As a new stay-at-home-mom, I have to admit that I’ve missed using my degree and talents, which are graphic design, web, photography and social media marketing. Not to say that I would rather be working full time again, that is definitely not the case. I’m so thankful each day that I have here with my little ones. But I do want to keep my skills fresh and up to date, and have that creative outlet as well, and a few hours here and there having that outlet would be nice.
I love to volunteer for my church and local community. But, staying at home with two little ones poses some challenges with that because, if I am to volunteer during the daytime hours, I will need to find a sitter. I decided to pray to God to use my talents for His Kingdom. And yes, you guessed it! Two perfect opportunities arose to be able to volunteer right here in my house – on my computer. I was offered a social media volunteer job for an event at my church and was offered to join the board of a foster children’s grant program where I would be using my online marketing skills. It’s amazing how God works!
This led me to write this message on how we can use our God-given talents to serve His Kingdom and how we can teach our children to do the same. For it is said in Isaiah 26:12: “LORD, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us.” We are not to become prideful in our talents and accomplishments but grateful to God. He gives us abilities and talents to use for His kingdom. It is only right that we use these talents in the way He wants us to use them.
The truth is, as Charles Stanley also states: “None of us is truly “self-made”; no matter how hard you’ve worked, others have made sacrifices to allow you the opportunities and freedoms you enjoy. Remember, it is actually God’s grace that has blessed you with whatever knowledge you may credit yourself for having.” That being said, how can we not use our talents He has given us to give back?
- Realize that almost any degree or trade can be used for service and to expand God’s Kingdom.
- Your child doesn’t have to be older to use his or her talent. If you have a pianist, she could play for the church. If you have a basketball player, he could play on the church team and invite his friends outside of church to join. Do you have an artist? Have them make cards for the local children’s hospital and include Bible verses.
- Pray for God to use you and your children in an act of service that shows no rank or credit. This is a hard one because we all love recognition. It’s human nature, but this teaches our children to be humble, and that helping others is much more important than our “rank” or status. As Charles Stanley quotes from James 1:9-11: “Our position in this world matters only to the extent that we use it to glorify God.”
- Contact your church. Churches have a need for all types of volunteer work. Is your college student studying to be an elementary teacher? Maybe they could help with the church’s preschool program. Is she getting her web design degree? Maybe she can help with the church’s website. The possibilities are endless.
- Contact your area’s local volunteer programs. Habitat for Humanity, Salvation Army, Second Harvest Food Bank, etc. They will be happy you have contacted them and will most-likely be happy to look for areas of volunteer work to place you or/and your child in.
- Teach your children to be humble. By putting others first instead of ourselves, we will be fulfilling God’s purpose. If your children are taught to be humble, they will be more inclined to use their accomplishments and talents to serve others. Learn the importance of humility on this great devotion by Charles Stanley.
- Warn them to not become prideful. In conjunction with the statement above, we must remember that all good things come from above (James 1:17). It’s easy to give ourselves the credit and become prideful when we’ve achieved our goals, become successful and accomplished what we were going after. However, we always need to remember that this success is God-given. We need to remember to give Him the credit, and to give back to others.
- Remember to teach them to tithe. All of the money that we earn from our success again, comes from God. It is only right to tithe and give back. Teaching your kids to tithe teaches them that what is given to us is not ours – it belongs to God, and it teaches humility as well. Nine tenths will go much further than ten tenths. Bible.org has a great article on how to spend your money as God wants us to. Tithing can be taught at a very young age. For example, just yesterday I took my daughter to the store to buy herself a toy out of the money she had saved in her piggy bank. However, we first took 10% out as a donation to our church (it wasn’t much, but was a beginning to teaching the principle of tithing).
Below is a list of just a few different careers and some examples of how they could be used to help the church and to help others. Do you have any to add? Please let us know in the comments section!
- Marketing: Could be used to market a charity organization or church events
- Medical field: Volunteer at local health department or church clinic
- Environmental field: Speak to science class about the importance of taking care of the earth
- Cosmetologist/Beautician: Volunteer with Locks of Love or other cancer organization that provides wigs, etc.
- Graphic Designer: Create Christian/encouraging graphics to decorate a local mission house, fellowship hall, etc.
- Web Specialist: Help with local charity or church’s website
- Dentist/Dental Hygienist: Help with or start a volunteer dental clinic such as RAM
- Nutritionist/Physical Trainer: Speak to a children’s P.E. class about nutrition/ spend some time on one-on-one training with children to teach them basic exercise, etc.
- Sports Coach: Volunteer to coach local little league teams, Upward sports teams at church, Boys and Girls Club sports teams, etc. and be a positive, Christian influence on the children.
- OB/GYN: Volunteer at a charity that benefits newborns and infants (March of Dimes, for example).