What is the Holy Spirits Role in Children's Ministry

*Let me just start off by saying that whenever you mention the Holy Spirit people get tense. I believe this is due to an improper view and abuse of who the Holy Spirit is and what he does. I myself am guilty at times with almost trying to distance myself from the Holy Spirit because of the abuses in his name I have seen. Jesus told us it was better that he leave because he was going to send a helper. Since I am sure many of us have seen abuses of the Holy Spirit and have likewise seen neglect of the Holy Spirit. Let start a conversation about who, what and how the Spirit of God should be involved in our lives and ministries.

I am constantly amazed at how many smart and intelligent leaders there are doing church work. I have met some people who have blown me away with their professionalism and bible knowledge. I am excited every time I meet a new kids pastor who is passionate about what they do. I love learning from what others are doing. I do however feel that in our search to find the perfect curriculum, the right worship set, and the exact formula to insure church growth that we can forget that we have a helper. One of the things I always think about is how I want the children’s ministry to do better when I am no longer the kids pastor.

In Matthew 7 Jesus talks about a man who builds on a rock and one who builds on sand. When we build only on good ideas and not in the enabling, indwelling power of the Holy Spirit what we build will never last.

1. Recruit leaders by the power of the Holy Spirit – I have found it makes all the difference when I pray that God will help me fill the holes He knows I have, and when I pray God would lead me to people he wants involved.

2. Plan your lessons – In dealing with so many classes and teachers and layers of leaders it is very easy to become a professional administrator. As a pastor you are more than an administrator you are a spiritual leader and to lead you need the Power of the Holy Spirit

3. See life transformation happen – I am always amazed when I see kids transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit. He does what I can not do.

Those are just a few areas I believe we must have the Holy Spirit of God guiding and directing us what about you?

9 comments On What is the Holy Spirits Role in Children's Ministry

  • I am with you! Growing up in a a Pentecostal denomination (A/G), there was much emphasis on the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately, with that there were some unhealthy views and emphasis that came with that. In trying to reconcile what I do believe regarding the role of the Holy Spirit, sanctification, being filled with the Spirit, etc. (yes, I do come from a more Wesleyan-Armenian view… for those of you who care) I have always come back to the conclusion that the Holy Spirit needs to be a part of whatever I do… in all aspects of my life. As children's pastors, we need to impart that to the children and families that we come in contact with. We need to encourage families to surrender completely to God and His Spirit. We need to let them know that the Holy Spirit is just as real as the Father and the Son and is there to bring a more full experience of God. Only he can do the transforming work that we so desire in people.

    In order to do that, though, we need to make room for God's Spirit to speak to kids. We need to build in room in what we do with kids for them to respond to God and God to respond to them. We need to allow children to express their experiences with God sans the giggles and looks of "Aww, how cute." We need to take kids' spirituality more seriously by listening to them and affirming their God experiences. I think we are, sometimes, too quick to correct theological nuances. Sometimes we simply need to say, "Wow! I'm glad you experienced God like that!" and allow the Holy Spirit to do his work.

  • One of your best post. Great stuff! Thanks for asking a great question that we all can't ignore. Well done!

  • Thanks for the comments guys. In trying not to step on anyone's toes and maybe even to make our curriculim more usable for everyone we say nothing about the Holy Spirit. We need to address the abuses and start teaching our kids about the Holy Spirit. I think this needs to change. If ever kids needed a helper to live out a radical faith it's now.

  • I think the most tragic moments in my ministry leadership is when I miss the direction of the Holy Spirit simply b/c I'm in the mode of administrating tasks. It's easy to miss Him when my focus is to "teach" rather than "impart". Imparting God's Truth requires an intuitive sense of where the Holy Spirit is directing. Only God knows what the kids, parents, volunteers in my ministry need.

  • Sam, I learned more about the Holy Spirit last year when teaching Confirmation class (8th grade) than I ever had before. We had a block on "Who is God?" then "Who is Jesus?" and then "Who is the Holy Spirit?" Without exception, the third unit was the one that our youth had the least knowledge and understanding—going into it. They particularly got into the sessions on spiritual gifts and fruit of the spirit. I was thinking that I would LOVE to teach this unit to adults in the church.

    So my point is that in addition to allowing and inviting the Holy Spirit to work with us in children/youth ministry (AMEN!) we need also to help them have a greater understanding of the whole concept.

    • Liz,

      Totally agree. I think not knowing about the Holy Spirit makes us shy from him more than the Father or the Son. There have been lots of abuses done in Jesus name yet we all seem to agree that we need to understand who Jesus is and what he has done despite how he has been wrongly portrayed. Kids need to have the power of the Holy Spirit in their lives to be a witness and display to others the unexplainable love, joy and peace of God.

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