I am sure you have seen those interesting commercials of a famous bank.
Same pictures can take on different meanings. You may think the meanings contradict each other. And yet, depending on who looks at the picture, the images can be seen in a totally new way.
I think we can say the same for children today. Can we see children in a new way?
Still think children look the same way as the kids next door? Still think children are the usual noisy gang whom you want to turn away while listening to your favorite pastor at church?
Still think children will simply raise their hands over and over again each year during Vacation Bible School when they are asked if they will accept Jesus into their hearts?
Think again as you read through these developments.
Children not being prayed for, but praying for their nations – In September 2009, children and youth joined about 600 intercessors and global prayer leaders to pray for the United Nations and global cities. Today there is an expanding global network of children praying. Amazing but true.
Children no longer victims but overcomers of conflict and strife
– From 1998 to 2006, the central Sulawesi region of Indonesia was torn by conflicts between Christians and Muslims. There were hundreds of deaths and thousands displaced from their homes. Today however, the two groups live in harmony through the powerful witness of two young boys. God used then 8-year-old Aldan Moko and his 80year old prayer buddy Selfin, to call the community to repentance and forgiveness. Amazing but true.
A powerful movement evolves, not centered on adults, but on children – In the past decade, a children’s sports/games movement which we will call Sports&Kids emerged out of the Middle East. In just nine years, it has swept across the world, into every continent, involving around 4-5 million children with over 150 countries participating. Children are involved in a fun and active sports and experiential learning environment, they are hearing the good news and being involved in serving in compassion activities in their communities. Children have contributed 870,000 hours in compassionate service across the world so far. Several principles have made for such a fast multiplying program: simple and adaptable to any culture, based around the global language of sport, experiential in how lessons are learnt, created by leaders from across the world and all based around working together in partnership. All this with no global budget, staff or even an office. Amazing but true.
Indeed, through their prayers, their courage, their pure faith, and their boundless energy for evangelism and discipleship, children are being powerfully used by the Holy Spirit as agents of mission and transformation.
It is time to see children in a new way.
Still see children as helpless tots? Think again! Look again!
Pause to reflect:
- What is your perception of children?
- How do you think the Church can be impacted with the realization that God can do unbelievably amazing things through children?
What does the Bible say?
- Read the following Scriptures and find out how God used children for special Kingdom tasks.
- 2 Kings 5:1-3; Psalm 8:2; @ Kings 5:1-3; 2 Kings 22:1-2; 2 Chronicles 34;3
- What important lessons do you see in His entrusting these matters to children?
Luis Bush. Raising Up a New Generation from the 4/14 Window to Transform the World. New York: Transform World New Generation, September 2009
Dan Brewster. Children and Childhood in the Bible. Penang, Malaysia: Compassion International, March 2009.
Wendy Strachan and Simon Hood (editors). Evangelization of Children: Lausanne Working Paper #57. Prepared during the 2004 Forum for World Evangelization. Pattaya, Thailand: Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization. October 2004