by Heather Marble/ May 25, 2021
Stop for a moment. Can you think back to a time when God talked to you? Can you think back to a time when you felt God call you to ministry? Can you think back to a time when God spoke to you when you were a kid?
I’m in my early 30s, and as I stop and look back at my life, I remember the exact moment that God spoke to my heart and called me to be a kids pastor. If you want to grab coffee sometime and hear the whole story, I’d be happy to share, but the Twitter version goes like this: I was in third grade when God spoke to my heart during a Sunday evening service. I can tell you the time and place where I was sitting and what was happening. It was one of those moments in my life I will never forget. God gave me a vision—around the cross thousands of kids from every direction were coming and worshiping God and knew who He was. It was beautiful. That was the night God called me and clearly spoke to my heart about becoming a kids pastor.
When we serve in kids ministry, the joy of our hearts is to see kids encounter Jesus, hear His voice, and receive from Him. I truly believe God speaks to kids and calls kids. I believe this because God has been actively pursuing, speaking, and calling me from the time I was 7 years old. We MUST give SPACE for the Holy Spirit to speak to our kids in our services. Not only that, when the Holy Spirit does speak, we need to stop and listen to what He is saying and help equip our kids.
After I felt God speak to me that night, my children’s pastor approached me and asked what God was saying to me. She didn’t ask if I liked the worship, didn’t ask if the message was great or if I had fun during service. She knew God was speaking in my life and doing something, and she took the time to simply ask what He was saying. Not only did she take the time to ask, but she also took the time to listen.
So, what are some ways that we can equip kids who feel a call on their lives? The first thing is to acknowledge that God spoke to them.
After I expressed the call of God speaking to me about being a kids pastor, my children’s pastor then took me under her wing and taught me what it means to be a servant leader. Before she even had me go on stage, she taught me the importance of what it means to “take out the trash.” A lot of times, when people think of pastors or being called into ministry, they think of being on the stage and in front of others. They think of being up front. I am SO grateful that in my life, my children’s pastor spoke to me more about what it means to serve and love others. But not only that, about making sure my walk with God was first in my life, and that the stage stuff comes last.
In our ministry we are developing Timothy Teams, where we seek to raise up the next generation of leaders and provide them opportunities to grow in their gifts and talents. This is done through production, care ministry, stage teams and more. One of the things we do whenever our kids enter is give them prayer journals and encourage them to spend the first part of class praying and hearing a short devotion. First and foremost, our kids need to develop a life of prayer, spending time in their Bibles and in worship before developing their giftings. Then, during the final part of the class, we begin to focus on learning skills.
My heart’s goal is that, as we are raising up world changers and the next generation of church leaders, our kids would have a heart of servant leadership. That as we help equip our kids in developing their talents and giftings, our kids would first fall in love with Jesus, pursue after Him, and find value in serving and loving others.