One of our goals in this ministry is to give adults the tools to help every child reach his or her godly potential. We believe God wants every child to become a Christian – obeying, worshipping and serving God. We believe God knows every child will be given various opportunities in life to serve others and share their faith. We also believe God has given each child special gifts, that if identified and developed, will be extremely helpful in completing the opportunities God knows will be there for them to serve Him.
Young people need the help of godly adults to prepare them for everything God wants them to do in their lives. Often, the wonderful “God-ventures” people could be having are missed, because they have walked away from God or aren’t prepared to meet the challenges the opportunity God has given them provides.
Not only are many young people not reaching their godly potential, their lives are not nearly as full and rich as God had intended for them to be. Often, simply because their godly potential was not reached in time – or sadly, at all.
King David’s life gives us some great examples of God giving potential and opportunities to develop it. God made sure David was born into a family where he would become a shepherd. As part of the shepherd lifestyle, he had to learn how to sling to protect the sheep from wild animals. One of his older brothers or Jesse may have taught him initially.
David had to practice though, because accuracy could mean the difference between life and death for the sheep and him. God even gave David at least two opportunities while he was still a shepherd to have to depend upon God to help him defeat a lion and a bear. His slinging skill was crucial in David’s battle with Goliath. (Whether or not God put a little extra something in David’s slinging that day is almost irrelevant, as the true miracle was God working continually in David’s life from before he was even born.)
That’s not all, though. As did many shepherds, David learned to play the lyre to help pass the time while herding sheep. He evidently practiced enough that he became quite good. When Saul needed a harp player to soothe him, David was called. Playing music for King Saul gave David ample opportunity to learn about being a king – years before he would assume the role himself.
Your kids’ adventures might not lead them to slay a giant or become king, but who knows? Here are some tips for helping your kids find and reach their own godly potential.
- Bible knowledge and understanding. To reach their godly potential, your kids have got to understand what God wants for them and from them. They need to have enough of God’s Words on their hearts that they don’t have to stop and Google to figure out what God would want them to do next. They need to know how to apply God’s commands and principles in their own lives. They have to know how to share the basic story of creation, sin, the Messiah and redemption. Can they survive without those skills? Possibly, but to really reach their godly potential, the more of the Bible they have read, understood and placed on their hearts, the more prepared they will be as God sends opportunities their way.
- Self- discipline, the Fruit of the Spirit and the Armor of God. These are some of the basics of godly character. Your kids will sin, as we all do. They need to as consistently as possible though, live their faith. Integrity for your Christian children is not just honesty, but doing their best to make sure their lives match what God wants as closely as possible. Godly character traits will help them interact with people in ways that will make them more effective in their ministries. (Note: They don’t have to be a professional minister to have a ministry. All Christians’ lives should be a ministry – no matter their occupation.)
- Gifts and talents. God gives every one of us a gift or gifts to use to serve Him. Don’t limit your child’s gift discovery and development to the more obvious gifts like art, music and public speaking. Don’t assume your child doesn’t have any gifts, because he or she has special needs. Gifts like organization or the ability to teach people how to love unconditionally are just as valuable as the ability to sing on key. Allow your children to experiment to begin identifying their possible gifts. Give them as much support as you can in their efforts to develop those gifts. Most importantly, help them find ways to use those gifts to serve God. Our churches are not always the best at finding ways for young people to use their gifts – especially “unusual” gifts. You may need to be your child’s advocate or find ways for your kids to serve God using that gift outside of the church environment.
- Servant Leadership Skills. Your children will be leaders as faithful Christians – no matter their personality. They will lead others by the way they live their lives. They will lead others by sharing their faith. Some of your children may grow to take more standard leadership roles in a ministry. Your kids need to learn the servant leadership skills modeled by Jesus. They need to know how to get Christians to work together as the body described by Paul. They need to know how to interact with others in loving, encouraging and ultimately motivating ways like the Apostle John and Barnabas. Helping your children learn servant leadership skills while they are young will make their personal ministries so much more effective.
Taking the time to help your children develop their godly potential is your ministry during this season of your life. Please don’t take it lightly or think the church is taking care of it for you. We need you to put 120% into dedicating your children to God and helping them develop to their godly potential. We will all be thankful you did.