The first Riverbend Kidz post of the year! My hope is that you as parents, leaders, church members, and everyone that has anything to do with teaching children will grasp the importance of training children up in the way they should go and placing in them the tools needed to face this crazy world that they are growing up in. So, here is the first thought that has been going around and around in my head this first month of January.
Roots: “the part of a plant which attaches it to the ground or to a support, typically underground, conveying water and nourishment to the rest of the plant via numerous branches and fibers.”
- What do you want your child’s roots to be in?
- Where does their identity come from?
- What are we helping them attach to, to help them grow and learn in God?
- What are we helping them focus on? Are we helping them put God first?
You don’t force a plant to grow; you nurture it and water it, make sure it has the right amount of sunlight, give it the food it needs everyday…and then you will watch it grow. Where do we want our childrens roots in? Do we want them in sin and the cares of this world or do we want them in the truth?
Sometimes, we look at the bible and think its only for adults, but that is so very far from the truth. We have the ability to help our children study the word, memorize verses, put together good habits in prayer and fasting, and giving their all in worship and praise. But, they have to be encouraged. They have to be helped. They look to us as examples; so where are our roots at? As teachers, parents, caretakers, pastors, leaders? Let’s strive to put God first in our lives, in our family’s lives, in everything we say and do. Let’s nurture our hearts and our minds and help our children grow a love for God in their heart that will never go away! It will be rooted and grounded forever!
What can I do?
- Before video game time, have them read a chapter or go over a bible verse.
- At church? Have them pray with their other friends, or you or encourage them to sit with others and pray with them.
- Encourage them to worship- clap hands, sing the songs, pay attention to something that was said or sang and go over it at home (could be only 5 minutes- anything!)
- Morning time rush- on the way to school, say 5 things you are thankful for.
- Night time? Say a prayer together or pick someone specific to pray for.
Need more encouragement? Comment or send us a message! We’d love to help!
Riverbend Kidz are world changers NOW! Let’s get on board!
Entrust- “assign the responsibility for doing something, put something or someone in someone’s care or protection..” (Oxford Dictionary)
What has God entrusted you with? Are you a parent? A teacher? A wife? A husband? A daughter? A son? (Fill in the blanks to whoever you are reading this.) Life gets heavy. The weight can feel like a thousand pounds on your shoulders. But, God has placed you right here for a purpose. He heard you. He has helped you, but you aren’t finished yet. You have to choose to see that there is more for you and your family. There is more in what God has entrusted you with. He needs you to willingly open your hands and take in everything he has for you. It’s not always easy, it’s not suppose to be. It’s going to take sacrifice. It’s going to take a little pain. It’s going to take some time.
Saturday we had a 12 hour prayer chain at our church. As I prayed my hour, my thoughts went straight to Riverbend Kidz. So, I’m about to share the verses that I came across and hit me like a ton of bricks…because I fit into the above…I am a teacher; both in Children’s Ministry and in my career everyday. Read it below and soak it in for yourself:
1 Peter 5:2- “Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly- not grudgingly–not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God.“
1 Peter 5:3- “Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example.“
1 Peter 5:4- “And when the Great Shepherd appears, you will receive a crown of never-ending glory and honor.”
1 Peter 5:5- “In the same way, you who are younger must accept the authority of the elders. And all of you, dress yourselves in humility as you relate to one another, for God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
1 Peter 5:6- So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.”
1 Peter 5:7- “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.”
1 Peter 5:8- “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”
1 Peter 5:9- “Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are.”
1 Peter 5:10- “In his kindness God called you to share his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”
- Restore- Bring back, return. Confirm- establish the truth. Strengthen- make stronger. Establish- set up, permanent.
There is so much potential in you, parents. In you, children. In you, teachers. In you, moms. In you, dads. In you, Pastors. In you, Pastor’s wives. I’m talking to myself just as much as anybody else, don’t give up. He heard you. He has helped you. You are winning. Keep pushing in your potential. Living this life for God is more than worth it. Place God as number one in your life, your family’s lives, your kids lives.
Above is the question/statement from one of our youngest in Riverbend Kidz. This last Wednesday night we had a night of questions and answers. There wasn’t a set lesson…there was you ask your teachers questions and we will answer them the best we can. We wanted to know what THEY wanted to know…what they wanted to learn about. It was probably one of the coolest nights we’ve ever had back there. Which led me to this blog post.
I was reminded tonight that God desires sacrifice; time, talent and treasure are the three biggest areas you can sacrifice in. I was reminded that I have been a Children’s Ministry Teacher since 2012, and God has since then placed a stronger burden on my heart for this ministry. When I feel like I’m at a loss, God pushes me deeper and helps me realize that it’s not over. These children and these families, YOU, need someone to push you, to motivate you, to remind you that you have a purpose, parents. Your children have purpose. It is our job as teachers to sacrifice our time and our heart to help you and to help these children realize that you can do great things in God. You are meant for greater things. Don’t let the world and all the daily responsibilities take that from you. It is going to take sacrifice on you as the caregiver of your home.
