It was a strange experience, but, probably it shouldn’t have been. I spent the afternoon with a group of tweens this past Sunday, discussing the role of the Holy Spirit in their lives as young Christ followers.
Part of our discussion centered on how the Holy Spirit works in us, why God gives us the Holy Spirit and how we live a life filled by the Holy Spirit. Some of this topic would trip up adults, but we looked at twenty or more scripture references to get a good view of what God tells us about this special helper he sent to us. Prayer time led one of the students to ask God to please help her listen to the Holy Spirit’s leading when she feels tempted to go along with the crowd at school. Her desire to be accepted into their group is pulling her to make compromises she knows are wrong.
These were kids who could be outside sledding (we got our first significant snowfall in Ohio this weekend), or they could be chilling in front of the T.V. or playing video games. Why were they having this discussion instead? And why were they staying an additional three hours after church to continue studying about the Holy Spirit? My conclusion is that they really wanted to know. They understood that Jesus is key to their life and to eternal life and they wanted to know how to make it work like it’s supposed to work. All this from kids who are 10-12 years old!
For those of us who mentor kids, that challenges us. Surface teaching can be much easier than digging more deeply, but making disciples calls us to more relevant teaching. “Moving your children beyond ‘church’ moments that live only in memories to formative spiritual commitments to do the work of the Lord cannot be accomplished by a program—only the Holy Spirit working in the yielded vessels of surrendered lives can bring this about.” (Chad Miller, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association) Let’s lead and take the challenge.
Janet Anthony, KidZ At Heart NextGen Director