by Steve Sonnenberg

Download a PDF of the Family Event: Exploring Careers.


That with the help of the Holy Spirit this study will:

  1. Promote conversations between youth and adults that focus on career choices and experiences;
  2. Identify with St. Paul’s suggestions for responding to God’s expectations for us in our careers;
  3. Identify adults in your congregation who can serve as resources to young people who are seeking help in choosing an appropriate career.


  • One 8.5×11 sheet of plain paper for each participant
  • Pens or pencils for everyone
  • Chalkboard and chalk or flip chart and marking pens (or create a PowerPoint)
  • Duplicated interview sheet (included at the end of this study)
  • Bible study worksheet (or you could post the Bible verse numbers on the chalkboard or flip chart)
  • Bibles
  • 3×5 cards with names of careers on them
  • scratch pads
  • copies of closing devotion (hymnal optional)
  • refreshments


Give participants each a sheet of paper; have them fold it into fourths, and then label the top two sections A and B and the bottom two C and D. Post the following questions where everyone can see and ask participants to write their response to each question in the appropriate quadrant.

Adult Questions

Which career, job or profession…

  1. did you consider when you were a child?
  2. did you consider when you were a teen?
  3. are you currently involved in?
  4. might you consider in the future?

Youth Questions

Which career, job or profession…

  1. did you consider 10 years ago?
  2. did you consider 5 years ago?
  3. are you currently involved in or would like to be involved in?
  4. can you imagine being involved in during the final decade of your work life?

When everyone has finished, ask them to stand up, mingle, share their responses, question each other and discuss the outcomes. Look for surprises, similarities and differences.

After about 10 minutes have everyone return to their seat. Ask them to introduce themselves one at a time by giving their name and reporting their response to one of the top boxes on their sheet and one of the bottom boxes.

EXPLORING CAREERS (30-40 minutes)

Form teams of two (one adult and one youth, if possible), or teams of three with one adult and two youth or one youth and two adults. Adults and youth should both be represented on each team when possible.

During the first 10-minute round have the youth interview the adult using the questions on the interview sheet.

During the second 10-minute round the adult should interview the youth. (If the youth is unemployed he or she could pretend to answer the questions. Skip questions that do not apply. Add a third round of interviewing if necessary.)

During the final 10 or 15 minutes have each team select one career and compose an ad recruiting someone for that occupation. Make it as complete as possible using no more than 100 words.

Read your ad aloud. If possible, identify a person at the meeting who is currently involved in that career and encourage others to make appointments or plans to get together to discuss the career described.


Introduce this activity by saying: “If you were going to write an ad recruiting a worker for the Lord, what would you list as the desired qualifications.” Either working together or in smaller groups, list suggestions by writing on the chalkboard or flip chart.

When finished, have the group open their Bibles to Romans 12:1-13 and see what St. Paul Says about qualifications for a worker for the Lord.

What are the criteria Paul mentions in the following verses of Romans 12? (Prepare this section as a handout [included at the end of this study] or post the verse number on the chalkboard or flip chart.)

  1. 1 – Dedication to God
  2. 2 – Know the will of God
  3. 3 – Be modest in thinking
  4. 6-8 – Be in union with Christ
  5. 9 – Sincerely love God
  6. 10 – Love and respect one another
  7. 11 – Work hard
  8. 11 – Serve with a heart full of devotion
  9. 12 – Be joyful and patient
  10. 13 – Share

NOTE: The criteria for serving the Lord has nothing to do with a specific occupation or career. What matters is that individuals are using the gifts that God has given them. As Paul says in verses 4-8, we are to use our “different gifts, according to the grace given us.” Following these instructions of Paul, an individual may develop new skills, talents, interests and career changes as part of God’s plan.

Go back to the original interview and look at the responses. Identify specific ways that the people interviewed could do the following in their careers (post those on the board or chart):

  • Be modest in thinking
  • Use the gifts God has given them
  • Show love and respect for one another
  • Work hard
  • Serve with devotion
  • Show joyfulness and patience
  • Report what you have discovered


This game is similar to Pictionary. The leader has several 3×5 cards with the names of careers written on them, one per card (i.e. pastor, teacher, bus driver, accountant, computer programmer, research scientist, actor, travel agent, politician, plumber, etc.).

The group should divide into smaller groups of equal size. Select the first “artist” who will be shown the card with the name of the career which he or she is to draw for his or her team to identify. All of the artists come to the front table at the same time to see the career card together.

Each artist then returns to his or her group and draws symbols and pictures that will help the team to identify the career. When the career is identified it is written on the picture, which is taken as quickly as possible to the leader for verification. The first team to get their correct answer verified by the leader gets two points; the second team gets one point.

Change artists and repeat the round. Continue until all the career cards are used or until time runs out. The team accumulating the most points is the winner.

CLOSING WORSHIP (10 minutes)

Open by reciting or singing the first stanza of “Forth in Thy Name, O Lord, I Go” (LSB 854).

Forth in Thy name, O Lord, I go,

My daily labor to pursue,

Thee, only Thee, resolved to know

In all I think or speak or do.

Prayer (read by a participant or the leader):

We ask You, Lord, to remind us of our opportunities to serve You as we go about our daily labors. Whether as homemaker, student, laborer, specialist, fixer, planner, host or hostess or whatever it might be that we labor in, Lord, may it be in Your name.

Stanza two (said or sung together):

The task Thy wisdom has assigned,

O let me cheerfully fulfill;

In all my works Thy presence find,

And prove Thy good and perfect will.

Prayer (read by a participant or the leader):

Whatever the plan, Lord, lead us to accept the tasks to which You have led us. Help us use the gifts that You give to guide us in our career and in the careers of our future.

Stanza three (said or sung together):

Thee may I set at my right hand,

Whose eyes my inmost substance see,

And labor on at Thy command,

And offer all my works to Thee.

Prayer (read by a participant or the leader):

We count on Your promise, Lord, to be with us as we go about our work. You see what we do and how we do it according to Your will. Bless the fruits of our labors and grant us Your peace. Amen.


Updated for youthESource May 2015