About 13 years ago, I stepped out of the ministry box. The ministry box is the idea that for 18 years you can make a child sit and listen in the church and believe they will be fully-devoted followers of Christ. The sad thing is, it isn’t working. Our kids are leaving the church in very large numbers. Some believe that the numbers are as high as 70 percent.
In the summer of 2002, the Lord began to open my eyes to His plans for children. I was minding my own business doing children’s ministry as usual. I just started a position at a church in Fort Worth, Texas. The first week I was there, on May 8, I was informed that there was nothing planned for the children for that summer. This really was God’s perfect timing. I had been thinking of an idea for many years desiring to take children to a different level in the church and to involve them in ministry. So that summer, we called it L.I.T. (Leaders In Training) for preteens who were in fifth and sixth grades. Little did I know what the Lord would do!
Five weeks into our summer, we had trained our preteens, and we took them to minister at a local apartment complex just five miles from our church. I took our portable sounds system with speakers as big as a car. It took four boys to carry one of them. We were going to rock out this apartment complex. We had about seventeen L.I.T.s and seven children show up. The kids were so excited to minister to them. Our L.I.T.s did puppets, led worship, and prayed with the group. On Wednesday of that week, I allowed preteens whom we had trained to counsel after an invitation. To my amazement, they led three children to Christ! I talked with the children they had counseled, and I discovered that they understood perfectly. They knew exactly what they had done. It was at that moment that I sensed in my heart a question: “Clint, is the abundant life for children, too, or just for youth and adults?” That summer, I stepped out of the ministry box and never went back. To my astonishment after 13 years, I have witnessed children serving in the church from a very young age—some for more than 11 years now! They have served in administrative roles, have taught and discipled children, and participated in many other areas of ministry. Through the years, we have taken thousands of preteens on mission trips, and now, we fully release them to do everything, including teaching, leading worship, counseling, and teaching crafts, while the adults often stand in amazement, many times in tears, as they witness firsthand the Lord raising up this generation before their eyes. I am one of those amazed adults! Check out our online training program. You can train when the time is good for you. Click here
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