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Partnering Children in Ministry

Whenever children were used by God in the Bible it was always in partnership with adults. If we are to relate properly to children in the Holy Spirit movement in this generation we must learn how to be the right sort of partners to them in what Jesus is giving them to do.

1 Samuel Had the Partnership of Eli

  • (1 Samuel 2-3)
  • Jesus wants us to apprentice children in ministry. This is what Eli did with Samuel.
  • Jesus wants us to recognise the movement of the Holy Spirit with children and make room for it. When Eli realised God was talking to Samuel, he showed him how to respond and allowed Samuel to go and hear from God on his own.
  • Jesus wants us to guard against uncleanness. Eli failed to do this and lost his ministry.

2 David Had the Partnership of Men Who Told Saul about Him

  • (1 Samuel 17)
  • Jesus wants us to honour his anointing on youngsters. David’s brothers did not take him seriously, but these men did.
  • Jesus wants us to give them permission to function in their anointing, and to make way for different ways of doing things. David was ready to fight Goliath but someone had to allow him to do it, and do it in his way.
  • Jesus wants us to guard against hypocrisy. Saul was not ready to fight Goliath then wanted David to wear his armour.

3 The Little Girl Had the Partnership of Elisha

  • (2 Kings 5)
  • Jesus wants us to be moving in the Holy Spirit. The little girl felt confident enough in Elisha’s ministry to send Naaman to him.
  • Jesus wants us to be ready to handle new challenges. Elisha had never seen anyone healed of leprosy (see Luke 4:27). Our children should be confident in our willingness to work with them on anything they need help with.
  • Jesus wants us to guard against unspiritual living. The king of Israel was useless when facing a spiritual problem (verse 7).

4 Jesus Had the Partnership of the Teachers of the Law

  • (Luke 2:41-52)
  • Jesus wants us to share with children what we think and feel about important issues. The teachers of the law allowed Jesus to question them. They took Him seriously.
  • Jesus wants us to learn from what He is doing with the fresh generation. The teachers of the law were amazed at what they learnt from 12-year-old Jesus.
  • Jesus wants us to guard against the dishonouring of children. Mary and Joseph, who should have been delighted at what Jesus was doing, dishonoured Him by what they said. They misjudged His motivation.

5 The Young Boy Had the Partnership of Andrew

  • (John 6:1-13)
  • Jesus wants us to be a friend to children. Andrew had made a friendship link with the boy.
  • Jesus wants us to be a bridge between children and Him. Andrew brought the boy to Jesus.
  • Jesus wants us to guard against unbelief. It was said of the boy’s loaves and fishes, “What are they among so many?” There is great significance in the contribution of children when put into Jesus’ hands.

6 Children Had the Partnership of the Congregation

  • (Matthew 21)
  • Jesus wants us to give children a good example. The congregation set a good example of worship with their enthusiasm and their “Hosanna, Son of David” (21:8-9). When the children were on their own (21:16-17), they did the same.
  • Jesus wants us to give the children the context in which they can develop into what God wants them to be. See all that the children were allowed to see happening (21:8-14).
  • Jesus wants us to guard against the spirit of control. The chief priests and teachers of the law wanted things under their control. Jesus stood against them on behalf of the children and their ministry.
  • In working with children all these lessons apply, but it is good to ask the Holy Spirit to show us in which way he particularly wants to use us in our ministry alongside children.

 

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