In the eyes of children, we can see a future. It’s the innocent eyes, the simple faith, and the unconditional love of a child that captivates one’s hearts. Their joyful laugh is so contagious, it lightens the atmosphere. Also, trying to keep their energy contained in one room. Well, let’s just say, “I need an energy drink or a long nap to keep up.”
Right now, I am temporarily ministering to children at our church. Although my husband and my children enjoy this, I find children’s ministry very challenging. How do I relate to a child? Although a child’s faith is so simple, it’s still very complex to me. Yet, I am discovering it’s a profound mystery, so precious to watch unfold. Sometimes, I believe people should just minister to children to get another perspective of life. Sadly it’s probably the most neglected ministry in the church but it should be the most precious investment we make. Children are worth investing our time, money, and energy into. If Jesus desired their presence, so should we. As the children came, He welcomed them with loving affection, taught the Word, and blessed them.
Jesus will speak to anyone who is willing to listen. Everyone is capable to hear the voice of the Lord; it’s just allowing God to speak. One of the most powerful callings in Scripture was received to a young boy named Samuel. As Samuel sleeps in the temple, the voice of God calls him. Although he didn’t know the Lord, he was being instructed about God through Eli, the priest. Astonishing to me, Samuel wore the linen ephod and ministering to God as a child. (1 Samuel 2:18) He wasn’t a grown man before God used him, he was a boy. As he grew in the knowledge of God, he became a profound prophet, priest, and judge who grew up in the presence of God. (1 Samuel 2:21)
According to 1 Samuel 3:1 “the word of God was rare: there were not many visions”. Although Eli was a Levite, (a priest through the bloodline) he neglected the law within his own house. Both of his sons disrespected the Lord’s offerings with contempt, slept with various women, and had no regard for the Lord. Yes, Eli gave godly instruction or rebuke but neglected to enforce godly discipline. As a result, God killed his two sons and Eli died from a broken neck. Eli’s family wouldn’t have an heir; the head of the priests was removed, so godly discipline is important.
Instruction, discipline, and prayer are important to guide the heart unto godliness. Samuel’s heart ran after the voice of God, so he was favored. God desired a high priest who would be faithful to what He desired. This faithful priest would follow God’s heart and mind, so God would establish him. As he ministered, it wouldn’t be just for the people but an anointing before God. Wow! Who wouldn’t desire this ministry? Anyone can follow the footsteps of Samuel to have a powerful ministry such as: following the voice of God, grew in the presence of God, and allow God to reveal himself in the Word. Samuel was a prophet for God; the people trembled as he walked. Prophets don’t always have the popular message but they have “the Word from God.” Samuel impacted a nation for the truth of God, he is remembered for it. What a story! Who knows what God will do with the children we minister too? Maybe they will be a prophet/prophetess who changes the world in our Sunday School class or our youth group.
Children are an investment to our future. Anyone can know God; we must be willing to pour into them. Samuel was a child who walked with God from his youth through the dedication of his mother, instruction from Eli, and favor with God. Samuel was so anointed by the Lord; none of his words fell to the ground. (1 Samuel 3:19) Who say's parents don't have an influence? So,to all parents, if you take your children to church, read the Bible, and pray together, it's impacting them for the good. Children are precious to Jesus, so bring them to Him.