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Vocations, Calling & Gifts


Aimed at young people aged 14-18 but adaptable

Equipment: Laptop, Projector, Speaker, Parable of the Talents video, What makes a good leader cards (click to download), Psalm 139 to hand & bibles

Intro: Explain that the aims of this session are to think about our gifts and what God might be calling us to do.

Name Game: Start the session off by inviting the young people to go around and say their name and what they wanted to be when they were a child.

Ask: As you thought back to what you wanted to be when you were a child are those jobs things you’d still like to be? (You could throw in an example here…for example: I’ve got a friend who wanted to be a giraffe when she grew up)

Explain: For the next 45 minutes we’re going to be thinking about vocation and what God might be calling us to do.

Ask: Do you think God has a calling for you? What do you think we mean by calling?

Bible: As a group (or in smaller groups if your group is larger) read through The Parable of the Talents from Matthew 24:14-30 / Watch this video:

Discuss: What do you think this story tells us? What do you think the key message is? What does it tell us today?

Explain: This parable from Jesus is all about a master with 3 different servants. Each has gifts and abilities but very different ones and so the master trusts them with different amounts…amounts they can handle and do a good job with yet one of them lacks confidence and so does nothing rather than pushing himself and trusting his master.

When we think about our own gifts and talents it’s not that we’ll all be really good at the same thing but that we’re all different…some of us might be really good at welcoming, others at running children’s groups, others might become Vicars, some might be in the worship band, some might make tea and coffee, some might do the church admin. (Also talk about lay ministry, youth work, licensed lay ministry, readers etc.)

Ask:     What different roles can you think of in a church? (List all of these)

Which of these roles do you think you could be good at? Why?

Read:   As a group read Romans 12:1-11 and discuss briefly

Activity: What makes a good leader?

Invite the young people into two smaller groups and ask them to sort the cards about leadership into what they think is desirable, must-have and don’t want in a leader

After doing this come back together and discuss the answers. Why have they picked and sorted the cards the way they have?

Explain: Being in leadership doesn’t mean we have to have all of our ‘must-haves’ sorted because often we learn things when we have a go at things (and the church is a safe place to do that).

When I started preaching or leading youth group sessions I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, I was probably too fast and didn’t order things properly but people looking after me helped me get better at doing those things. (Use your own example here)

In the bible as well God chooses lots of leaders who perhaps aren’t the most ideal on paper!

Can you think of any?

Jacob was a liar

David a murderer/adulterer

Rahab was a prostitute

Moses stuttered

Jesus’ disciples weren’t good enough to start with!

Explain: When we think about our own vocation and what God might be calling us to it’s important to remember that even if we feel inadequate God has a plan for our lives and knows us and loves us.

Closing Reflection: Close the session by reading Psalm 139 and inviting people to reflect on the words and to use the time to ask God what he might be calling them to.