Back in the day, there was a famous preacher story that circulated amongst what were then known as “Christian Education Directors”–our modern day family pastors. It was said that D.L. Moody had come back from a tent revival meeting where he reported that 2 1/2 people were saved. Whoever he was talking to replied, “You mean, two adults and one child?” D.L. Moody responded, “No, two children and one adult. When you save a child, you save a life—a whole life.”
Often people who are not involved as Peer Educators, laboring with Generation X (as I like to call it) in children/ teen’s ministry have false assumptions about it. Before launching IGNITE, I’ve been privileged to serve as an Apprentice in the Children Ministry back in 1997 – 1999 under some very passionate and committed folks most of whom were not married neither were yet parents then, their dedication and passion was so contagious, we were inducted in the ways of the spirit, exposed to the supernatural as Kid Facilitators and eventually became Coordinator of same at several capacity, responsibilities grew into Young Adults Ministry etc.
As demands of Church Planting pulled, I was privilege to pioneer with some fine co-labourer a Children Church at a tender age, covered other locations too running practically three services and visiting another location besides weekly meetings at some point, that also produced great souls today.
I am glad about those fine gentle men and women God put on my way their testimonies then were so incredible. A greater portion of our service was skewed towards Children, Teens and Youths and nothing would deter it, but funnily while we were busy making Bible Lessons and producing visual aids from cartons, rags, recycled cups, etc for lack of funding then some felt it was just a waste of time, ignorantly frustrating those teaching their own kids.
Here are seven of the most common, along with how to respond and help people see the truth as compiled by Dale Hudson:
1. Children’s ministry is just childcare. How many times have you heard someone call it “childcare”? Are you like me? Do you cringe when you hear that? We know it’s much more than “childcare.” It’s ministry! It’s helping kids know God and follow Him. The reason most people who call it “childcare” do so is because they’re not aware of what happens in the kid’s services. We got to cast the vision for this and help people see that children’s ministry truly is ministry. As a Teacher see your job differently and really get involved.
2. Kids come to Christ differently than adults. There is no “junior” Holy Spirit like we say at IGNITE. Kids get saved just like adults do. In fact, the Bible never tells kids to be like adult
s to get saved. But it does tell adults to be like kids to get saved. That being said, it is important that we have a clear process and plan for sharing the gospel with kids. Here’s more help with this.
3. Children’s ministry is just about children. Children’s ministry is unique in that you have the opportunity to minister to every age group in the church—children, students who serve, adults who serve, parents and grandparents. Children’s ministry leaders have to be able to lead and connect with the adults who serve just as much as they do with the kids.
4. Kids are the church of tomorrow. Hang on a minute. Kids are the church of today. They have spiritual gifts. They can be anointed. They can serve, lead worship, greet, make an impact, give, go on mission trips and just about anything else an adult can do. They don’t have to wait until they grow up to be the church. I have witnessed first hand sparkling miracles by the hand of kids and working with kids. I practically learned to pray, prophesy, practice the miraculous, evacuate the sick from hospitals in days by the prayer of faith as a kid without the leadership of any adult. I have seen a Borehole tap flow hot water in a Teen Summer Camp when we ran out of resources to heat water for them to bathe while camp was on, I have seen the elements of nature manipulated in response to the prayer of faith practical exercise as a kid, I have seen some very few and weird things in the miraculous dimension as a Kid, working with kids/teens. In fact I was billed to preach my first sermon as a kid of 7 or 8 years in a big Orthodox denomination. I have seen adults run out of their session to stay by Kids/Teen church just to catch a glimpse of the manifestation of the spirit. Too many stories to share now.
5. You don’t have to do things with excellence; the kids won’t notice anyway. When people say this, it should get us irritated. Kids deserve our very best. We should be just as committed (or even more committed) to providing them with excellent worship, programming, lessons, facilities, discipleship and more.
6. Children’s ministry is not as important as adult ministry. Children’s ministry is just as important as adult ministry. The early years of a person’s life are the most critical, as 85 percent of people come to Christ before the age of 18. When kids come to Christ, they can serve God for a lifetime. Check out this interesting, eye-opening two and a half soul comment of D. L. Moody.
7. Kids will grow up to love Jesus if you fill their head with Bible facts and memory verses. Learning Bible verses and facts is important but does not guarantee that kids will grow up to love Jesus. Information without transformation by the Holy Spirit leads to spiritual stagnation. It’s not enough for kids to just know about Jesus; they must know Jesus personally. Thank God for those wonderful souls that helped me find my way early in life. I practically learned to read the word a minimum of 4 hours stretch as a kid, but we had to also start learning to pray for 1 hour to 4 hours, learnt to be led of the Spirit as we committed a large chunk of scripture to memory too. We were challenged by teachers who even attempted to memorize Psalms 119, and as kids we joined the challenge too. Its never too early to get started. Every great athlete knows to start early, true? There are others who started earlier than I did, had greater testimonies so to say or had great experiences, its time to reciprocate it, its time to snatch a kid, a teen, a young adult from the deceit of the devil.
The renowned evangelist D.L. Moody, who led over 1 million people to Christ in the 19th century, said this at the end of his ministry: “If I could relive my life, I would devote my entire ministry to reaching children for God.”
D.L. Moody, the famous minister of yesteryear, started his ministry out focused on reaching kids in the inner city of Chicago. Later, as his ministry grew, he “graduated” out of kids ministry into being a pastor and evangelist. Near the end of his ministry, as he looked back and reflected, he said this.
“If I could relive my life, I would devote my entire ministry to reaching children.” – D. L. Moody
Whatever made men like D. L Moody commit to this task, as well as other fine ministers must mean there’s more to it than we see today… We won’t leave anyone to wallow trapped in drugs, alcohol or any other dangerous vice. They are never too small to be reformers, never too small to worship, or word up not too small to pray or prophesy!
We must stop that old mantra of “…leave them they are still kids” as excuse to tolerate demonic onslaughts on kids, teens and youth, wait haven’t we read of Child or Teen shooters or bombers so spare me that excuse!
Together we can reach more and also join to catch them young for Christ, …no limit to our outbreaks!
You could join Team IGNITE for Back to School Outreaches this last quarter. From the Schools to the Malls, to the play grounds then to the church we find them, get them saved, see them filled with the Holy Spirit, see them pray and prophesy, see them creative and innovative, see them word up and worship… Get enlisted! I can tell you how *winks
We celebrate every one that labours with Generation X serving them gospel uncompromisingly
Yes we see them baptized in the Spirit,
See them enjoy prophetic flow
See them grow in the word and prayers too
Together we labour…!