Paul’s Travels

Lydia Week 1: Spiritual Gifts

Scripture:          Acts 16:11-15


Memory Verse:      "There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but they all come from the           same Spirit."       1 Corinthians 12:4



·       Jesus calls us to treat everyone as equals

·       The good new about Jesus helps us put aside our prejudices

·       We respond to God by sharing our gifts.


·       Students will learn that Lydia shared her gift of hospitality with Paul

·       Students will learn that all people have spiritual gifts and will explore what their own gifts might be.

Gathering Time: (Guide and Coach)

1.     At the beginning of each class, the Coach greets arriving students and supervises snacks. 

2.     The Guide and Coach remind students to write prayer joys and concerns on the Prayer Wall and to place their offering in the offering jars. 

3.     After most students have arrived and snacks are ended the Guide asks the Coach to lead an opening prayer. This can be brief and may or may not involve the prayer chain.  

Workshop Lesson Procedure: (Guide takes over from here)


Scripture/Bible Story:

1.     Tell the class they will again be studying a part of Acts.  Conduct a brief review using questions similar to the following:  To what does the name “Acts” refer?  This book tells of the acts of Jesus apostles  During what part of church history do the stories in Acts take place?  These are all stories about the work of the disciples after Jesus died and was resurrected.  These stories are the earliest accounts of the people who worshipped Jesus.   Who is one of the major characters in Acts?  Paul/Saul

2.     Pass out Bibles and ask the class to turn to Acts 16: 11-15.  Ask students to take turns and read this scripture aloud.

3.     NOTE:  Next week will focus on the story itself, who Lydia was, why this story is important, etc.  Today’s lesson will focus on Lydia sharing her gifts with Paul.



1.     Ask the class how Lydia responded to Paul.  She was baptized; her family was baptized. What did Lydia want to share with Paul?  She asked Paul to stay at her home.  She shared hospitality. 

2.     In the church we often talk about sharing our gifts with God and each other.  What are some gifts we can share?  Write students’ answers on chart paper labeled with the title Spiritual Gifts.  Most answers are acceptable at this point.   

3.     Ask the students to divide into three groups.  This part of the lesson will be brief and it might be easiest to let them just turn as they are seated into groups.  On the other hand, if some students need to be separated, ask them to number off into three groups—1,2,3,1,2, etc.  Each group will read different sections of the Bible that describe spiritual gifts.  Group 1—Romans 12:3-13, Group 2—1 Corinthians 12:1-11, Group 3—Ephesians 4:7-16. 

4.     Provide each group with a blank copy of the spiritual gifts worksheet (attached at the end of the lesson).  Allow 5 minutes or so for each group to complete the worksheet.  Answer sheets (completed worksheets) for each scripture passage are included at the end of the lesson for the guide. 

5.     Call the group back together and ask them to look at the list of spiritual gifts you wrote earlier on the chart paper and compare that with the list their group generated from the Bible reading.  Ask students to name other spiritual gifts that should be added to the chart paper. 

6.     After the list of spiritual gifts is complete, continue the discussion with the following questions related to the Bible passages each group read. 

·     Who gives spiritual gifts?  God   Why?  To serve God and each other.

·      Does everyone have the same gifts?  No

·     What metaphor does the Bible use to describe all of us working together with different gifts?  We are like the different parts of our bodies.  Each part is important, but cannot do the job of the other parts.  For example, eyes cannot hear and feet cannot talk.

·     When do people receive their spiritual gifts—at what age?  In other words, do middle school youth have gifts to share?  Yes, all people have gifts to share.  Some of us are more aware of our gifts than others.  But once we recognize our gifts, God expects us to use them for the good of all. 

·     What kinds of gifts have you observed in your friends?  Most answers are suitable—but surely they can recognize that some of their friends have gifts of friendliness, hospitality, caring, giving, etc. 

