Written by: Kristen Oliver
When there is a photo booth you take a picture!!
Earlier this month I was able to participate in a conference for kids, youth workers, pastor and laity, (people in the church who are not ordained) called FUEL 2018. If this is your first-time hearing the word laity, don’t worry, mine too!! Anyways, this was not just any conference. It was a movement. I assumed going into this conference the core message was going to be, the younger generation is the “future of the church.” Don’t get me wrong, they are, both literally and figuratively the future of the church. However, that is not the main message. The main message I received anyways, was Jesus is for ALL people. Not just the kids, the teens, or the millennials, but ALL people.
Matthew 28: 16-20 is the Great Commission and it says:“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of ALL nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always to the very end of the age.”
While I was at the conference our 2 boys, Landon and Lucas, were back home with my parents, going to Disney World and camping. I highly doubt if they even noticed we were gone! My husband and I were so excited for some “adult time” and to be able to focus on what God wanted to tell us without being “distracted,” but you know what…. I was distracted anyways! I was distracted by the other kids there. I was distracted by the thought, “I should have brought my kids”, “I wish my kids could have seen this powerful worship”, I bet if my kids were here they would have been sooo good….” There was a little girl about my sons age that just followed her dad around the entire conference. He was in charge of it, and she had no cares in the world other than be next to her dad and helping him in whatever way that a 5-year-old could.
This is a direct image of how God wants us to see our relationship with him. He says, “I see you, even when you are 5 years old, 15 years old, 35 years old or 50 years old. I SEE YOU.” Her dad, Zach, kept saying,
“Seeing a kid worship, read the bible or pray is not cute. It’s powerful.”
That hit me to my core. Isn’t that the truth though? If God is speaking to our kids, it’s not cute, it’s just as powerful as when he speaks to our pastors and leaders in the church. God’s power reaches across all generations, so who are we to limit it?
Whether you are a parent or not, we all have people in our lives that we have influence over, whether we mean to or not. As a parent my job is to teach and train my kids in the way they should go, so when they grow up they have the tools and resources needed to be an adult in this crazy, unpredictable world.
When our kids smile for the first time
When they take their first steps
When they say their first word
When they start preschool
We beam from ear to ear and say how cute they are! We can’t get over how “cute” they are! This was, and still is, me with my two boys. Now think about when your child prays for the first time. Sure, it may sound cute coming from their sweet childlike voice. It’s not just cute, did you know a child’s prayers are just as powerful as the ones you and I pray?
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them! For the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” -Mark 10:14
I know it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and miss the small moments in our children, nieces and nephews, grandkids, kids in your class, or whatever roll you have in a kid’s life. Being a parent of a 5-year old going on 30 (on second thought, I’m almost 30 and sometimes he’s more practical than me) has taught me that he wants to be taken seriously. He watches what my husband and I do and tries to copy that behavior. Just today he walked up to me and said…
” I need some alone time to work on my letters and devotions.”
Then he preceded to walk into his room with a pencil and his veggie tale devotional book, that we read together at night. Lucas was none too happy about this though, and so a few minutes later Landon came out and invited us to join him. So, the 3 of us sat down on the floor practicing writing letters in his devotional book and then we prayed together and went on with our day. This literally took 5 minutes out of our day, but it is POWERFUL.
These are the moments that will be engrained on his heart. I am so amazed that at 5 years old (he actually started this when he was 4) is taking the initiative to carve out quiet time for himself! What an amazing habit he is developing.
We NEED to empower our children to become confident in their faith and learn to strengthen their personal relationship with God through prayer.If I can give you any kind of encouragement it would be;
Prayer is powerful. No matter what age you are. No matter how eloquent or simple your prayers are. They are powerful, not cute.