Equipping kids for ministry

One Foursquare church teaches kids about the power of the Holy Spirit in its children’s program, and the impact is far beyond the church walls.

For the past 10 years, Mill Creek Foursquare Church in Lynnwood, Wash., has trained kids to live intentionally and sent them into their communities through a midweek ministry called Kids on a Mission (KOM). Our hope is that we can equip kids for a lifestyle of ministry and send them out to their schools, neighborhoods, sports teams and world to reach people for the kingdom of God.

However, this year we have taken this preparation to a new level by training kids in grades 3-5 for more practical ministry. We teach them lessons such as leading people to Jesus, Holy Spirit baptism and praying for healing.

Our kids have really run with it, and, as their younger brothers and sisters observe what’s going on, they are being affected. So are families, since they participate in our monthly community service projects. It’s been incredible to watch our children pray for the sick, pray that others receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit and take the gospel into their neighborhoods.

In the spring, as we prepared for summer break, one boy told me how thankful he was for having KOM in his life. He felt God wanted him to draw closer to Him, make new friends and learn how to share his testimony with others.

“I loved reading, ‘I am a kid on a mission’ and the mission statement of Mill Creek every week because it inspired me to grow in my faith and trust in the Lord,” he said. “I want to follow Him all my life. One of my favorite parts of the group is worship. Every time, I felt a touch of God through my heart. I loved hearing about missionaries, and now have a heart for everyone in the world to know God.”

Our hope is that we can equip kids for a lifestyle of ministry and send them out to their schools, neighborhoods, sports teams and world to reach people for the kingdom of God.

There’s more, such as the girl who decided she wanted to create a newspaper to write about things God is doing in their lives and place in on neighbors’ doorsteps. One mother told me about getting up and preparing to read Scripture and finding her fifth-grade daughter already reading her Bible.

Every year for our Valentine’s Day party, the kids run the program. They’re the ones preaching, leading worship and inviting unsaved classmates. Last February, one of our kids invited the person who had been bullying him. After that boy came and heard about Jesus, he stopped bullying others.

Our children are sharing the gospel at school. One girl started a worship service for kids in her neighborhood, where they sing songs to Jesus and pray for each other.

If this sounds exciting, that’s because it is! But it’s not because we’re special or unique. All you have to do is start tapping into the spiritual hunger of the future pastors, evangelists and missionaries sitting in your pews.

Start by asking God to help you equip children for witnessing and helping spread the gospel, and then get ready to see Him show up. Elementary-age children are excited about learning and eager to try new things. Having an adult who believes in the empowerment and gifts of the Holy Spirit as a role model and teacher can launch them into a ministry that will continue as long as they live.

Doing What Jesus Did
Inspired by Stacey’s story and want to release the Holy Spirit in your children’s program? She increased the hands-on aspect of Kids on a Mission by adapting lessons from Doing What Jesus Did, a book by longtime Foursquare evangelists John and Sonja Decker. The material has been adapted into a free seven-week course, available from the Ministry Training Network —click on “Begin the Course.” And stay tuned, a children’s version is currently in the works!

This article originally appeared in the Fall 2018 edition of Foursquare Leader magazine.

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is the assisting children’s pastor at Mill Creek Foursquare Church in Lynnwood, Wash.
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