Chapter Eight – “I Need Competence. What Do I Do Well?”

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Related Scriptures

(Paraphrases of some Scripture verses related to our fifth core need of competence.) 

Psalm 86:7                  I will call to God and He will answer me.

Proverbs 15:22            My plans will succeed when I consider the wise counsel of my godly friends.

Proverbs 16:3              I will commit whatever I do to the Lord and my plans will succeed.

Proverbs 27:17            I will increase my competence when close friends are aware of my weaknesses.

John 8:58                    God is with me. His name is “I am.”

John 14:12                  I shall do even greater work than Jesus.

John 15:5                    I can do nothing apart from Christ.

Acts 1:8                       I have the Holy Spirit’s power.

Romans 8:37               I am more than conqueror.

1 Corinthians 2:16       I have the mind of Christ.

2 Corinthians 13:11     I must aim for perfection and strive to be Christlike.

Ephesians 3:12            I can approach God with freedom and confidence.

Ephesians 4:22‑24       With the Holy Spirit, I can put off my old self and put on a new Christlike self.

Ephesians 6:10            I am strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

Philippians 4:13          I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

James 1:5                    I can ask God for wisdom and He will supply it.

2 Peter 1:3                   In my knowledge of God I have everything I need for life and godliness.

Studying the Bible

My two favorite BOOKS that provide insights into how to study the Bible are these:

Living By the Book” by Howard Hendricks and William Hendricks was published by Moody Publishers in 1993. Their “ten strategies to first-rate reading,” “six things to look for,” and “five keys to interpretation” are fabulous. For example, their six things to look for while reading Scripture are things that are emphasized, things that are repeated, things that are related, things that are alike, things that are unlike, and things that are true to life. Their instruction can really help us get the most from our bible reading and studying. I encourage you to purchase and use this book.

Another excellent book is “How to Read the Bible for All its Worth” by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart. Zondervan published this in 2003. The authors organize their instruction by sections of the Bible and it’s very thorough.

My two favorite BIBLE STUDY MINISTRIES are these:

Precept Ministries International is directed by Kay Arthur. She and her impressive ministry are dedicated to teaching people to study God’s Word for themselves and apply its truths to their daily lives. Their method is known as the inductive study method. It’s a highly effective way of seeking out answers from God’s holy Word and, therefore, understanding Scripture. In addition to excellent books, their Bible studies are hosted in many churches and training seminars you may want to attend are offered regularly. You can contact them for more information:

Bible Study Fellowship offers day classes for women, evening classes for men, evening classes for women, and evening classes for single young adults (ages 18-35). They may offer classes in your community. You can find out from their website. BSF classes are presented with a challenging fourfold approach including daily questions for personal Bible study, lively discussion groups where insights from personal study are shared, interesting lectures with applications for daily living, and enriching notes distributed to class members attending the lecture each week. They’re intense and effective. You can find out more by contacting them:

My favorite BIBLE SOFTWARE PROGRAM is this one:

The Logos Bible Software is truly amazing. If you take some time at their website, you’ll learn about their different software programs. I also encourage you to ask your pastors what books and software they depend on. Especially if they know you, they might be able to recommend something that’s ideal for you. To learn more about Logos, here’s their information:

Allow me to make one more recommendation related to studying Scripture. I’ve found that God will often use a NEW BIBLE TRANSLATION to awaken enthusiasm for His Word. So, you may want to go to a Christian bookstore and look at all the different possibilities. Clerks will often be able to explain the differences well. Also, please consider asking your pastors and/or those from your church who lead Bible studies which translations they recommend. For example, a number of years ago, friends gave me a chronological Bible. I’ve really enjoyed using it for my daily Bible reading. You might, too.

Church-based Parent Education

We sometimes joke that parents are taught how to give birth and then how to feed, diaper, and bathe their babies before sending them home from the hospital. It’s really not very funny, though, is it? Parenting is a huge responsibility! Ideally, churches, schools, companies, and communities work together to provide education for parents.

If you want to look into offering parent education at your church, here are some things you can think about:

What topics might be appealing? How do we decide?

Pray and survey members, attenders, Sunday school teachers, and area school teachers.

You can decide if you want to encourage and educate parents from all ages and stages or just one or more: pregnancy, infant/toddler, preschool years, elementary years, middle school (preteen and early teen) years, high school (teenage) years, launching years (college and early career, “empty nest” years), “boomerang” years, and grandparents.

You can choose topics with the Luke 2:52 model in mind: “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” In a series, you can cover spiritual, intellectual, emotional, social, and physical growth.

Teaching the biblical characteristics of a Christian family can be very important.

Numerous topics, such as these, can be a blessing: communication, discipline, motivation, complimenting and correcting children, study skills, multiple intelligences, learning styles, helping children change, and authentic hope and wholeness.

