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How to Teach Kids About the Holy Spirit’s Gift to Them

Mar 18, 2024 | Teach Kids Articles

Have you ever daydreamed about being exceptionally talented at something, like singing or drawing, but know you just weren’t naturally gifted enough or received the proper training? Chances are your kids imagine being exceptional too, which makes them wonder how they measure up to their peers. As children begin comparing themselves to one another at a very early age, it’s not uncommon for them to be jealous of the best soccer player on their team or the best painter in their class.

The world places a lot of importance on outward things. TikTok, YouTube, and other social media outlets show kids that the way to attention and praise is through finding a physical talent and putting it on display for everyone. But God doesn’t view people the way the world does. While the world cares only about physical gifts or accomplishments, which are temporary, the Lord calls Christians to care about a completely different set of gifts that are not as easily apparent. It is these gifts that make a monumental impact in the heavenly realm that lasts for eternity, and the real talents we should be encouraging our kids to nurture. These are called spiritual gifts.

What are Spiritual Gifts?

A spiritual gift is an extraordinary power given by the Holy Spirit to all Christians. This Holy Spirit’s gift is a supernatural grace which helps believers fulfill their calling as Christians and further the Kingdom of Heaven. Every single believer who has placed their trust in God has one—even very young children! This is great news for a child who longs to feel special and valued somehow; giving them a clear life purpose, unique talent, and a way to measure up against their peers while helping others around them, as they use their Holy Spirit’s gift to benefit the Kingdom of God.

When we spot a spiritual gift in a kid, we should bring it to their attention and tell them that it is a gift from God. Then, explain how their Holy Spirit’s gift could be used for the Lord’s Kingdom, to bring others to Christ, or to strengthen the faith of people around them. If a child is having trouble figuring out what their spiritual gift is, it’s important that you teach them to pray to God and ask Him to make this revelation known. Often, their gift, or set of gifts, from the Holy Spirit will show them what God’s purpose is for their lives—a natural talent worth cultivating far more than any physical prowess the world might value.

List of Spiritual Gifts

The concept of spiritual gifts and what a few of them might look like are mentioned many times in the Bible. Scripture provides a list of spiritual gifts in Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4, and 1 Peter 4.

Some of these gifts include:

  • Evangelism
  • Teaching
  • Serving
  • Giving
  • Encouraging others
  • Showing mercy
  • Performing acts of healing
  • Having words of wisdom or knowledge
  • Discernment
  • Prophecy
  • Speaking in or interpreting languages
  • Performing miracles
  • Leading
  • Administration

…And many more!

Every time we read a list of spiritual gifts in the Bible, it’s somewhat different from another list of spiritual gifts Paul or Peter have already mentioned elsewhere in scripture. This means that their lists of spiritual gifts are NOT meant to be exhaustive, making it possible that there are other supernatural gifts that the Bible doesn’t mention, or mentions indirectly—like fellowship, hospitality, and composing spiritual music. In fact, some theologians believe there are as many spiritual gifts as there are needs in the church!

Spiritual Gifts are the Holy Spirit’s Gift, Not Ours

Since every believer is given spiritual gifts when they receive the gift of salvation, it’s important they realize they did nothing to earn their gifts. Just like salvation, all of the Holy Spirit’s gifts are given to us by grace through faith. So, we shouldn’t boast about our gifts, nor should we feel jealous when someone else has gifts that we don’t possess.

In Romans 12:4-6, Paul writes, “For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them…” Here, Paul uses the imagery of a body. While some body parts are much larger than others or may receive more outward attention, every part is still important and useful in the body of Christ. The hand shouldn’t boast to the toe about its role, and neither should the hand be jealous of the eye or mouth—for without one, the body would be weak. 

This analogy is used to tell us that no one spiritual gift is “better” than another, as it requires all of the Holy Spirit’s gifts and all of our brothers and sisters in Christ, working together in harmony, for the body of Christ to operate as God intended. While kids might find one spiritual gift more desirable than another and wish for it to be theirs, encourage them to fully embrace discovering what the Holy Spirit’s gift to them is and how they can find purpose using it for His Kingdom.

Using the Holy Spirit’s Gift for Spiritual Growth

As the purpose of a spiritual gift is to further the Kingdom of God, you can ensure your child that God will use them in mighty ways when they use their gift for Him. Learning to harness and tap into their unique Holy Spirit’s gift is an incredible way to deepen their relationship with Jesus and experience spiritual growth. After all, the only way one can use their spiritual gift is when they’re filled with the Holy Spirit.

When teaching kids about spiritual gifts, it’s important that you highlight this aspect of being directly used by God for mighty things—whether they see it or not. Why? Because while having a supernatural gift can seem cool, to a child worried about the opinion of classmates or friends, it might seem inconsequential when compared to physical gifts that can get them attention or praise. Remind kids that while their classmates and friends may care more about these temporary gifts, God cares about what matters for eternity. When they use their spiritual gift for the Lord, they might not get applause or awards, but they’ll receive the peace and joy that comes from honoring God.

I’m sure you’ve noticed how much your child is already comparing themselves to others. Instead of simply focusing on the physical gifts of your child, why don’t you help them cultivate their spiritual gifts, so God can use them to make an eternal impact for his Kingdom? Making an effort to intentionally discover these gifts together will only deepen your relationship, helping your child to recognize that he or she is enough—just the way God made them.

This content is from the CEF podcast Teach Kids.  Listen to more content like this on the Teach Kids podcast through your favorite podcast platform.  #TeachKids #KidsMin

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