What have I seen Christ do in my life recently that revealed the ongoing work He is doing in my life?
Wow! What an awesome question! I can see results regularly in my personal life as I check off goals in my planner and pursue what Tom calls “5 Star Days.” You set 5 specific goals for each day around things that are most important. Examples: 1) Spiritual goals, 2) Mental goals, 3) Physical, 4) Relational, 5) Career. If you achieve your personally set objective for that day, you give yourself a star in that category. I admit I don’t have 5 stars every day, but I am achieving goals like personal savings and debt reduction, greater focus on the things that matter most, like my family. The joy of coaching others and teaching kids to pursue their own purpose is fulfilling my passion, and peace of mind and a joy for life that comes from feeling God’s presence on a daily basis and experiencing “the favor of the Lord” as I ask Him, “Show me how to be a blessing to someone today.”
How did I first get introduced to Identity and Destiny?
I am a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors and I attend their conferences regularly. I met Tom and Pam at their booth in the exhibit hall at one such event and I purchased their book. I believe that was in the spring of 2012 at a Marriage and Family conference.
How has Identity and Destiny impacted my life?
When I bought their book I dove into it immediately. I have studied and pursued finding God’s purpose for myself and others for many years. Their book was so exciting because I had not seen such a cohesive and well rounded study before. I studied the book and did the assessments for myself all the while a children’s version began to turn over in my mind. My passion for children to know God and pursue their God-given purpose was powerfully charged!
What inspired me to create this Identity and Destiny for Amazing Kids workbook?
I have been a children’s minister for over 30 years and I know that families are in crisis. Most lack a Biblical foundation, Single parent homes are more and more on the rise. I read a recent Barna research study that showed that the overall divorce rate is currently about 33%, However, in another survey, done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of marriages in 2014 in 49 States and D.C. ran at about 7 per 1000 people. People are choosing not to marry at all!
Kids lack direction, and strong leadership, and our schools and even our churches are failing to meet the need for relevant truth. I recently read some studies done by Ken Ham who quoted Barna Research. 61% of today’s young adults had been churched in their teens but are now spiritually disengaged. (not attending church, reading their Bible, or praying) We have spent a lot of time and concern trying to prepare our young people for college but research shows that 89% of the young people who leave church do so in middle school or high school! We have failed to captivate their hearts and provide teaching that is true and relevant to their daily needs. That data is staggering!
The #1 reason young people in the survey cited as their reason for leaving: church is boring.
I am passionate about turning the tide on those statistics.
Who is it designed for? Ages? Parent directed or self directed?
The age range for this workbook is from about 2nd – 6th grade. For teens I recommend Tom and Pam’s book, Identity and Destiny, Finding your God-Given Sweet Spot.
For younger children, I recommend stories like the Treasure Tree, by John Trent, or Berenstein Bears, “Jobs around Town,” that help little children understand the importance of knowing who I am and how wonderfully God created me.
I highly recommend that parents direct their children in the study. It becomes a special family time where children will get more out of it and parent’s will learn what makes their children tick. Each child is different, so understanding things like what motivates each child helps in discipline and guidance.
In fact, it is a great idea to have a copy of the age appropriate book for each family member and do it as a group study. It is a bonding and healing experience as well as a study to help direct your future.
Is it like I&D but for kids? How?
I wrote the book chapter by chapter in a way that aligns with the book for adults so that families can use them together. I wrote a side by side comparison page that helps parents see the comparison as a guide. I can email that page to anyone who would like to receive it. The adult version is a lot more detailed and the kids version includes a story where children will meet kids who discover their gifts, talents and abilities and experience challenges, adventure and even danger. Spoiler alert: everyone turns out okay! The assessments in the adult book have been rewritten so that kids can grasp them and activities are included with every lesson to reinforce the learning experience. Every lesson has a memory verse, a journal page, part of the ongoing story, vocabulary words like purpose, destiny, assignment and so on, a game or craft activity, object lessons and more. It’s a multi-sensory experience that works great as a children’s church curriculum, home school curriculum or personal study.
What can kids and parents expect to learn when they go through this?
Kids are engaged in the story. They can’t wait to find out what happens next to the heroes Chris and Zoé. They can expect to have fun! This is NOT BORING! They can expect to be challenged, learn how wonderfully they are created, how God has gifted them with special talents, and how to apply their gifts to their lives. Best of all, children learn to pray, read their Bible, hear God’s voice, journal their experiences with God, and develop their own relationship with Him as their Lord. It takes kids from the salvation experience through active discipleship.
Parents can expect to learn how uniquely their children are wired. With this knowledge, parents can help to direct their children according to their own God- given bent as it says in Prov 22:6. Children don’t leave this path when they are older simply because it is their very own. It’s what they find the most exciting, fulfilling, rewarding, engaging. Helping children discover these things at a young age also directs them in accordance with the future at which they will be the most successful, thereby influencing society with godly character and Biblical foundation.
How do you anticipate it impacting these kids?
Kids with this kind of understanding become the society molders of their generation. They have purpose and sound direction for their future. They know what college major they should choose, or occupation to begin to study. It sets them up to be the best version of themselves, not falling for peer pressures, but being positive role models to their peers. It causes them to be among the 3% of people who ever find their purpose and then pursue it.
How long is the workbook designed to take?
It can be done in daily, or weekly fashion. I have taught it most as a week by week curriculum that takes about 17 -18 weeks. There is some flexibility there for personal preferences. Some kids might need to spend a little more time on some assessments while others can breeze through it.
How great is this tool for parents to help their kids find their purpose?
There are many great resources available but this puts several assessments into one comprehensive, interactive and Scriptural package. It empowers kids to apply the principles that they learn in practical ways.
What have you heard from kids who have gone through this?
Kids love the sense of empowerment that knowing your gifts and talents offers.
Chris learned one of his gifts is in his mouth. He loves to talk! He’s a great encourager and has learned to use his ability to help others. He knows that he needs to think about future career options that involve interacting with people in order to fulfill his purpose.
Isaiah learned that his gift of service was the reason he gets so much enjoyment from helping others. He wants to be an artist and realized that the gift of service is a gift using your hands. I loved his AHA! moment when he saw the parallel.
Gracie is planning and practicing at least 4 hours a day for a music and theater career.
Nahevah got a poem published in a school project.
Jasmyn discovered she had power to be a leader and not a follower – power to try new things and not allow others to mislead her. Her YES is so big it gave her the power to say NO!
Montel found he has a passion for photography and he often takes pictures of our events and prepares power point presentations for us.
Are you available to coach kids/parents as they go through the workbook?
Yes! I love to coach and teach others how to discover their purpose!
How do you think I&D will help better prepare kids for their workplace mission?
When you ask a child “What do you want to be when you grow up?” They often have ideas of things they love to do. Picasso once said, “Every child is an artist, the problem is remaining one as an adult.”
If kids can discover their talents and callings at a young age, they are more likely to stay in school, find the right college major, get better grades, and become the best in their field. They can avoid a lot of the pitfalls of trying this and that major, or just get a job and get by.
Imagine if we began in our homes and churches to begin to train our children according to their God-given bent.
Imagine if we trained them according to strong Scriptural foundations, raising generations who know the Word and how to answer the skeptical questions of our times.
Imagine kids with a passion for the Gospel and a desire to share it with whomever they meet.
That is the seedbed for revival! It would dramatically change our world!
How do they find out more?