Viewing A Child’s Dual Potential


Kids, in a nutshell, are potential. An oversimplification yes… but still true. Everything a child does prepares them for their future. Even play is working to that end. My 4 year old daughter works harder at playing than I do at working sometimes.

When I look out at my group every Sunday morning I can’t help but see two future potentials for every child: The one God has planned and the version that Satan would have happen. With some children the God Version is easer to imagine. They seem like they’re going to end up that way almost automatically, though inside I know that is often far from true. Then there are kids who’s current behavior and/or situation make it easier to see the Fallen Version. They seem destined to become the back-row kid in the Youth Group.. mocking the kids who regularly fill the altar area during worship. Or even worse… they become involved in gangs, drugs, alcohol and start having destructive relationships with everyone they meet.

I value both of these views because both have value. One is a goal, the other is something to be avoided. Part of my job is to help one Version to win and the other to fail. If I can see each child through the eyes of my enemy, I can start to minister in a way that will minimize the chances of the Fallen Version to become reality.

If a child deals with anger chances are Satan plans to turn that child into a hateful, spiteful adult with a short fuse. The jails are full of men who were once children with attitudes and issues. But God has a different plan. A plan to help that child work through the anger, heal that heart, and help other people heal after being abused, injured or neglected. No jail time for helping others!

Same goes for kids who are the ‘good’ ones. We children’s workers can get a pretty twisted view of who’s ‘good’ and ‘bad’ because we typically only see them in the context of a large group… for only a couple of hours. We have no idea how they are at home, at school… and how they are inside their thought life where nobody sees them at all. The ‘good’ kids are just as much at risk as anyone. Even the ones who really are good… if you were the enemy of humanity… who would you go after the most? The kids who are already halfway there themselves or the kids who are truly pure in heart? Darn straight… I’d be going for the goodie-goodies. Those kids need you to see both sides of their potential as well.

I could keep going with this all day. Ask God to give you a dual view of your kids. Then ask him to help you minister to them and their families in a way that will draw them toward what He has for them. It’s not our job to do it all… but we can do our part better when we see our kid’s potential. Both potentials.

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