What formats and schedules might work best?


Speakers can be outside experts, members/attenders, pastors, area educators and counselors, etc.

Opportunities can be informal and formal, planned and spontaneous, and conveniently and “inconveniently” scheduled. For example, during the week, some classes can be offered at 6:30 a.m. for people to attend before they go to work. Also, 5:30 p.m. can work better than the more typical 7:00 p.m. because once people get home, it’s hard for them to leave again. On Sundays, for inreach and to reach visitors who attended that day, try offering seminars right after the morning service. You could offer a light snack and extended childcare. If you have enough space and people, you can offer parent education during VBS. Instead of parents dropping their children off and going home, they can stay for their own classes.

You can offer seminars for parents and their children to attend together. When everyone hears the same message there is more motivation and accountability. Necessary change will more realistically happen.

You could offer to host a community-wide parenting conference and/or a banquet or dessert fellowship to honor parents.

Celebrate Kids, Inc. seminars for parents and families have been successfully held in many churches, Christian schools, and public schools. We’d love to support your efforts. Let us know if we can help you.

Bible Verses, Resources, and Methods Related to Prayer

Some of my favorite BOOKS related to prayer are these:

Campbell, Wesley and Stacey (2002). Praying the Bible: The book of prayers. Ventura, CA:

      Gospel Light.

Hybels, Bill (1988). Too busy not to pray: Slowing down to be with God. Downers Grove,

      IL: InterVarsity Press.

Kopp, David and Heather (2004). Powerful prayers for your children. Colorado Springs, CO:

      Waterbrook Press.

Kopp, David and Heather (2004). Powerful prayers for your family. Colorado Springs, CO:

      Waterbrook Press.

Kopp, David and Heather (2004). Powerful prayers for your life. Colorado Springs, CO:

      Waterbrook Press.

Kopp, David and Heather (2004). Powerful prayers for your marriage. Colorado Springs,

      CO: Waterbrook Press.

Kopp, Heather (2004). Powerful prayers for your baby. Colorado Springs, CO: Waterbrook


Moore, Beth (2000). Praying God’s word: Breaking free from spiritual strongholds.

      Nashville, TN: Broadman and Holman.

Omartian, Stormie (2001). The power of a praying husband. Eugene, OR: Harvest House


Omartian, Stormie (1997). The power of a praying wife. Eugene, OR: Harvest House


Omartian, Stormie (1995). The power of a praying woman. Eugene, OR: Harvest House


Omartian, Stormie (2003). The power of praying through life’s problems. Oxnard, CA:

      Integrity Publishers.

Omartian, Stormie (2004). The power that changes everything: The hidden power of praising

      God. Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers.

Omartian, Stormie with Jack Hayford (2003). The power of praying together. Eugene, OR:

      Harvest House Publishers.

Sheets, Dutch (1996). Intercessory prayer: How God can use your prayers to move heaven

      and earth. Ventura, CA: Gospel Light.

Terabassi, Becky (2000). Let prayer change your life. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

I encourage you to search the SCRIPTURE for verses that will motivate you to pray. Here are some of my favorites:

“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

“Then Daniel went to his house and made the matter known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions, and told them to seek mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his companions might not be destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven. Daniel answered and said: ‘Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding; he reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him. To you, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, for you have given me wisdom and might, and have now made known to me what we asked of you, for you have made known to us the king’s matter.’” Daniel 2:17-23

“O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear.” Psalm 10:17

“Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.” Psalm 62:8

“In the day of my trouble I call upon you, for you answer me.” Psalm 86:7

“Hear my prayer, O Lord; give ear to my pleas for mercy! In your faithfulness answer me, in your righteousness!” Psalm 143:1

“The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but the prayer of the upright is acceptable to him.” Proverbs 15:8

“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near.” Isaiah 55:6

“But as for me, I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.” Micah 7:7

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” James 5:16

(These verses are from the English Standard Version.)

Here’s my favorite PRAYER METHOD:

I’m normally not into formulas and acronyms, but to help me with my prayer priorities, I follow excellent instruction I gained from Becky Tirabassi. I praise God for Who He is and I thank Him for what He does. In between, I admit my sin and request His help. Her PART acronym helps me:

P   Praise God for who He is

A   Admit my sin

R   Request God’s help (for me and others)

T   Thank God for what He does

She instructs us to receive God’s answers through LMNOP:

L   Listen for His voice
Messages from His people (e.g., sermons, input from friends, songs we hear)
N   New Testament truth
O   Old Testament truth
P   Proverbs and Psalms

Koch, K.A. (2005). Finding authentic hope and wholeness: 5 questions that will change your life. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers. (Relevant to chapter 8: I Need Competence. What Do I Do Well?)

Kathy Koch, Ph.D., President, Celebrate Kids, Inc.

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