I have rewritten the training and have included much of what I found while doing research for my book "Going Deep: Taking Children into the Spiritual Depths with God."
God has a unique plan for every believing child beyond what you might imagine.
He is raising up young missionaries in our midst. Here is what Sarah (11 years old) had to say after her first mission trip:
Once we started preaching…at that time, I was just shaking. I remember praying to myself and saying, "God, I cannot do this by myself. This is all You." I remember going brain-dead at that point. I still to this day do not know exactly what I said. I just knew that He had given me a calling to go and teach.
I Had a Fire in My Heart by Madison Miller
When I was in 5th grade, I started Leaders In Training. During that time, I learned how to make my faith my own and share it with others. On my first L.I.T. mission trip, God used me to lead a girl my age to Christ. From that moment on, I had a fire in my heart for sharing my faith and ministering to the kids around me.
From 5th grade to now, I have had the opportunity to invest in and disciple children. I started off by teaching a Sunday school class when I was in 6th grade. I was a Children’s Intern in college. Now, I work as part of a kids’ ministry.
Good Things Come in Small Packages by Dr. Clint May
We just wrapped up our last mission trip for the summer in Hudson Oaks, Texas. I was concerned that having a small group would have a lesser impact on the kids on the trip. I was wrong. The Lord showed up many times more powerfully on this trip. The pace was nice and not overwhelming. Even though they were ministering to fewer people, God ministered to them and spoke to their hearts. There were three professions of faith. We saw the kids grow up before our eyes as they gained confidence from the Lord. Worship times were sweet as we felt God’s presence in tangible ways. It was a wonderful blessing as we close out the summer.
My greatest joy throughout the past 33 years has been working with children in the local church. I have loved seeing their lives transformed by the power of the Gospel working in them. What I did not know was God’s greater plan for their lives.
During my first 14 years of ministry, I was working at an adult level. Pouring my life into my adult leaders and equipping them for works of ministry (Ephesians 4:11-13). I knew that if I spent time with them, it would pour over into the lives of the children of my church. It did, and it did not.
For years I had a wrong perception of a child. They were to be seen and not heard. I saw them as the target of my ministry. I passionately tried everything I could do to reach them with the Gospel and bring them into the Church.
I am a child evangelist at heart, so that came easy to me. But something was wrong with this picture. After reaching them, I sat them down and told them how to live for Jesus. Never did I allow them to join me in ministry or even consider it. They were spectators in a game that they would not be able to play until they were much older.
Unexpectedly, my eyes were opened to something altogether different from what I had always been taught. It was as if a veil had been removed from my eyes. Now I saw children as younger brothers and sisters in Christ—the Church now.
The Lord revealed to me that children receive everything they need to be a part of the Church at the new birth. They are born again, sealed by the Holy Spirit, gifted by the Holy Spirit, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and so much more.
My purpose for writing this book is to invite you on this journey. I want to tell you my story and the stories of others to encourage and spark a fire and passion in you for the kids in your church. I want us to look at Scripture together to see that what we are witnessing is backed up by the Word of God. I will be giving you some ideas to help you begin this incredible ride in your own church as well. Hang on as we start this magnificent journey together.
The Lord Moved in Tulsa, OK
We had an amazing week in Tulsa June 19-24. Nick shared, “My eyes have been opened. This looks like the book of Acts.” The Lord moved in many ways. There were 29 professions of faith. Seeds were planted, and souls were harvested for God’s glory. One leader shared, “When we stepped back, the kids just took over. They were ready to take the lead when we got out of the way.” We had more than 170 students and leaders on the trip. They served in 13 different locations, including parks, mobile home parks, and apartment complexes. Some areas were very dark and in great need of the Gospel. We had churches from Colorado, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Texas on the trip. Here are just a few comments from leaders who were there: