Group of teens having fun, looking into camera

Nurturing Talent In Your Teen

God has created each individual with unique talents to help grow His kingdom and honor Him. When I was in high school, my youth group often reminded us of 1 Timothy 4:12, which says, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity” (NIV). As teens learn to identify and begin using their God-given talents, the adults in their lives can help encourage their development. 


Some teens are going to be naturally inclined to serve. Paul encourages the church in Philippi to “do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others” (Philippians 2:3-4). There are many service opportunities for teens! This can be in their schools, at church, at soup kitchens or food pantries, etc. Individuals with servants’ hearts can often experience burnout and bitterness. This is due to the lack of “thank you” often given for their services. One way to help your teens continue to love serving is to encourage them to look to God for the “well done.” Paul recognizes this difference of heart in Galatians 2:10, as he says, “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ” (NIV). When your teens  learn to receive their acceptance from God, their capacity to serve others is endless!


“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

James 4:7 NIV

Teens who are more natural leaders often have struggles with authority and submitting to others, especially if they don’t respect the authority figure. It’s important that these individuals learn to submit to God’s authority. When they understand their relationship to and with God, they are able to humbly lead others to Christ, helping them to use their own strengths for God’s kingdom. Encourage these teens to use their leadership skills for things that honor God, and remind them they can only truly control their own actions and behaviors. As these natural leaders learn how to lead others with compassion and empathy, their influence on their peers can be great.


Some teens are skilled in self-control and organization. 2 Timothy 1:7 reminds us “the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid but gives us power, love, and self-discipline” (NIV). These teens often need time to themselves to organize their thoughts. Encourage your teens to explore avenues in which they can use their talents to honor God, such as organizing resources for youth camp or in a food pantry. Provide opportunities for them to gain understanding of new things at their own pace. Often, these individuals can be very good at managing money. Using discretion, teach these teens how to utilize their money saving skills to be financially responsible. With the right tools, these individuals can confidently work with others to create systems that promote success and efficiency among God’s people.


Some teens will be naturally inclined to resolve conflict. James writes that “peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness” (James 3:18 NIV). Peacemakers are generally more reserved and able to observe different perspectives. This unique trait enables them to find compromises where others may not. It is important for the adults in these teens’ lives to not place them in a position of conflict management for adults. Boundaries can be a wonderful tool for these teens as they approach adulthood. Extracurricular activities where these individuals can work with others to find resolutions can help strengthen their gift of peacemaking. If shepherded well, these teens can grow up to have healthy relationships and support others in doing the same.


Contact us to schedule an appointment or to learn more about Teen Therapy at Life Training.

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