Matthew 28:19 says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations” (NASB). I do not see in any translation where Jesus indicated this was to be an "adults-only" club! Because we are to raise our kids “in the way they should go” (Prov 22:6), it seems to me that missions ought to be included.
Now I don't mean that all children need to hop on a plane and go to Africa every summer, although a few WILL get that call as a child to do some kind of international mission. I believe that children can and should be allowed to minister outside of their church and city to learn what it means to "GO". Many future leaders are born when their hearts are captured as children by compassion and love for others.
Our children's ministry has taken six to twelve year olds on domestic mission trips around the country for almost 10 years now. Visiting half way homes, hospitals, public parks and malls, churches, city streets, homeless shelters, and more, we've seen our children minister with great power. Through singing, dancing, use of flag routines, clown and drama presentations, and personal testimonies, they would present the Gospel in a fresh and unique way. Many people would be drawn in by the obvious love and joy they expressed.
Then the kids would be released to pray for those gathered, being taught previously how to call on the Lord for each person and how to listen for God's voice in responding to each individual need. Healing would be delivered, words of knowledge and wisdom were correctly given, salvation was explained and hearts were surrendered, all through the simple faith of a child.
That purity and innocence combined with the anointing of the Holy Spirit is what touches adults where others fail. Sweet smiles that have been impacted by the real, tangible love of the Father can reach into dark places and melt the hardest of hearts. I've seen this happen hundreds of times. It reminds me of the familiar children's song, "little ones to Him belong, they are weak, but He is strong"! Oh, yeah!
There has been times in our history where unique groups have all had their time to be recognized - women, African-Americans, prophets, etc. Now is the time for our children to be raised up to their rightful place alongside us as worshippers, receivers, lovers of God, those that can rule and reign, and those that can "do the stuff" as well as adults! Let's give them room, believe in them, and provide the opportunities for them to grow. Who knows - they may even teach US a thing or two!
Karen’s calling is to bring children into the manifest presence and glory of Jesus, lead them in experiencing His deep abiding love, clear unmistakable voice, wise Godly direction for their lives, and to ignite a spirit-led passion for serving Him in many ways at any age.
She is available for children’s and adult conferences, retreats, church dates, camps, leadership training and regional equipping sessions. Fire For the Nations hosts a summer camp for kids and periodic kids mission trips during the year. Her first book, Kids Can! will be released soon. For more information, contact her at [email protected] or go to www.fire4thenations.com