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Training Children for Ministry

10540950 10100286423337575 8891529772766895886 oMINISTRY TEAMS HANDBOOK

By Keri Meek

Ministry teams are a vital aspect of the N.K./L.I.T. program. The purpose of ministry teams is to guide kids in the development of their gifts and talents to bring glory to God and to share the Gospel.

Through their ministry teams, kids are not only able to see how their gifts can be used to build up the church, but time spent in ministry teams also offers another opportunity for discipleship.

Truly effective ministry comes out of our relationship with God. Ministry team leaders have the opportunity to disciple kids in what it means to allow the power of God to inspire teams through their gifts to move the hearts of others. Rather than relying on human power, ministry teams recognize that it is the Holy Spirit who works through us to use our gifts to point others to God. Ministry team leaders also disciple their kids by allowing the kids to do the creating.

When they hit a roadblock, leaders are encouraged to guide the kids to seek the Lord for wisdom through prayer. Ministry teams offer a great avenue for discipleship in prayer and listening to God’s guidance as we do God’s work.

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What if You Took Vacation Bible School into Your Community?

One of my deepest desires is to see the lost come to know Christ. In 2005, our church took our Vacation Bible School into our community. In the two previous years, we spent thousands of dollars on curriculum,1000 resources, and man hours hosting a VBS in our church with minimal results.

After my first two years at my new church, I became very burdened. It seemed like we were hosting a camp for Christian kids instead of fulfilling our purpose of reaching the lost through VBS.

The fact that there were thousands of children and their families in our community that had not heard the Good News of Christ deeply burdened my heart.

I sought the Lord in prayer and simply said, “Lord, if it is Your will, please open doors for us to go off campus into the public schools next summer.” Our church had developed really good relationships with several schools in our community.

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Why is it Important to Teach Children to Surrender to Christ?

I love seeing children in my church and ministry come to know Christ. There is no greater joy than to sit down with them and hear their hearts. Many of them are truly broken over their sins and want Christ’s 92forgiveness.

Unfortunately, I am afraid that many times it stops there. Afterwards, they attend Sunday school and church services regularly, but they are not discipled to walk with the Lord daily or to have a deeper walk Christ. I have known kids who memorized hundreds of verses and took part in most of our events, but I didn’t see true change in their lives until they humbled themselves before the Lord in surrender. 

You see, the Gospel comes at a cost to every believer/follower of Christ. The cost is surrender and total abandonment of our wishes and desires to follow Him. Jesus tells us, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matt. 16:24-25). That cost is the surrender all of our rights to the Savior.

For some of us, this is a very difficult discussion; even for myself, it was hard to give up and let the Lord have full control of my life. When I did, the light came on, and I have never been the same since. The same is true for our children—until they surrender to His Lordship, they will not experience all that Christ has planned for them.

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Discovering the Spiritual Gifts of Children and Preteens

Accessories

One of my greatest joys in children’s ministry has been the discovery of spiritual gifts in children. I was privileged to serve on staff at my last church for more than 13 years. Through those years, I walked alongside some incredible kids who are now adults. They showed me how the Holy Spirit was at work in their lives through their total dependence on Him to empower them in ministry. Their gift(s) manifested in many ways often in the church and especially in our community and on mission. Children’s Ministry became exciting to me! I stepped out of a box in which I was trapped for over 13 years, and I moved into a new paradigm as I watched God working in and through the lives of the kids.

You see, I was like many children’s ministers in the church today. I had embraced the idea that kids should just sit and be taught about Jesus and His Word. Then one day, they would be mature enough to serve. But, it was through God’s Word that I discovered their value in His church today. I found that young believers were not given a “baby” Holy Spirit when they were reborn; they were given THE HOLY SPIRIT! This meant that they were gifted by the Holy Spirit at the moment they said yes to Jesus. They are not the church of the future; they are the church TODAY because of Who lives in them today!

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