7.     Tell the class that the remainder of the morning will be spent thinking about their own gifts.  This will require some time of quiet, thought, and consideration for other students.  Tell them you will pass out a list of different spiritual gifts and they are to consider which best describes themselves.  Remind them that everyone has at least one gift on the list—and maybe several. 

8.     It is not a customary activity to ask 6th and 7th graders to sit quietly and ponder themselves and their strengths.  Several ways that might encourage them to be thoughtful and introspective are:  play soft music, turn out the lights, hand out hard candy or gum to keep their mouths occupied, invite some to move to the hallway—or outside if the weather is nice--where they can be alone.  On the other hand, if several students are close friends, they might want to work together to help identify gifts in each other.  Finally, a way to set the tone for the next few minutes would be to ask students to bow in prayer as you ask God’s Spirit to be present among them and to open their hearts to the gifts given to them. 

9.     Give each student the handout titled “Which Gifts are Yours?”  Ask them to spend at least 10 minutes reading and thinking.  Each student should mark the one or more gifts that best describe themselves.

10.  After each student has marked their handout, tell them to come to you to receive a second handout—“Explanation of Spiritual Gifts” Again, ask them to spend a few minutes reading about their individual gifts.  Suggest they can read more about their gifts in the Bible references listed for each gift.  Ask students to write the names of their gifts on the lower section of their handout “Which Gifts are Yours?”  Note to Guide:  If students would like to keep this handout, that is fine.  But if a student does not want to keep the “Explanation” handout, please collect it to use with the other class (save copying!). 

11.  As each student finishes, ask them to come to an area of the room where you have set up a table, blank mural (poster board, chart paper, or butcher paper), markers, magazines, and colored paper.   Each student is to write, draw, or cut out pictures from a magazine to show two ways they will share their gifts. This will create a visual collage of ways middle school students can share the gifts God has given them with each other, the church, and the world.  Each student should also sign their name somewhere on the mural.




1.     Clean up from the mural. 

2.     Remind students to take the “Which Gifts are Yours?” handout home with them to refer to and/or share with their families.  .

3.     Encourage them to freely share their gifts with others.

Closing (Coach):

1.     The Coach conducts the closing prayer time.  All students and adults gather around the prayer chain.  The Coach begins and ends the prayer.  The Coach asks each student to contribute a joy, thanksgiving or concern in turn. 

2.     Close/lock the door and turn off the lights.

Guide preparation in advance:

1.     Make three copies of the blank “Spiritual Gifts” worksheet (one per group).

2.     Make 15-20 copies of the “Which Gifts are Yours?” and “Explanation of Spiritual Gifts” worksheets (one per students). 

Supply List

·       Chart paper, markers

·       Pencils, Bibles

·       Magazines, scissors

·       Handouts

·       Hard candy or gum (optional)




Susan Mazzara’s study notes.




Which Gifts are Yours? 


Read the statements related to each gift below and choose the gifts that best describe you.  God bestows spiritual gifts upon us through the work of the Holy Spirit. Everyone has at least one gift—and some people have several. 

Note that not all of the gifts identified in scripture are used in this inventory.



          Gift 1

When presented a goal, I think of steps that need to be taken to achieve results.

I enjoy organizing thoughts, ideas, hopes and dreams into a plan of action

I have been successful in organizing, directing and motivating people to achieve goals.


          Gift 2

I express myself through artistic means.

I can translate what I see in my imagination into an artistic form.

My artistic work has given spiritual strength to both believers and non-believers.


          Gift 3

I seek God's will and purpose in my life.

I assist others to discern whether their decisions were in accord with God's will for them.

I am sometimes asked if a decision being discussed is in accord with God's will.


          Gift 4

I can convey the Gospel to non-believers in ways that they are able to understand.

I enjoy being with non-believers and like encouraging them to faith and commitment.

I do not find it difficult to share what Jesus means to me with non-believers


          Gift 5

I am moved by those whose faith is wavering through conflict or sorrow.

