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On September 11, 2001, everything changed in America. Our nation began fighting a new kind of war. Children across America began to deal with grief, sorrow, and fears that they have never faced before.

How do we minister to children during times of crisis?

First we should think about the victims of the attack. Thousands of children lost parents in New York City and Washington D.C. How can we minister to the fatherless?
Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
(James 1:27)
The Bible tells us exactly how to minister to a child that has lost a parent. The Amplified Bible says it like this:
External religious worship (religion as it is expressed in outward acts) that is pure and unblemished in the sight of God the Father is this: to visit and help and care for the orphans and widows in their affliction and need, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
(James 1:27 AMP)
The body of Christ has a responsibility to give special attention to the fatherless and minister to their physical needs. I always spent a lot of extra time with the kids in my children's church who didn't have a dad at home. I would take it upon myself to become a spiritual father to these little ones. I would take them out for ice cream and get them involved in the puppet team.

Secondly, we need to minister to children about how to resist fear. This is really hard to do when so many adults are living their lives in fear. The truth is that our nation is safer after the attacks because we are more aware and we have increased security.

There is a difference between being security conscious and being controlled by fear. The enemy wants to paralyze us with fear so we think about what the devil is doing and not about what God is doing.

When we minister to children we need to say what God is saying. We are His ambassadors. We do not speak for ourselves. We do not preach our opinions.
This is what God says about the subject of fear:
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
(2 Tim. 1:7)

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.(Ps. 23:4)

A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you.
(Ps. 91:7)

...greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.
(1 John 4:4)
The God that lives in me is greater than the devil that lives in the people who attacked our nation. This is a time to preach basic messages to our children: Jesus is greater than the devil…. Father God loves you and He will never leave you or forsake you….How to resist the spirit of fear.

Thirdly, we need to teach our children to be true worshippers. Ten days after the attack we conducted a Worship Weekend in Nashville, Tennessee, with about 600 children in attendance from ten different states.

I was praying about the Friday night service asking God if he wanted me to preach something different in light of the attacks. I felt a little awkward about rejoicing in the Lord when so many in the nation were grieving.

He spoke to my heart: "Nothing has changed in heaven. The angels are still worshipping me up here." They haven't increased the security at the pearly gates. The Lord's Prayer still says: "Thy will on earth as it is in heaven."

Father God still wants us to worship Him passionately. Why? So He can draw close to us and chase away our fears. The best thing you can do for your kids is to get them into the presence of God. Create an atmosphere in your church where their Heavenly Father can wrap His arms around them, and never let them go.

Copyright © Mark Harper Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Mark Harper
Web site: Mark Harper Ministries
 
Pastor and Leadership Coach, Mark Harper has 35 years of experience in the local church. He is the creator of the Super Church 2.0 Curriculum, which is used in over 5,000 churches worldwide. The focus of Mark's ministry is helping leaders build strong churches and helping parents build strong families. Not only has Mark served in the local church as pastor, associate pastor, and family ministry pastor but he is also a certified coach with the John Maxwell Team. He also recently released the Amazon Best Selling book The Red Book: The Lifeblood of Children's Ministry.
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