Giving Kids God-Sized Challenges

God Sized ChallengesOne of the greatest joys I have in ministry today is my leaders—my children leaders. Not adults, but the children of my church. Don’t get me wrong; I love the adult leaders. You see, I have had children serving in my church for more than eleven years. It didn’t start out that way for me, though. I began having children serve out of need. We would fill necessary holes in our ministry with children who could do it. Well, what I didn’t realize was that as I watched them and gave them greater and greater responsibility, they stepped up every time. You may not know it, but each of us in ministry has a calling to equip the saints for works of ministry and not do all of the work ourselves (Ephesians 4:11-13). What saints, you might ask? All of the saints, or believers in Christ. That includes kids! Well, I have done it, and it works. Children are some of the most solid leaders we have in our church. Here are a few steps I took to challenge children and grow their faith:

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Children Addicted to Service

If you have worked in children’s ministry long, you recognize that preteens and early teens are in a battle. They are struggling to find out who they are and what life is all about. Here areChildren Serving some observations I have made and ways to turn these young believers into servants and then into servant-leaders in the church:

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Six Spiritual Disciplines that Transform the Lives of Children

Six Spiritual DisciplinesAbout 13 years ago, I began teaching children six key spiritual disciplines. What I didn’t expect was the transformation that occurred within the first three months. I have served on advisory boards of major Christian organizations, and I have taught at conferences and attended conferences. One thing I didn’t figure out until later in ministry is that faith is not taught—it is caught. Oh, I had children memorizing Scripture and attending church every week. I tried everything to get them through the door of my church. We even saw hundreds of children come to know Christ through our evangelistic efforts. However, I did not see transformation in children until I began to teach them how to have a relationship with Christ through personal disciplines. Paul tells us, “But have nothing to do with irreverent folklore and silly myths. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness [keeping yourself spiritually fit]” (1 Timothy 4:7, AMP).

Here are the six disciplines we teach children in the church that brings about transformation:

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Once Upon a Time in a Church Not So Far Away

Church Not Far Away 1Once upon a time in a church not so far away, the children were sequestered in classrooms. They were told to be still, be quiet, and listen and while the teacher told them about the King and His future plans for them. Year after year, they were told to sit and listen while their teacher ministered to them. But their children’s pastor did not realize that the King had plans for them today. As the children’s pastor began to release the King’s children to participate in ministry, he suddenly witnessed that they could do amazing things for their King. Right in front of the children’s pastor’s eyes, they told others about the King and His plans for them. To the children’s pastor’s amazement, other children became part of the King’s kingdom. In astonishment, the children’s pastor began to realize, “Hey, maybe they don’t have to wait to serve in the King’s kingdom; they can serve the King today.” So the children’s pastor began to recognize more and more the King’s current plans for the children. He gave them more and more responsibilities, and they carried them out to the glory of their King. The King (Jesus) showed the children’s pastor that children are not the future church—they are the church today!

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