Every year, I have leaders approach me saying, “I just don’t think our kids are ready or mature enough to take part in a mission trip. This is a huge responsibility to share the Gospel with lost people. They are not developmentally ready imageto do something like this.” I have heard a lot of concerns like these, but those concerns are quickly turned to amazement when leaders see firsthand how God moves in the lives of children.

Here are five things to think about when contemplating whether you should take your kids or send your kids on a mission trip:

Read more ...

Five Essentials to Making Disciples of Children

As the Lord prepared to return to Heaven after His years on Earth, His last command was for His followers to go and make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20).

AdobeStock 101174553Eric Geiger says, “A church can excel at anything and everything else, but if the church fails to make disciples, she has wandered from her fundamental reason for existence.”[1]

How do we do this with children? It doesn’t come through teaching only; it comes through engaging them in ministry.

We must be cautious in embracing the idea of a secular education model to disciple children. Simply flooding a child’s mind with knowledge of Scripture doesn’t bring transformation.

Nicki Stranza warns, “School is designed to cram information in our kids’ heads. Experience is more effective in creating an opportunity for thinking and evaluation.”[2]

The church isn’t a school; it is the body of Christ on mission.

Here are five essentials for discipling and seeing the lives of children transformed:

Read more ...

Empower Kids for Ministry Using the Ezekiel Principle

Ezekiel Principle

If you are like me, you have struggled with finding leadership in your church weekly, monthly, and anytime there is a large event.

While doing my doctoral studies, it hit me one day: When a child is only allowed to sit and listen in a classroom for eighteen years, the results are the same every time.

They become adults and parents who do not want to serve, not because they are lazy, but because they were not taught as children that they had value in the body of Christ and gifts to use for His glory.

There is an old saying, “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.”

From Ezekiel 47:1-9, we see five phases of spirituality that I call The Ezekiel Principle: on the bank, ankle deep, knee deep, waist deep, and swimming.

In order to take a person into the spiritual depths with God, we must move them from the bank of the river into the deep end and fully submitting to God.

This is what we taught our leadership, and we saw a new passion and excitement in the lives of our children, preteens, and students.


Read more ...

Helping Children Hear the Voice of God

During one of our summer preteen mission trips, the Lord spoke to one of our leaders through a little girl. Maggie (5th grade) had an impression during one of our evening worship services to pray for this adult leader.

She walked Hearing the Voice of Godup and asked the leader if she could pray for them. The leader said, “Sure.” So, Maggie began praying, mentioning three things the Lord had put on her heart.

Well, it doesn’t seem like a big deal until you hear the other side of the story. The leader she prayed for was feeling discouraged that night. Before this little girl prayed, the leader was in the back of the worship center praying and seeking the Lord. While the leader was praying, three specific things were heavy on their heart.

Read more ...