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Last year, my cousin Marilyn and her family invited a large group of people to their home for a Thanksgiving gathering. Among them was a family from South Africa with a six-year-old girl, and other guests including unsaved friends of their sons.

As my cousin sat down to relax after dinner, the little South African child crawled into her lap. Just then, one of the unsaved teenage girls walked past them sporting a tummy ring beneath her shirt.

The little child immediately whispered to Marilyn, "I don't like that tummy ring," to which my cousin responded, "I don't like it much either."

"I don't think God likes it either," said the youngster.

"Well, honey, I don't know if God likes it or not," the woman said quietly. "But I do know that she doesn't have a mommy and a daddy to tell her about Jesus, to help her to know right from wrong, and how to follow God."

Marilyn reported that instantly the child doubled over in her lap, and began to sob. "What's the matter? Are you crying for Tanya?" She nodded, and continued for several more minutes in what was clearly a type of intercession for the lost teenager.

Hungry For The Holy Spirit
It greatly moved me to hear about this little girl's sensitivity to the nudging of the Holy Spirit. The desire to see hundreds of thousands of children trained to hear and respond to the voice of God while they are still little, as this child had been, welled up within me.

I was reminded of the vast numbers of Christian parents and church leaders who do not see their children as spiritual beings beyond the need of salvation.

Loving, dedicated Christian parents diligently train their children to wash the dishes, make their beds, brush their teeth, and do their homework. Too often it never occurs to them to give equal time training their children to tell others about Jesus, intercede for the nations, or how to hear the voice of their Shepherd.

To me, waiting until children are older to engage them in the affairs of the Holy Spirit is sad. The vast majority of children's ministers across the nation would affirm that if we do not create an interest and hunger in the 12-and-under age group before they hit their teen years, it is highly unlikely they will develop it later on.

Giving them a steady diet of Bible stories alone is not going to create a hunger or interest in the Lord. They need powerful experiences with God to entice them to stay in the church and have an on-going relationship with Him.

A Compelling Experience
According to studies by the Barna Research organization, "Teenagers patronize churches and other event-oriented organizations because they are seeking a compelling experience...."

What more compelling experience can there be than a genuine encounter with a supernatural God? We're taking great risks if we wait to give them these compelling experiences until they are teens.

Believe it or not, even little boys and girls are seeking compelling experiences with God.

Barna points out that only a minority of teens are expected to remain involved in Christian churches after they reach the age of independence.

He says, "Teens do not go to youth groups for music and games, and they will not attend 'adult church' for music and preaching. They demand transcendent adventures and supportive relationships.

"They need an outlet for their desire to have a positive affect on the world and to synchronize their inner drive to be needed with the needs of those in the world that have little."

What greater outlet for making a positive affect on the world than training them to share the gospel of hope with a needy, dying world? Or to lay hands on the sick, seeing them recover?

We need to offer our kids spiritual experiences that are supernatural and life changing.

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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The online ministry of cfaith has been helping people discover faith, friends and freedom in the Word since 2000. Cfaith provides a unique and comprehensive collection of faith-building resources for the worldwide faith community.

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