This year I have taken on a new role as Disciple (small) Group leader at my church. From September until now, I have watched as the lightbulb goes on in these young sixth-grade boys’ hearts.
What I love seeing the most is watching their spiritual gifts manifest before my eyes.
I have a young man in my group who is borderline ADD, as I am; however, when it comes to spiritual matters, I am amazed—he is a gifted teacher. He can articulate Scripture in crazy effective ways.
We were practicing how to share the Gospel several weeks ago. When he sat down with another young man in our group and shared, I was blessed to see his God-given gift manifest right then. He is only 12 years old.
It has really come to my attention more recently that many times the spiritual lives of children are being underminded in our churches today.
We often look at their age and convince ourselves that they are not developmentally ready for the “bigger things” of the church.
However, throughout Scripture, it is apparent that God never looked at what a person could do for Him.
He made it pretty clear that He would work through people to accomplish His will. It was more about a person having an open heart before God.
He worked through a person’s weakness. That way, the glory was always given to Him. The Lord made it clear to Jeremiah:
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. ‘Alas, Sovereign Lord,’ I said, ‘I do not know how to speak; I am too young.’ But the Lord said to me, ‘Do not say, “I am too young.” You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,’ declares the Lord. Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, ‘I have put my words in your mouth.’ (Jeremiah 1:5-9)
So, why do we say they are too young to serve God when God makes it clear, “Do not say, ‘I am too young’”?
In order to change this mindset, we have to look at children and ask, “What can God do through this child?”
My answer to you is this: “Amazing things!”
When you get out of the way and allow the Holy Spirit to work and speak through children, you will be astonished by what you see.
I love hearing the stories just from my church of amazing things the kids are doing from prayer to leadership in the classroom and teaching with maturity and grace, even by third graders.
Our leaders are learning to release the children in their small groups to use their gifts to lead part of their Disciple Group time.
You see, the spiritual gifts of children are right there in our midst.
We only have to step aside and allow God to work through them. Then, you will praise God for showing you His glory through a child.
Here are five steps you can take to shift this paradigm: