, time, energy, skills, and gifts) in such a way that there is more than enough to share with other people.”

The ability to understand one's own principles and vision, to communicate those principles and vision to others, and to challenge others to move into the future, all in a non-reactive way.”

The ability to identify with and to feel the pains and hurts of another person and the capacity to help that person move beyond those pains and hurts.”

Reading the Scripture

Here is an activity to use as you read the scripture:

Wrap the individual spiritual gifts listed in the passages used during this unit (1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12, and Ephesians 4), each in a separate package or gift bag. Open them each week as you discuss them.
1 Corinthians 12
Interpretation of Tongues
Romans 12    
Ephesians 4    

Teaching Suggestions

  • Sacrifices: Paul encouraged members of the Roman church to present their bodies as a living sacrifice, a reference to sacrifices at the Temple. I have included at the end of this session a couple of pictures illustrating the Temple in New Testament times and Jewish ritual sacrifice.
  • Ministry Survey: Distribute copies of the Ministry Survey. Discuss the contents. How well does it represent the Spiritual Gifts and Ministries of our church body? Is anything missing that should be included?
  • A Piece of the Puzzle: Your class has been given an 11 by 17 inch puzzle piece, along with all twelve adult Sunday School classes. On Sunday, October 26, from 9:30 until about 9:40 we invite you to the Welcome Cafe' to work the puzzle with the other adult classes. Display the puzzle piece throughout the month. Let class members write their names on it. As you learn about Spiritual Gifts and class members discover their unique spiritual gifts, you can print the gifts beside, under, or near their names. You will probably have to write small in order to have room. There are several ways you could write the spiritual gifts:
    • Class members write what they see as their spiritual gifts.
    • Class members write the spiritual gifts they see in others.
    • Or some combination.


I have set aside a shelf in the library with resources for Sunday School teachers. I will place there resources of general interest and some specifically applicable to current lessons. Other resources are kept in my office.

  • Books and Resources on Spiritual Gifts in Keith's Office
    • Yours for the Giving: Spiritual Gifts, Barbara Joiner (Birmingham, AL: WMU Press, 1986).
    • Klesis: God's Call and the Journey of Faith, Kathy Dobbins, Colin Harris, Doris Nelms (Atlanta: Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, 2005).
    • Discovering Our Spiritual Gifts: A Seminar in Spiritual Formation, Timothy Brock
    • How to Discover Your Spiritual Gifts, John Hendrix (Nashville: Convention Press, 1979).
    • Rediscovering Our Spiritual Gifts, Charles Bryant (Nashville: Upper Room, 1991).
    • Discovering Your Spiritual Gifts: A Personal Inventory Method, Kenneth Cain Kinghorn (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1981)
  • For additional commentary on the text see these commentaries in our library:
    • Mercer Commentary on the Bible (Mercer University Press, 1995)
    • Harper’s Bible Commentary (Harper & Row, 1988).