When I know someone is facing a crisis, I feel compelled to provide support and care.

Those who are struggling with life questions have come to me for guidance and help.


          Gift 6

I am certain of the spirit's presence in my life and the lives of others.

My trust in the Spirit's presence is a source of strength for others.

I can see great things happening in my congregation.


          Gift 7

I am blessed by God each day and gladly give of my time and money.

I manage my time and money so I can give to the work of the church.

If I receive money unexpectedly, one of my first thoughts is to share this with the church.


          Gift 8

I enjoy meeting new people and becoming acquainted with them.

I like to have friends/family visit my house. 

I enjoy welcoming guests and helping them to feel at ease.


          Gift 9

I know that God hears and responds to my prayers

I am sometimes so absorbed in prayer that I will not hear the phone ring.

Believers have asked me to pray for healing in their lives.


          Gift 10

I like to learn as much as I can about the Bible and faith.

Not one day is complete without biblical study and thought.

My study and knowledge of the Bible is helpful to others.


          Gift 11

I am a take charge person.

When others follow my direction, the goal or task will be completed.

When I am in a group, others will often look to me for direction.

          Gift 12

When I see a person in need, I want to assist them.

I am urgent to provide housing for the homeless, food for the starving, comfort for those in distress.

It seems easy to work with people who are suffering in mind, body or spirit.


          Gift 13

I love to sing and enjoy inspiring others through song.

I have sung before groups and felt a real sense of God's presence.

I am humbled that my singing has provided inspiration and hope for others.


          Gift 14

I find joy and express myself by playing a musical instrument.

Playing a musical instrument has inspired myself and others.

Others have told me they were moved by my playing a musical instrument.


          Gift 15

I am motivated to provide spiritual leadership to others.

I am responsible for providing spiritual guidance to an individual or group of believers.

People have come to me for spiritual help.


          Gift 16

I like working behind the scenes to ensure projects are successful.

People come to me for help in applying Christian faith and values to personal situations.

When I turn out the lights, take tables down, work in the kitchen or put chairs away, I feel that I have served the Lord.


          Gift 17

I enjoy working with my hands in a skill. 

I am good at building, repairing, or restoring things.

My knowledge of building, maintenance or repair has helped others


          Gift 18

I like to communicate biblical truth so it becomes real and understood by others.

I want to help others discover the truths in the Bible.

People have said I can take a difficult idea and make it understandable.


          Gift 19

When a challenge is presented, I can often identify a solution.

People sometimes ask me to help them apply Christian faith and values to their lives.

I am sometimes asked for my opinion on church matters.


          Gift 20 

I am able to write in a clear and inspiring way.

I like to write about my thoughts and feelings.

My written work has been helpful to others.





After you have marked one or more gifts above, see the teacher for a handout called “Explanation of Spiritual Gifts”.  Use this handout to name your gifts below. 






This survey suggests I have the gifts of:
















Explanation of Spiritual Gifts


1. Administration: the gift that enables a believer to formulate, direct, and carry out plans necessary to fulfill a purpose. Biblical References: I Corinthians 12:28, Acts 14:23.

2. Artistry:  the gift that gives the believer the skill of creating artistic expressions that produce a spiritual response of strength and inspiration. Biblical References: Exodus 31:1-11, Psalm 149:3a.

3. Discernment:  the gift that motivates a believer to seek God's will and purpose and apply that understanding to individual and congregational situations. Biblical References: John 16:6-15, Romans 9:1, I Corinthians 2:9-16.

4. Evangelism:  the gift that moves believers to reach nonbelievers in such a way that they are baptized and become active members of the Christian community. Biblical References: Matthew 28:16-20, Ephesians 4:11- 16, Acts 2:36-40.

5. Encouragement:  the gift that moves the believer to reach out with Christian love and presence to people in personal conflict of facing a spiritual void. Biblical References: John 14:1, II Timothy 1:16-18, III John 5-8.

