Here’s a follow up to an earlier entry about a young man, we called Nathan, who witnessed to two neighborhood buddies about Jesus. We’re presenting it in outline format so you can use it as a discussion guide with your colleagues, if you wish. As always, we appreciate your response.
Equip/ empower children to be reproducing Christians
by Nancy Tichy
- A. Build a ministry to children that…
Enlightens more than informs (Psalm 119 – Discernment/motivation)
Endows rather than indulges (Resources are given to be invested in others; Gen.12:2,3)
Engages more than entertains. Is fun over rated in children’s ministry? (enliven, lively)
Enlists rather than entitles. Offers challenge. (Romans 12:1, 2) (I Tim.6:12)
- B. Keep in mind patterns and plans from the book of Acts , a handbook for evangelism.
*Acts 1:8 power to witness comes from the H.S. (2:32, 38, 39) expect and respond… Do we coerce?
*Results of the witness is God’s gift, His doing. 2:42-47 …the Lord added …those who were being saved. Are we premature? Phil.2:13
*The verbal witness was primarily to the death and resurrection of Jesus . Do we teach a simple, direct, clear message? What is the role of formulas ?
*The witness of the community that lived for God’s glory (Acts 4:32-34a) was powerful. Do we teach the value of deeds that match words? The way ordinary people lived gave credence to the spoken message, supported by demonstrations of God’s mighty power and presence in miracles. Ps. 145:4
*The family as center for discipleship and witness. Acts 16:34
C. What does this mean for today’s ministers to children in the home, school, church?
Equipping children on ways to witness in different venues…classroom, neighborhood…
Let us determine to provide enlightenment, opportunity and mentoring so that children will become powerful witnesses to Jesus’ resurrection, to bear winsome testimony that evokes responses from others. Let us provide…
Enlightenment – the challenge to teach God’s Word effectively.
Opportunity – the challenge to provide appropriate places/training for children’s verbal witness.
Mentoring – the challenge to practice what we preach, to lead by example.
D. What resources exist to help us to do this? Here are some: *Assemblies of God: The Great Commissionary Kids; *AWANA; *Billy Graham Org: Dare To Be A Daniel; * Inspirational Films: The Story of Jesus for Children; *KidZ at Heart; *Kidzana; *Pioneer Clubs; most * S.S. curriculum suppliers, to name a few.
Final word: What may be lacking is intentional teaching for children to live like Jesus commands so they can speak up and invite others to do the same, as He gives opportunity.
ACTION POINTS? One step to incorporate these thoughts into my ministry with kids:
Witnessing: Sharing my story…sharing God’s story about Jesus…inviting a response…next steps
Nancy Tichy, KidZ At Heart International Author