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In the summer of 1996, I was a senior pastor at a small church in Ontario, Canada, but I would minister at kids' camps from time to time. In August, I was ministering at a kids' camp in Minnesota. I was sitting behind the puppet state, waiting to be introduced after praise and worship. The worship team, which was primarily teenagers, was singing the song, "Shout to the Lord."


I sensed the presence of God in a powerful way, even though I couldn't see anyone. I peeked my head out from behind the state and saw an awesome sight. Every single child, all 75 of them, and all the counselors had their arms lifted up and were loving Jesus. Tears began to stream down my face as I watched these children.

I had never seen children worship like this.

Yet the Word of God makes it clear that the Holy Spirit desires to move among the children: "And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams…"(Acts 2:17).

Unfortunately, we sometimes become so familiar with scriptures that we read them religiously and we miss what they are saying. Many people read this scripture like this: "He will pour out His Spirit upon all adults."

At many of our Pentecostal churches, Mom and Dad are in the sanctuary having a Holy Ghost time while the kids are in the basement trying to figure out how many things you can make out of an egg carton. God said He would pour out His Spirit on all flesh, and that includes our youth and our children.

This error has been in the church since the days of the apostles. I think, basically, that the disciples were good men. They left everything to follow Jesus, but they were human just like the rest of us, and they had a wrong attitude about children.
And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them.

But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.
(Mark 10:13-15)
Listen to what Charles Hadden Spurgeon had to say about this verse:

"Say not, the child may not come till he is a man, but know that you cannot come till you are like him. It is no difficulty in the child's way that he is not like you: the difficulty is with you, that you are not like the child. Instead of the child needing to wait until he grows up and becomes a man, it is the man who must grow down and become like a child."

I ask you to take a moment to stop and check your heart. Mom and Dad: have you made the same mistake the disciples made? Have you pushed your children away from Jesus by having an attitude that revival is not for them?

If so, just take a few moments to repent and ask Jesus to forgive you, and He will. Also, if you feel you should ask your children to forgive you, this will go a long way toward leading them into that passionate, love relationship with Jesus.

Pastor, Elder, Church Leader: have you had a wrong attitude about children and youth? Has you goal been to get them out of the service so you can have a "deeper move of God"? If so, ask Jesus to forgive and show you how to include children and youth in the move of God at your church!

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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