You think you have helped your kids figure out at least a gift or two God has given them to serve Him. Now what? Maybe your kids are still rather young and you aren’t quite sure how to help them develop their gifts. Or maybe money is tight and you can’t afford the supplies and lessons they will need.
Or perhaps they have been developing their gifts for awhile, but your congregation is reluctant to allow young people to serve. Or your child has a gift out of the norm and no one is quite sure how they can serve God with it. Whatever the issue may be, it’s important to remember that Satan doesn’t want your kids to use their gifts to serve God. He’s going to throw roadblocks in their way to distract and deter them.
There are some basic tips that can help you get your kids around the most common roadblocks to developing and using their talents to serve God.
- Find people with similar gifts in your congregation. This may take some detective work on your part. People with unusual gifts are often especially well hidden. They have usually found ways to quietly use their gifts to serve God outside of the church environment. Ask around though and you will probably find someone with a similar gift.
- Ask them to help. People who use their gifts from God to serve Him are usually passionate about it. They love sharing their passion with a new generation. They may have extra supplies or be able to give your kids some tips. Often they will let a young person help them serve God with their gift. Don’t burden them, but take advantage of anything they are willing to do. (If someone seems totally uninterested in helping, it may be they are actually serving in an area where they are not actually gifted or they are carrying a heavy burden of some sort. Don’t take it personally.)
- Watch social media, newspapers, retail fliers and clubs for kids. At times, you can find free or low cost classes and materials. Yard sales are another place you can find supplies. If your child needs craft supplies, many craft stores have clearance aisles and coupons with huge discounts.
- Be creative. You may need to have other Christians brainstorm with you. Don’t worry if the initial ideas seem silly. Keep throwing out ideas and you may just find a solution to your obstacle.
- Be an advocate. Sometimes people get stuck in a rut. If kids and teens have never served in meaningful ways before, why start now? You may need to educate church leaders and be an advocate for all of the young people in your church – not just your kids. It may take time, but finding a way for your kids to serve God regularly in their congregations is crucial.
- Don’t be afraid to step outside the building. Your kids can serve God in their communities and around the world. Find ways for them to serve others and share their faith, whether or not they can use their gifts in your congregation. The goal is to help them see the plans God has for using their gifts to serve Him. Don’t forget, God may have a reason He wants your child serving in a particular place.
- Keep this entire journey in your prayers and have regular conversations with your kids about it. If you don’t keep your focus on God in this process or explain to your kids why they are doing the things they are doing, you may find the focus has shifted away from serving God and towards hobbies and careers. They don’t have to be mutually exclusive, but if you leave God out of the process, it ends up secular every time.
Does this take a lot of time? Honestly, yes. But helping your kids find their purpose in God’s kingdom is key to building a strong faith foundation and reaching their godly potential.