Discovering Talents

Jason Kabe has worked at Cargill for just over 22 years in a variety of Information Technology positions.

Currently, I lead a team of Business Analysts who, simply put, create the “blueprints” for new technology solutions.

Jason was raised Missouri Synod Lutheran in St. Joseph, Minnesota. His wife, Julie, was raised Roman Catholic in Apple Valley.  They have been married almost 20 years. In July, 1999, they moved to Buffalo (where they did not know anyone) as it was mid-way between their families. Their first child, Parker, was born later that year, followed by Quincy (now 12) and Ella (now 9).

Jason has many hobbies.

I love the outdoors and when not at work that’s usually where you can find me.   Everything from hunting and fishing to skiing, snowmobiling, camping, and gardening are on my list of activities.   In addition, I enjoy woodworking.  From a young age (before I was allowed to use power tools) I have always had some sort of woodworking project going on.  Back then it was go-karts and tree-houses. More recently my projects have included furniture, cabinets, and remodeling.

They had been members of Our Fathers Lutheran Church in Rockford for a while, but after moving to Buffalo, wanted a church within the community  that would be a good place to raise their children.

The music drew us to Zion, and the size and variety of ministries influenced our decision to join.

Jason has served on Zion’s Finance Committee for the past six years, and was involved in leadership of Zion’s last Capital campaign.  He and Julie served as confirmation guides for a group of 8th grade boys who will be confirmed this fall. Jason has also been involved with Habitat for Humanity, building homes for over 20 years, and has traveled to Mexico with a group representing four churches in the community to build a home for a family in four days. He also volunteers with Feed My Starving Children and Bridging, a Twin Cities furniture bank.

Last year, Julie persuaded Jason to take part in the LifeKeys Gifts Discovery Course at Zion.

I saw it as a good opportunity to take a spiritual approach to understanding my gifts and learning more about how and where to apply those gifts.    

Jason found that LifeKeys included many components that he had experienced elsewhere, such as the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, but that LifeKeys brought all those tools together to create a profile of his gifts and talents and help him better understand his unique mission in life.

It was really helpful to see how my preferences, passions, values, and spiritual gifts come together to put me in a better position to understand “why am I here?”  

The culmination of the LifeKeys course is creating a Life Gifts sentence.

For me, this was the “ah-ha” moment.   This was where I was able to more clearly connect my gifts and passions.  If you haven’t guessed from my work, hobbies, and community work, at the heart of my life sentence is having the vision and ability to “create” solutions to problems. 

Jason says that LifeKeys is a great way for anyone who might be unsure of God’s plan for the gifts and talents He gave them to gain more clarity, as well as a way to increase stewardship of time and talents.

LifeKeys is a way to uncover our God-given gifts and to understand how we might use those gifts within the community or to support Zion’s efforts to share Christ’s word, strengthen faith, and serve those in need.   Each of us was given gifts and talents, and we’re expected to use those gifts to fill certain needs.  If we’re not using our gifts for their intended purpose, either someone else not as gifted in that particular area might be, or the need is going unmet. Life Keys can help align gifts with needs.  

It would be great to see more people go through the course and out of it find their place, whether at Zion or elsewhere, to use their gifts to help others. 

Jason’s pro tip for the LifeKeys course is to take it with a spouse or someone else who knows you well.

It’s a great way to learn about each other and help one another identify their talents.   As Julie and I went through LifeKeys, we often found that we had different perspectives of one another’s talents and also gained insight into how our gifts complement one another.