He Calls Kids Too
I think sometimes we underestimate the children in our life.
Not just in aspects of spirituality, in all areas of life we underestimate them. We think they can only handle a certain level of depth or they can’t understand complex concepts like we, adults, can. These things are frustrating to me but the most frustrating thing is that we treat kids and our ministries like kids aren’t called.
God calls, friends. God calls kids and He calls adults. Sometimes He calls kids to witness to a kid at recess or to invite their uncle to church but what we miss is that God calls future missionaries and pastors and doctors and teachers as well.
I grew up in church. When I was seven years old I decided to follow Jesus. I grew up in a thriving children’s ministry in a small town church. The church was committed to discipling the next generation, my children’s pastor was trained and enthusiastic, he had a strong team and so many events for us to enjoy. I had a great experience in that children’s ministry. However, I lacked one thing. I lacked the opportunity to hear the voice of the Lord.
I have a unique story in that God called me to be a missionary when I was sixteen. In that moment I knew that I would be a missionary for the rest of my life. God had spoken and I was on board. I was also the kid in church that geeked out over every missionary that came through the doors. I stopped at their tables and looked at every picture, took a prayer card and studied each object they had brought from their host country. I took the prayer cards home and saved them. I collected them like baseball cards but thought of them even more precious as I prayed over each missionary family.
Like I said, seriously geeked out over missions!
The problem was this…I was never given an opportunity to hear God call me into missions. I honestly believe that God would have called me a lot sooner if I had been listening. Really, I think He was calling all that time and I just didn’t know how to hear it or that God even called children into missions.
You are probably thinking that I should have just known because of how my heart beat for missions. And you are probably right!
When I finally heard clearly the voice of the Lord at sixteen it was not in the church. I didn’t hear God speak during a worship service. It was at my house when I saw a magazine about missions. It was like God was pushing me little by little since I was ten and all of a sudden it couldn’t wait anymore so He just dropped it in my lap abruptly. I can’t help but wonder in what way my life would have been different if I had heard from the Lord at an earlier age.
Pulling it all together, I promise…
Why do we think kids can’t handle this stuff? Is it because we aren’t comfortable with it ourselves?
Take a second and ask yourself when the last time was that you gave your students an opportunity to hear from the Lord.
When was the last time you encouraged your students to ask God what the future held for them?
Again, we think kids can’t handle that stuff but, man, can you imagine what a kid would live like if they knew God had called them to be a pastor? I can tell you, I would have started practicing right then! Practicing witnessing and preaching and learning as much as possible.
God calls young and He uses the young. It is our responsibility as their pastors and leaders to guide them to hear the voice and to recognize it. It is our responsibility to push them to dream bigger than ever before and to dream WITH God.
If someone had told me when I was a kid that one day I would be part of some of the largest youth ministry outreaches in Central America, that I would preach, be a minister or even live in another country I would not have believed it for a second. I had the tiniest of dreams when I was a kid. I just assumed I would be a teacher in one of the tiny county schools but God had bigger dreams for me. Praise the Lord for that!
I just wonder, how can I help kids to recognize the dreams God has for them? How can I help kids to hear the voice of the Lord at a young age and hear the call of the Lord?
I hope that you ponder these questions as well and think about what you can implement in your ministry.