Promotes fun while building character and teaching children the fundamental principles of Christianity.
Scripture declares the importance of children’s involvement in the Kingdom of God. From silencing the enemies of God (Psalm 8:2) to signs and wonders (Isaiah 8:18, Joel 2:28) to leading in worship (II Chronicles 29:10-11) children have a place in the Body of Christ. Too many times they are relegated to back rooms and basements and if they have their own worship area, they end up segregated from the rest of the body 75% of time. It is important that children receive age-appropriate training, but the ultimate goal of that training is integration into the Body of Christ…not solely preparation for future service.
The Same Holy Spirit resides in them. When children are filled with the Holy Spirit, they do not receive the Holy Spirit, Jr. The same Holy Spirit that fills adults, fills children. The problem is, too many times we base our understanding of spiritual growth dynamics on the physical world. In the case of children, their ability to mature spiritually is in a kind of hyper drive that we can’t comprehend when we are boxed in by our experiences in the physical world. Two and three year olds can hear the voice of God and obey; four year olds can intercede with understanding; elementary aged children can actually begin leading in worship and prayer.
The “Body” needs their prayer power. Imagine the Kingdom of Light advancing with double strength overnight. If I could, I would flip a switch to activate all children currently receiving spiritual training to answer the call of the Spirit; our ranks would double or triple in a moment. Your local church needs their prayer power and expansive faith and so does the global Body of Christ. Think about it. What would happen if every kid in your church began to pray in earnest and in the Spirit? What would happen if suddenly their boundless faith was released to benefit the Kingdom?
This generation demands to be included. According to studies and research, the Millennials generation (Millenials Rising) is a generation that is demanding inclusion. “…born after 1982…as a group, Millennials are unlike any other youth generation in living memory. They are more numerous, more affluent, better educated, and more ethnically diverse. More important, they are beginning to manifest a wide array of positive social habits that older Americans no longer associate with youth, including a new focus on teamwork, achievement, modesty, and good conduct.” They are the ones who organized the neighborhood prayer vigils after 9/11; they are the ones who raised untold thousands in schools for tsunami victims in early 2005. Their actions put them in a position to be greatly used by society but most importantly, by God.
Kids require training, not just teaching. Teaching is what we do for adults, training is what we need to be doing for children. When children come into this natural world, there are all sorts of training “modules” to help them navigate this existence. From potty training to making beds; from tying shoes to brushing teeth, training is required…and repeated over and over again. Now, contrast that with the kind of spiritual training kids are given. Who trains them in doing spiritual things? Sunday school teachers, parents, relatives, pastor?
Consider the “dark side.” For this last section, ask yourself, “How old does a child have to be to handle spiritual weapons?” Next consider that there are currently over 200,000 child soldiers worldwide engaged in a conflict right now. Young children are being taught to use grenades, machine guns, rifles, vest-bombs, and more. Those working on the dark side know the value of children. Why is it teenagers can participate in suicide bombings? They are trained at a young age to handle explosives and are told what to expect in the next life if they become martyrs. Have you taught a Bible story lately that compares to that? Has anyone put a spiritual weapon in the hands of a child recently that has the power spiritually equivalent to a dirty bomb? If not, then don’t you think it’s time for a kids prayer ministry in your church? The kids are ready. God is ready. Are you?