Raising Home Run Kids

Introduction:

Third base is the competency base. At third base you learn how to love what you do and experience success because you have learned to love God, love self and love others.  Third base is where you learn to head back to home plate and score. To raise home run kids you must help them discover the gifts, talents and passion God has planted in them. This is the purpose of the raising home run kids series, to learn Biblical principles for unlocking their God-given potential. Scripture: Exodus 31:1-6

Bottom Line: God is the source of your unique design.

Something To Talk About:

I believe that every person is uniquely designed and created for a purpose. God is the source of each person’s unique design. And that design was hard wired into who you are by God. Each one of us is a unique combination of spiritual gifts, natural abilities and talents, life experiences, passions and personality. God put all those things together to make you a one-of-a-kind masterpiece. God has given us a blueprint on how to we are to use our gifts and abilities. On Sunday we talked about three questions to help parents uncover that unique design: 

  1. What am I good at: Our kids have been blessed with gifts and talents that the Lord has given them. We need to be involved in their lives to help them mature in their abilities and gifts properly, so when they grow into adulthood, they can use their gifts to further God’s kingdom. It takes some detective work to undercover what those abilities and skills are. You can also ask yourself, “What’s the one thing that they do better than others?” This can clue you in to our kid’s God-given purpose. Lastly, consider that your purpose (and our children) is not just about you; it’s about what God wants to do through you.
  2. Who can help them? As children grow and mature, they begin to show signs of emerging abilities. God blesses each of us with special abilities such as serving, encouraging, giving, leading, and others. Children don’t need to wait until they’re older to use their talents and gifts. But they may need help discovering and developing their gifts. They need instruction and training. That is one of the most important jobs as a parent. The Bible has a lot to say about this subject. “Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.” (Proverbs 22:6) Or “My child, listen when your father corrects you. Don’t neglect your mother’s instruction.” (Proverbs 1:8) Once their abilities and gifts are developed, they will be in a position to begin using them more effectively, frequently, creatively, skillfully, and purposefully.
  3. How do I get better? We all know that natural abilities get better with practice and use. Athletes practice to improve their skills. So do musicians. I’d rather have an experienced doctor or plumber or mechanic than a rookie. Why? I know that experience sharpens skills. The goal is to get better at using our abilities, talents ands gifts to further the kingdom of God. It means that we cannot rest on our laurels, or be content with the progress we have made.  We need to continuously look for ways to improve. “Using a dull ax requires great strength, so sharpen the blade.  That’s the value of wisdom; it helps you succeed.” (Ecclesiastes 10:10)

Questions:

  1. What is your definition of competency? Of success? What do you think it means to be “wonderfully” made?
  2. What causes us to value some talents and abilities more than others?
  3. What is the best way to discover our kid’s gifts, abilities, and passions.
  4. What is the difference between God-given talents and abilities and personality traits, talents or characteristics?
  5. Do you view talents and abilities as God given special strengths? Why or why not?  Should we view these as special abilities to use for ministry? Why or why not?
  6. How can we help our kids develop the courage and confidence to explore their talents and opportunities to develop them?
  7. How can we keep our kids from comparing their talents and skills with other people’s.

Take One Thing Home with You:

I’m pretty sure that some of you listening to Sunday’s sermon had this immediate reaction: “Marty, it is hard enough for adults to effectively identify and develop their spiritual gifts. But children?” It does seem difficult. But one of our main responsibilities as parents is to help our kids grow spiritually. And a big part of that growth is experienced when a child discovers his spiritual gifts and exercises them through the Holy Spirit’s power. By teaching our children how to tap into their spiritual gifts, they find the key to answering life’s age-old question, “What makes me special in God’s kingdom, and how can I best serve Him?”

Because children are young and immature, their gifts and spiritual abilities are not easily recognized. However, when one reads through key Bible passages on spiritual gifts, there’s no doubt that spiritual gifts are not just for adults. No matter what age of a person, every believer who has come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ has at least one spiritual gift. “A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other.” (1 Corinthians 12:7).

The Bible contains evidence for childhood spiritual gifts in the stories of David, Mary, Samuel and Jesus–all young people who demonstrated God’s gifts at work in their lives.

Helping our children discover their unique spiritual gifts will not happen overnight. It is a process which we are privileged to be a part of for a season. “I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children are following the truth.” (3 John 1:4).