By Connie McKenzie
God has shown up at a service with children. The past hour and a half has been almost indescribable as children freely worshipped the Lord, first dancing with abandonment around the room, then standing or kneeling before the altar with hands and faces lifted heavenward. There were tears rolling down many cheeks. Some of the children’s faces displayed a beautiful glow, a sweet smile, as they were in the presence of God.
The sweet presence of the Holy Spirit is still lingering in the room. As boys and girls come to the microphone to share what has happened to them, they say things like, “I feel different”, “Jesus told me He loves everyone here”, “God called me to be a missionary …to Africa”, and “My grandma sent me $10.00 for my birthday, and I want to give it ALL to God.”
Now the adult leaders are crying, realizing how precious this time was for the children. They have felt God and experienced repentance, refreshing, renewal, and great joy. They will not forget what it is like to be in the presence of God. Neither will we.
God wants to move and touch children’s lives. It is so important for those of us who have experienced the anointing to pass it on to the next generation. We need to help them come to know God and not just know about Him. There is an urgency of the hour that makes it crucial that we build a foundation with children that has Jesus as the cornerstone. They need an experience with God to know He is real and powerful.
In our church and children church services, we can see children touched by God. We only have to make a place for it. It begins with us, the adults, being passionately in love with Jesus and demonstrating that love in ways that our children can’t miss. We can lead children into revival if we get on our faces and seek God for not only this generation but also for ourselves.
We often think the way to a child’s heart is through entertainment, and some of our services are more like “putting on a program” instead of a service where God is welcome.
When we are willing to lay down our own agenda and follow the moving of the Spirit, we open the door for the presence of the Lord.
Lives of children are touched when the church has made an investment into the ministry for children. It does not happen when the mentality of the leaders and congregation is to put the children “back there” with a few toys and an adult or two to look after them so the adult service can go on undisturbed. It happens when the church recognizes the tremendous value of reaching children when they are young and ensures an inviting place for them to meet with trained and caring teachers who love God and love kids. Making an investment into the children’s ministry facilities as well as training and equipping of the children’s ministry leaders, goes a long way in how effective and life changing the children’s ministry will be.
Additionally, the children’s ministry team needs to make an investment. Revival in children usually happens as a result of fasting and prayer, planning and preparation, and giving of both time and money.
Children are hungry for God. We can put them into His presence. We can make a difference. We can make a change and that change begins in our hearts.
Connie McKenzie is the Director of Advanced School of Children’s & Family Ministry at Christ For The Nations Institute, Dallas, TX.