by Mark Entzminger/ September 22, 2015
The article below is taken from the presentation given by Mark Entzminger at the 2015 Empowered 21 conference.
Teaching on the power of the Holy Spirit can be challenging in kids’ ministry. Every one of us has our own unique experiences that we bring with us into the teaching environment that either help us have a great sense of confidence or a feeling of uncertainty. Often we stick to lessons in the Word that teach people about God’s presence, but we rarely discuss what it means for us today.
I believe it’s critically important to give kids age-appropriate lessons that help them listen and respond to the Holy Spirit while utilizing the Word of God as their plumb line. The Word and The Spirit are inseparable in the life of a believer.
The Word and The Spirit
Here are just a few places in Scripture that speak to the importance of the Word and the Spirit in our lives:
“Then, after doing all those things, I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams, and your young men will see visions.” —Joel 2:28 (NLT)
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” —Colossians 3:16 (ESV)
“And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit.”
—Ephesians 5:18 (ESV)
“In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.”
—Ephesians 1:13 (NKJV)
In Luke 3:22 and John 1:33, we see that Jesus Himself was the Word made flesh, but He too received the Spirit.
It is by the Spirit that we are able to receive the Word; it is the Word that informs us about the Spirit. They cannot be separated. It is possible to be fully immersed in the Word of God, while at the same time experiencing the power of the Holy Spirit in less measure. That was the disciples’ experience prior to Pentecost. It is therefore the responsibility of the believer to nourish the soul not only with a commitment to God’s Word, but also by walking in the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.
A Reminder for Kids’ Ministry Leaders
There are some ministry leaders who emphasize the Word and ignore the Spirit. There are others who emphasize the Spirit over the Word. There are times when it is appropriate to emphasize the memorization and study of Scripture. As well there is no fault in paying close attention the importance of the Holy Spirit. The goal is growth in both areas to create a balance.
In our effort to help kids learn what it means to be a Spirit-filled disciple, my hope is that we would remember the inseparable nature of the Word and the Spirit and help kids understand how both make a difference in their life as a follower of Christ.What are some ways you help kids recognize and learn about the power of the Holy Spirit?