What about Children and Spiritual Gifts?
Do Children Receive Spiritual Gifts?
Read through key Bible passages on spiritual gifting (Rom. 12, 1 Cor. 12, Eph. 4) and you'll find only one criteria for who receives spiritual gifts. According to Scripture, every true believer has at least one gift. Consequently, if children have truly put their trust in Jesus as their Savior, they have at least one spiritual gift. The Bible does not provide an exemption clause based on age.
Can We Identify the Spiritual Gifting of a Child?
Though every believing child has at least one spiritual gift, their gifting many not always be evident due to minimal life experiences that help develop their gifts. We must distinguish between possessing a spiritual gift and evidencing it.
Consider Timothy in the New Testament, a young believer whom the Apostle Paul encouraged not to let age be a barrier to serving and making a difference in other people's lives.
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. (1 Tim. 4:12)
Though undoubtedly older than a young child at that point, we do read Paul's reminder to him that "from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus" (2 Tim. 3:14-15). Persuaded that he was a true believer (2 Tim. 1:5), Paul acknowledged Timothy's spiritual gifting, saying "For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God ..." (2 Tim. 1:6). This lets us know that sometimes spiritual gifts need to be more fully developed.
Often spiritual gifts tests given to children come back with inconclusive results because they haven't had much opportunity to "fan into flame" those gifts. However, given enough support and opportunity to develop their spiritual gifts, children can thrive as contributing members of the Body of Christ. Remember, according to Ephesians 4:16, everybody has a part, which includes children.
Also Read: How Can We Teach Children to Serve?
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Also Available: Your Gifts for Teens: The Easy to Use, Self-Guided Spiritual Gifts Survey