Do your kids know the gifts God gave them to serve Him? The truth is that you may still be struggling to figure out what your own gifts from God may be. Often if churches even address giftedness, they use the scripture in Corinthians about spiritual gifts and a long inventory to “help”. Often, those exercises just leave people more confused than ever and teens and kids are often excluded entirely from the conversation.
Why not make the entire exercise a bit more concrete and practical – easy enough to use with even relatively young children? We suggest that instead of starting in Corinthians, you show your kids Exodus 31. In this chapter, it discusses how God used what we call the “secular” gifts or talents of various individuals to build the Tabernacle. It also explains how God gave certain individuals a little extra bit of talent so they could do the work well.
Then read to them the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30. Although there is more than one way to interpret this parable, it is acceptable to equate the money “talent” with what we now call talents or gifts. Point out that each person received a different number of talents, but each received at least one talent. Note that the master was only upset with the man who didn’t do anything with his talent at all.
Explain to your kids that God gave each of them at least one talent. One of their jobs as a Christian (or future Christian) is to find, develop and use their talent or talents to serve God. To get started, ask each of your kids to answer the following questions:
- What classes or training have they had that have taught you anything that might be considered a talent? (These can be at school or extracurricular classes…even one time classes.)
- When someone compliments you, what are the two or three attributes they most often mention?
- What is your favorite class in school?
- In what class is it easiest for you to make a good grade?
- What jobs (if they are old enough) or volunteer work have you done in the past?
- Which ones did you enjoy the most and why?
- What are your hobbies?
- What type of non-fiction books (or YouTube videos if they watch instructional ones) do you enjoy the most?
- What are some things you do well, but don’t necessarily consider a talent?
- If you could learn or try something new, what would it be?
- What is something you love doing (or would love to do), but don’t feel as if you would do it well?
- If someone asks you for help or advice, what is it that is most often asked of you?
- After your child has answered all of the questions, look at the answers together. Is there a pattern? Is there a particular gift already demonstrated? Is there an interest that might also indicate a gift if they are given opportunities to develop it? Don’t limit yourself to more obvious gifts like artistic talent, teaching talent, etc. In our next post, we will give you a list of more subtle talents that God can use as much as the more obvious ones.
- Taking the time to help your kids discover, develop and use their gifts to serve God is the beginning of their understanding their place and role in God’s Kingdom and the good works He has planned for them to do.