A hush fell over the room like a warm, calming, blanket. You could hear the clock...tick...tick...tick. Thirty seconds went by, as the Lord's presence descended in a sweet hush. You could almost feel it! Then someone said, "Time's up". As heads came up and eyes focused back to the front, we knew the Lord had entered the room in those 30 seconds of STILLNESS!
No, this blog post isn't about discipline in the classroom, or about antsy little ones. This is about teaching our children to "Be Still" and listen to the Voice of God. And yes, we do use a stopwatch for 30 seconds.
Let me explain...
Children's Ministry is a very busy place! :D High energy music, relay races and games, object lessons with "explosions", loud worshipful altar calls and times of prayer. Yes...THIS is Children's Ministry!
But just as we need all those things to keep the children engaged, we also need to teach the STILLNESS of God's presence.
In I Kings 19, Elijah was hiding in a cave on Mount Sinai. I'm sure you know the story of how God caused him to experience the wind, the earthquake, and the fire. Those things were sent from God and He was there, during that time, as well. BUT...where was He? He was in the STILL SMALL VOICE.
I don't know about you, but I want my kids to learn to hear the still small voice of God...don't you?
So, how do we teach them this? Well, this process that we have used may sound very radical to you, but kids are very literal and you can't teach them in allegories and examples. They have to have something they can see, feel, hear, etc. They need to use their senses to experience something!
Here's what we do...(and mind you, it does take practice for your children to really "get" it. But once they do, WOW! what anointing will fall!)
Have the children find a place somewhere in the room that is away from distractions, away from other children, etc. They can sit, kneel, lay down, stand...however they need to be in order to focus.
If this is the first time or two that you are doing this, I tell them it needs to be so quiet that you can hear a pin drop...and then actually do it. Drop a straight pin on a piece of paper. The kids will enjoy listening for it.
Once they are quiet enough, explain that they are going to listen for Jesus to talk to them. He will talk to them in all different ways. It could be a simple word that comes to mind, a picture, an actual voice...God speaks however we each will hear Him best. Make sure to provide paper and pens, crayons, whatever you want to make available to them to record His words to them.
When they are prepared, set a timer for 30 seconds. Then...Be Still! No admonishing, no encouraging, everyone just BE STILL and LISTEN! They should sit, lie down, kneel, with their eyes closed to block out distractions.
Once the timer goes off, ask the children if the Lord spoke to them, and if they would like to share what He told them. Like I mentioned earlier, it does take practice, so don't be discouraged if they don't "hear" anything at first. But be open for them to share, and you share what the Lord speaks to you, as well.
Another aspect of this that has really initiated a moved of God in our church, once our children were really in tune with this process....If someone needed a specific Word from God, an adult, or whomever in your church, have them come to the front. We had the children surround them. We would lay hands on them and pray for a short few minutes, then set the timer to BE STILL. The children would listen for God's voice on something to share with this specific adult. WOW! We had many amazing revelations! Many tears, many victories, many emotional answers received.
Don't underestimate the ability of your children to hear God's voice and be used of Him in someone's life. But it's up to you to train them to do so.
You know, it's quite common to have a move of God in a Children's Revival with a special speaker, or at Junior Camp, or Family Camp...but it's much less common to have an outpouring in your own Children's Church service on a weekly basis.
>>> DON'T LET IT BE UNCOMMON! <<<
Yes, the group you have DOES make a difference....but only because some need you to train them more t