by Lori Warning/ May 15, 2021
As a children’s pastor for many years, it was always fun to watch kids develop in their personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and for some, step out in ways that illuminated a special calling on their lives. As leaders, recognizing this in a child is one thing, but we should consider how we can encourage them in their calling, lead them in developing person spiritual disciplines, and provide opportunities for them to express their calling. These are just a few ways we can equip kids who are called.
Our words are powerful. Speaking life and encouragement into every child is valuable, but speaking words of encouragement into the heart of a child who is experiencing a call of God can make a difference. Start by identifying giftings you see in their lives and encourage them in their actions.
“Kelly, I can see you had a real heart of compassion for our first-time guest today. Thank you for stepping up and making them feel welcomed. It is obvious God is leading you.”
Be intentional to provide opportunities for them to further develop personal spiritual disciplines that we know are core to a daily walk with the Lord. Include them in a student leadership role or invite them to additional times of Bible study and discussions. Help them find the joy and blessing in growing in their personal relationship with the Lord.
As leaders, we can provide a safe place for kids to begin using their gifts and talents. Consider the child who is always interested in the sound board and the technical side of your weekly service. Allow opportunities for them to “shadow” a worker and be trained to serve. For the child who loves to worship, allow them times to be a part of the worship team. For the child who feels a calling to preach or teach, provide times for these giftings to be exercised among their peers and with your support.
For any child, the intentional relational investment of a mentor and leader can create a sense of confidence and courage in a child responding to a call of God on their life. As a leader, be aware of the children you lead and the gifts and talents you see God developing in their lives. God commanded every follower of Jesus Christ to respond to the call to “go” and make disciples. As leaders, we can foster a biblical response in the heart of every child. Watch as God places His hand on the lives of many as they are called into a deeper calling to serve.