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bgmc.ag.org Leadership Helps: Pray, Give, Go

Transforming Kids into Spiritual Giants

By Marshall Bruner, Compassion Ministries Coordinator / BGMC

 

The doorway to a kid’s heart is helping a child experience something so wonderfully amazing that the experience will forever alter his or her life. That experience can and should be leading another child to Christ. What may be even more spectacular is for that same child to lead another kid to Jesus while on a missions trip. There’s nothing quite so exhilarating as going on a missions trip and being engaged with others in evangelism.

Informal surveys show that relatively few churches engage their kids in missions trips—or even outreach events within their local community. BUT kids are not exempt from Jesus’ commandment to, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (Mark 16:15, NIV).
 
The initial step, then, is to transform the heart of a child, by transitioning a boy or a girl from being self-centered to gaining a global worldview. That’s a major step!  But this can be accomplished in a nanosecond by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God can take a child from, “It’s all about me,” to, “It’s all about Jesus!”

To take this initial step, challenge yourself to paint a picture for your church kids. Help them envision being a missionary to their world—right where they live. Hopefully you are teaching your church kids about BGMC and the importance of giving to missionaries around the world. But are you teaching them, training them to be missionaries in their schools and communities?

I’ve had the privilege of conducting children’s ministries training throughout many parts of America and in parts of Latin America. One of my favorite training subjects is “Kids-2-Kids Evangelism and Mentorship.” I make it a point to survey the leaders by asking, “How many of you are doing anything to challenge your church kids to share their faith.” The average is that only 10 percent of the leaders say they are doing so! 

Kids are not exempt from the Great Commission call!  We must engage our kids in living out their faith.

BGMC has an incredible resource called E-LIFE that’s online and free for the download. It contains over 100 lessons that teach kids five basic principles to live out. In following these five principles, kids will be sharing their faith with their classmates and even discipling others. That’s kid-to-kid evangelism and mentorship in action!

For some reason, some people have the notion that kids just can’t do much for the Lord. Contrary to that notion is that kids will arise to the challenge if you as a leader (1.) believe in the kids and trust their abilities through the power of the Holy Spirit, and (2.) take on the initiative to both train and mentor kids in sharing their faith.

Here are some easy ways to help you take step one:

  1. Ask God to instill within you a heart for lost souls. Ask that He stretch you beyond your comfort zone and to give you a passion to reach the lost right where you live and globally through BGMC.
  2. Ask God to give you giant faith to believe God can and will use your church kids in a dynamic way—both in living out their faith where they live and in reaching the world through BGMC.
  3. Chart your calendar for time slots during your kids’ service and small groups where you will teach kids the mandate of the Mark 16:15 mandate. Break down that teaching into times where you will speak on the subject during your service—time periods when kids are arriving and getting ready for parent pickup. One children’s pastor explained to me that he used the E-LIFE Journal as a talking tool during his Saturday evening kids’ church. Since that was a smaller group, he would sit with the kids in a circle on the ground and invite them to share what they did during the week to show kindness, share their Jesus story with others, or even simply to invite someone to church.
  4. Look for ways at least every other week to help kids grasp the importance of faith sharing. Take time once a month to teach kids a global worldview through BGMC.
  5. Download the E-LIFE lessons and videos that are designed to provide quick lessons on: • Seeking the Spirit’s help to help others, • Showing kindness and friendship, • Sharing your Jesus experience and the story of why Jesus came to earth (that’s kids evangelizing kids!), • Inviting others to know Jesus and to go with you to church, • Investing in the lives of others (that’s kids mentoring kids!)
  6. Pray that the Holy Spirit will transform the lives of your kids.
  7. Provide ministry opportunities to the kids—such as doing puppetry in a skilled nursing facility, assisting in an outreach event in your community, or going on a missions trip within your district or even to another state.

We see in the Bible that David began with five smooth stones and a sling shot. God did the rest. So why not enable kids to become spiritual giants? Begin today by teaching your church kids to minister right where they live to their friends and classmates, thus enabling them to go on missions trips. Doing so will pave the way for kids to become kids with faith that will not be stopped.

 

 


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