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Introducing Holy Spirit Gifts

In introducing children to the work of the Holy Spirit, it is good to keep the following two things in focus. First, Holy Spirit gifts are completely normal and natural in Jesus’ Kingdom and in the lives of those who are living for Him. Secondly, Holy Spirit gifts are very precious. They are meant to be used with joy and freedom, but not thoughtlessly, proudly or selfishly.

Below is a framework for introducing children to the Holy Spirit’s work that has proved useful over a number of years.

1 “God Wants to Use Boys and Girls in Special Ways.”

  • Begin the programme by saying this to the children. Illustrate using a selection of examples from the list below, having previously researched them, and having decided on an interesting way of presenting them.
  • How God used children in the Bible. (Samuel in 1 Samuel 1-3, David in 1 Samuel 16-17, a little girl in 2 Kings 5, Jesus in Luke 2:49, a young boy in John 6:1-13, and children in Matthew 21:12-16)
  • What Jesus said about children and His Kingdom. (Matthew 18:3, Luke 18:15-16, Mark 10:13-16, Luke 2:49, Matthew 19:14-15, Matthew 21:15-16, Mark 9:36-37)
  • Read Psalm 8:2 and Acts 2:17.
  • Revival history.
  • Prophecies about God using children of this generation.
  • Growth of experience among children in recent years.

2 “If God was going to Use You, What Sort of Thing Would You Like God to Use You to Do?”

  • Ask the children this question, then ask them to choose from a list of ideas e.g. the Biblical examples on page 5 (Biblical Expectation of Children). Allow children to choose something that is not on the given list. As they are choosing, explain that God may of course have even better ideas for us, but he loves to know that we are available to him.
  • When they have chosen, say a prayer like this one: “Thank you God that you do want to use each one of us in special ways. Please give us what we need from the Holy Spirit so that we can be used in the ways we have chosen, or in even better ways that are more suited to your purposes and to what is right for each of us.”

3 “If You Want God to Use You, How Can You be Ready?”

 

  • Tell the children that you are now going to consider this important question. Below are four steps which you can explain.You may like to think of ways in which you can illustrate each one.
  • TURN – from wrong. God can’t use us as he wants to if we are holding on to things that make us unclean.
  • TRUST – our lives to Jesus. If we won’t trust what he says to us, we won’t be able to do what he wants us to do.
  • TELL OUT – what God is giving us to say. If we are not willing for people to know that we are in touch with God, we won’t be able to pass on to them what God has for them.
  • TAKE IN – the Holy Spirit. He is the one who can make us like Jesus and can give us the gifts that we need for God to use us as he wants to.

4 “Which of These Have You Already Done?”

  • Give the opportunity to answer this question. It is helpful to give the children some paper with Turn, Trust, Tell Out, Take In on it for them to mark their answers (yes – tick, no – x, not sure – ?). Encourage the children to give honest answers. These answers are not for anyone else to see.

5 “Which Step(s) do You Feel You Should Take Today to be Ready for God to Use You?”

  • Ask this question then give time for children to select and then time to respond openly. The important thing is for children to respond to the Holy Spirit’s prompting. He will highlight what is important for each child.
  • Those who have chosen TURN could come to the front to be prayed for to be released from the power of anything that hinders them.
  • Those who have chosen TRUST could come out to stand on a big piece of paper or a mat with “JESUS” written on it (as a sign of them trusting their lives to him).
  • Those who have chosen TELL OUT could be asked to stand up. It can then be pointed out that they have just taken the step by showing the others that they are committed to Jesus. They can be prayed for that they will be able to tell out in situations which are less supportive than the one they are in at present.
  • Those who have chosen TAKE IN could be prayed for individually – simply that the Holy Spirit will come to them, fill them, and give them gifts that can be used in serving Jesus.
  • If you have not already taken a break, this would be a good place in the programme to do so before continuing with the next session.

6 Experiment with the Holy Spirit

  • Explain that this does not mean trying to put the Holy Spirit in a test-tube to see what we can do with Him – we can’t do that! Rather, it means asking the Holy Spirit to come alongside us and show us what it is like to be used by God.
  • Experience shows that if children have openness in their heart and are given the opportunity, then the Holy Spirit will not fail to turn up! Steps 1 to 5 are one way of giving a context of openness and readiness.
  • In practising Holy Sprit gifts, it is not a case of copying what others do – it involves trusting the Holy Spirit yourself and learning by experience to cooperate with Him and the children.
  • Now could be a good time to introduce children to Pictures from God and Hands On Praying (see other manual pages).

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