Young adults attend 2013 Laity Academy

One Body, Many Parts: Young Adults discover spiritual gifts at Laity Academy

By Britni Michelle Johnson

As a youth growing up in the United Methodist Church, my weekends often consisted of trips to annual youth conferences, spiritual retreats, and workshops on the Word. My spiritual growth did not come to a halt when I became a young adult. I continued to grow in fellowship with other believers by participating as a student at the Laity Academy and later became recognized as a Christ Servant Minister in 2008.

From August 2-3, 2013, I was blessed with an opportunity to teach the 14 young adults that came out to attend the “What About Me? Where Do I Fit In?” course at the 2013 Laity Academy.

(Left to right) Krystl Johnson, Melvin Carter, Jasmine Davis, Aysia Pierce, Demoss Wilson Jones III, and Britni Johnson display certificates for completing the Laity Academy Young Adult Course.

With added insights from Christ Servant Minister Evan Corey Jones, we shared lessons on discovering and incorporating your spiritual gifts. As a young person in the church, it can be difficult to find a place in ministry, especially when one is trying to shift from being just a spectator to an active participant in fellowship.

The workshop, aimed at our young adults, included activities and conversation founded on the Word of God. First time attendee Stephanie Desdunes (26) told me, “You created activities that made us think, to discover our gifts and to think about how we can further use our gifts.”

Throughout the course, the fourteen young adults learned about their own part in the body of Christ by first discovering their spiritual gifts. 1 Corinthians 12:27 reads, “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.”   Demoss Jones, age 18, said, “I learned that all Christians have spiritual gifts and that we each have different ones, but we all use them to work together to make each other better. One person has serving and another has leadership, but your serving can help them become a better leader.”

God’s hand was indeed over the conference and his anointing was surely on each individual who attended the young adult course. Everyone who arrived unsure of their place in ministry departed with new found knowledge of the role they play in the body of Christ through their spiritual gifts.

*Britni Michelle Johnson is a Christ Servant Minister and member of St. Daniels UMC in Chester, PA.