For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. (II Timothy 1:6-7 NIV)
Each person through Christ has the Spirit of God within them and the potential for great things! We simply need to remind them, and allow the Spirit to move them to “power, love and self-discipline.” How are you helping your class members discover their potential? As a parent, I discovered early on with our first born child, Tara, God was working in her life. She was probably about four years old and listening to a movie soundtrack in my car (Ghostbusters…yes I realize I am dating myself!) As she listened to the music, she sang, “If there’s something strange in your neighborhood, who you gonna call?” Her response instead of Ghostbusters was…”Those Christians” with lots of passion! I realized I had a child who wanted to make a difference.
At age 5 (in Kindergarten) she came home and asked if she could have two snacks instead of one for the next day of school. I inquired why she needed two snacks…and then felt a sense of joy and pride, as she said, “There is a child whose parents can’t afford a snack for him. I want to bring him one.” From then on, she took two snacks to school! My daughter continues to amaze me with her passion for God and ministry as a student at McAfee Seminary in Atlanta. She is working on a Master’s of Divinity with a focus on Ethics as she continues to seek God and reach out to “the least of these.” She is always ready to serve (and good at it) as she has worked at Christian children’s and youth camps every summer since high school, and worked with a local church in spiritual formation. There is no telling where God will lead her, and I am proud to be her dad!
My son, Joe, is introverted (but a gifted, humorous athlete and has a strong commitment to Christ), with a math mind and a sensitive heart for children and youth who need a friend. Children and youth seem to gravitate towards him, and I can’t imagine what God will do in his life!
What am I saying? Look for the potential in every person in your class! You never know what God has in store for their lives, but you have the potential to build a strong spiritual foundation as they seek to discover what God wants them to do.
Ask questions like:
For youth: What do you see God leading you to do in the next five to ten years?
What are you doing now for God to prepare you?
How can I help you?
Who can I introduce them to (adult) who has a similar passion? In other words, find someone to mentor them.
Children: What do you enjoy doing? Help them find ways to use their gifts to help someone else.
Adults: What are you doing for God right now?
How can you use your passions/hobbies for God to reach people for Christ?
What can I do to help you reach your full potential?
Please remember that service allows all ages to look beyond themselves to others in need. It gives them a chance to grow in their faith, relationships and abilities. Find an ongoing service project for each class, and challenge each member to reach their full potential.