6. Faith:  the gift that gives a believer the eyes to see the Spirit at work and the ability to trust the Spirit's leading without indication of where it all might lead. Biblical References: Genesis 12:1-4a, Mark 5:25-34, I Thessalonians 1:8-10.

7. Giving: the gift that enables a believer to recognize God's blessings and to respond to those blessings by generously and sacrificially giving of one's resources (time, talent, and treasure). Biblical References: II Corinthians 9:6-15, Luke 21:1-4.

8. Hospitality: the gift that causes a believer to joyfully welcome and receive guests and those in need of food and lodging. Biblical References: Romans 12:13, Romans 16:23a, Luke 10:38.

9. Intercession:  the gift that enables a believer to pray with the certainty that prayer is heard and when requests are made, answers will come. Biblical References: Matthew 6:6-15, Luke 11:1-10, Ephesians 6:18.

10. Knowledge: the gift that drives a person to learn, analyze and uncover new insights with regard to the Bible and faith. Biblical References: I Corinthians 12:8; I Corinthians 14:6, Romans 12:2.

11. Leadership:  the gift that gives a believer the confidence to step forward, give direction and provide motivation to fulfill a dream or complete a task. Biblical References: Romans 12:8, John 21:15-17, II Timothy 4:1-5.

12. Mercy:  the gift that motivates a believer to feel deeply for those in physical, spiritual, or emotional need and then act to meet that need. Biblical References: Luke 7:12-15, Luke 10:30-37, Matthew 25:34-36. 

13. Music--Vocal:  the gift that gives a believer the capability and opportunity to present personal witness and inspiration to others through singing. Biblical References: Psalm 96:1-9, Psalm 100:1-2, Psalm 149:1-2.

14. Music--Instrumental:  the gift that inspires a believer to express personal faith and provide inspiration and comfort through the playing of a musical instrument. Biblical References: Psalm 33:1-5, Psalm 150, I Samuel 16:14-23.

15. Pastoring (Shepherding):   the gift that gives a believer the confidence, capability and compassion to provide spiritual leadership and direction for individuals or groups of believers. Biblical References: I Timothy 4:12-16, I Timothy 3:1-13, II Timothy 4:1-2.

16. Service (Helps):  the gift that enables a believer to work gladly behind the scenes in order that God's work is fulfilled. Biblical References: Luke 23:50-54, Romans 16:1-16, Philippians 2:19-23.

17. Skilled Craft:   the gift that enables a believer to create, build, maintain or repair items used within the church. Biblical References: Exodus 30:1-6, Exodus 31:3-5, Ezekiel 27:4-11.

18. Teaching:   the gift that enables a believer to communicate a personal understanding of the Bible and faith in such a way that it becomes clear and understood by others. Biblical References: I Corinthians 12:28, Matthew 5:1-12, Acts 18:24-48.

19.  Wisdom:   the gift that allows the believer to sort through opinions, facts and thoughts in order to determine what solution would be best for the individual believer or the community of believers. Biblical References: I Corinthians 2:6-13, James 3:13-18, II Chronicles 1:7-11.

20.  Writing:   the gift that gives a believer the ability to express truth in a written form; a form that can edify, instruct and strengthen the community of believers. Biblical References: I John 2:1-6, 12-14, I Timothy 3:14-15,
Jude 3.

Spiritual Gifts



The Bible passage your group is studying _____________________________



Make a list of all the spiritual gifts mentioned in this Bible passage.  Note:  There are at least 5 gifts mentioned in each.  Some passages have as many as 9 gifts. 



Spiritual Gifts






























On the back of this paper, write two general or summary statements about spiritual gifts from your Bible passage.




Romans 12:3-8  


Ephesians 4: 7-16

1 Corinthians 12: 1-11

Spiritual Gift

Spiritual Gift

Spiritual Gift






Speak with wisdom






Speak with knowledge


















Working miracles










Recognize God’s spirit




Speak other languages




Interpret other languages