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Something happened recently in my neighborhood. The Lord had instructed me to set up a lawn chair in my front yard one evening. I was to simply sit there, and read a book. This came as a result of me asking Him for opportunities to minister to the kids in my own neighborhood.

I hadn't been there five minutes, when an eleven-year-old girl that I had never seen before came running around the corner, spotted me in my chair, and headed straight for me, giggling as she ran. She immediately dropped behind my chair, and told me she was playing cops and robbers with her friends.

She said if they spotted her, she'd have to go to "jail." So I assured her she could hide next to me, and I'd be her watch-out person. But as we waited for her friends to appear, it wasn't two or three minutes until she suddenly blurted out to me - a total stranger: "I went to Sunday school today, and I hate it! It's so boring!"

This immediately opened up a wonderful opportunity to share with her, and eventually her friends, about the Lord and some of my experiences, and they were clearly hungry to know more. It was very evident that it wasn't God they found boring - it was how He was packaged, and presented to them.

But this young girl had already decided whether or not church, and the God that was being represented to her in that environment, had any relevance to her life. Unless something changes in her experience, she is a definite candidate to "check out" of church life when she reaches her teen years, and never look back.

As parents and church leaders, we have to re-evaluate our methods, be willing to make major departures from the "norm" as it relates to our Christian education. We've got to figure out how to supplant crafts with the supernatural. We've got better children's ministry resource materials than we've ever had in our churches, bigger budgets, more sophisticated technology that rivals Hollywood, and even paid staff to take care of the children.

Yet the kids that are being raised in Christian environments are leaving the organized church in droves. We have to ask ourselves, "Why?"
It's time to hit our knees, and begin asking God to reveal to us His plans, and quit relying on programs and systems that date back to the 16th century to reach today's kids for Jesus. It's going to take more than loud music, confetti machines, and the latest animal costumes to draw our youngsters to the Lord. There's nothing wrong with those things in themselves, so please don't think I'm against them. I'm not.

We keep trying to convince children's workers and parents that they are not babysitting when they teach a Sunday school class. But when are we going to get honest with ourselves? That's exactly what's happening! The parents and other workers for the most part are only "taking their turn" teaching, but as soon as their month is up, they're "outta there!"

Don't think the kids don't perceive that! It's no wonder they don't want to be there either. But even in the classrooms that are "working," could we be using our time more valuably?

For instance, instead of breaking up our group of children into age groups during our midweek services, could we not break them up into "interest" groups-interest in evangelism, gifts of the Spirit and the prophetic, healing the sick, ministry to the poor and needy, intercessory prayer?

Is it not possible to then have "teachers" who are not necessarily parents that have had their arms twisted to teach a class, but they are the on-fire intercessors, evangelists, mercy-gift oriented people who will take a small group of five or six children to the side, and mentor them for one hour in their own personal area of spiritual passion?

Your in-house, burning evangelist can load his car with kids and take them to a park, or the local McDonald's to do some "prophetic evangelism." Your resident Mr. Mercy Gift can take a carload of kids to the home for the aging, and spend time praying with them and sharing a scripture with them.

What about those in your church that have a great love of praying for the sick? Could they take a carload of kids over to Mrs. Anderson's house, where she's been bed-ridden for three weeks, and have the children lay hands on her and pray for her healing? Your passionate, faithful intercessors can take a group of kids into a side room, and for one hour mentor them in intercession, praying for the nations, or whatever God lays on their hearts.

Suddenly you have teachers who are imparting their gifts and passions, and not trying to study some boring book, and gather up all the materials for the weekly craft. And you have kids who are being mentored in a way that is priceless, and is totally relevant to real life, and giving them an opportunity to see how the gospel really is supposed to work.

At the end of one hour, they all come back to the church to share their experiences, pray, and encourage one another before joining their parents and going home.

It's Really Working!
Recently I was sent a testimony by a children's pastor that was experiencing a precious move of God in her children's services in Kirkland, WA.

Jennifer shared:
"The children are so hungry for a TRUE experience with God and they are willing to lay down the things of the world to live a life of power through the Lord. We have had waves of the Spirit so strong that the children are all down on their faces crying out to the Lord for the nations.

One Sunday we had a time of intercession during worship. The children began standing up one at a time and began to prophecy. Ones that would never get up front to do anything, stood, and began to speak out the things of the Lord. They began to speak things of God's love for them. One boy even stood and began quoting 1 John 4:18 (Perfect love casts out fear...), this boy is one that has a hard time memorizing anything, yet he stood and quoted this whole scripture word for word.

"Yesterday we had a boy's ears healed in children's church. He had an extremely bad ear infection, and it affected his hearing. Yesterday all hearing was restored when the children laid hands on him, and prayed.

"We have had some of our children preach in the adult service, and hold altar services. Our children are ready and waiting to go out to the nations. While they are waiting for that to come to past, they are holding Bible studies in their schools with their friends.

The unsaved kids on the playgrounds are being saved and filled with the Spirit right there. It is so exciting to see what God is doing with this new generation. He is beginning to raise them up in a holy power to defeat the darkness that surrounds this world."
There is no reason this can't happen in each of our churches, and even in our homes! It will take people of passion to pass the torch of passion on to the next generation, with fresh vision, and daring out-of-the-box courage to bring our children into their true destinies with the living God!

Copyright © Kids In Ministry International
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Becky Fischer
Web site: Kids In Ministry International
 
Becky Fischer is the founder and director of Kids in Ministry International (KIMI), a multi-faceted ministry that trains children to walk in the supernatural power of God and equips adults to work with children in the same way. Becky, who served as a children's pastor for ten years prior to starting KIMI, received Jesus as her Savior and the infilling of the Holy Spirit at an early age. She knows first-hand that children can be touched and used by God and recognized early in her ministry career that children are hungry for a supernatural encounter with the Holy Spirit.
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