Sis. Kim said something Wednesday that stuck with me. She exclaimed to the children, “This is why we want you everyday, to fall in love with Jesus because he is the only one that will NEVER leave you.” I am not a parent, but I am a teacher. I am a witness. I am a daughter. I am a sister. I am a friend. Growing up, I didn’t have the parents that loved God. I did have a grandma that loved God though, and her prayers have kept me. So, if you are in this life….living for God as a parent..a grandparent…an aunt…an uncle…don’t take it for granted. Don’t let the things of this world get in the way of helping your family build a relationship with God. Your children need you. I see it more and more everyday…the lives of families that have been torn apart because they didn’t put God first. It’s not always easy, your kids might not always like to be different than all the other kids, but I am telling you it is worth it. I stand here as an adult who chose to walk this path even though my parents didn’t, and I tell you…. there is no greater life lived than a life lived for God. So please, take this to heart.
Read the bible with your kids.
Pray with your kids.
Let your kids ask questions about God even if you’ve had a rough day.
Soak in the moments of worship with your kids.
Help your kids serve others and be a light to this world.
You won’t ever regret it.
A prayer warrior.
A bible reader.
A bible quizzer.
A Children’s Ministry Leader.
A Youth Leader.
A small group leader.
These things and so many more are the plans God has for our children. Yes, our CHILDREN. Myself and Sis. Kim have been drawn to the words: purpose, calling, plan. God is trying to instill in these children that they can begin their journey with Jesus at this young age. They can pray, fast, read the bible, SEEK God for his purpose in their life. A couple weeks ago we learned that we can do all the good things in the world, but we can’t make someone else live a life for God. They have to do that themselves. We can teach, help, preach to them and guide them, but in the end, every person makes their own decisions. These kids are wise beyond their age because God is helping them grow and learn more and more every Wednesday night.
We have prayer meetings for Riverbend Kidz to lead, we have children’s church on Wednesday nights, we have Sunday School on Sunday mornings….but that can’t be where it stops. We need parents, grandparents, young people, older people, we need the church to help at home. Jesus needs us to be a light for these children. We need to encourage them to read the bible, to pray for God’s calling in their lives. You’re 8 year old may have a calling to be a missionary…but without your passion and encouragement they may not be able to step out of their comfort zone.
Sometimes it takes several small seeds to be planted, not just one. God has planted these kids in our hands for a reason. He has planted us as teachers for a reason. He has planted YOU as a parent for a reason. Be apart of this life changing ministry. Let’s bind together and pray for these children. Let’s put action on these prayers and begin to move forward with these children! Let’s encourage them to pray for people in the grocery store, the school, to doctor’s office. Let’s encourage them to put down the video games, us put down our phones and read the bible together. Let’s grow with Jesus and let’s help these kids grow with us!
Our Pastor preached a message this Sunday night titled, “Putting a Man on the Moon.” He spoke about a janitor in a hotel that John F. Kennedy was in. John F. Kennedy (president of the United States at the time) asked this man, “What do you do here?” Instead of the response you would guess; he stated, “We’re working to put a man on the moon.” There was a realization that everyone together had a job to do; their focus was putting a man on the moon. Their focus was not on themselves and their own work, but it was the fact that each person, even the janitor had a special part within this adventure and it was important. He was a part of something.
He began to show us that we are each members of this church body for a purpose. We are here on purpose. We each play a part in God’s kingdom. We are working to put a man on the moon. We are working to bring people to Jesus. We are working to bring Jesus to people. We are working to help that young person that is struggling with their identity. We are working to help that child lost in the middle of their parents mess. We are working to show those that have tried to find peace in other things (drugs, alcohol, pornography, etc.) that the only peace they will find is in Jesus. But, we each play a part in this. If I choose one day, not to do my part….it can harm others. Others could be lost because I forgot my purpose.
The thought immediately came to my mind about our Riverbend Kidz. We are working to build up a PRAYER WARRIOR. We are working to launch a MISSIONARY. We are working to nurture a PRAISE SINGER. We are working to support a CHURCH CLEANER. We are working to push forward a BIBLE READER. We are working as a church body; as teachers, parents, grandparents, members of the church to nurture, support, pray over our children every single day. We don’t just meet on Wednesday nights and call it done. We put in extra prayer time, extra fasting, extra bible reading for these children who need us. If one person decides children’s ministry isn’t worth it, you could damage a child that was counting on you. 1 Corinthians 12: 18 tells us, “But God has set the members, every one of them in the body, as it has pleased him.” You have a purpose. These kids have a purpose. Realize the value you hold. Realize the importance you have and share your kindness, your calling, your love with those around you.
Pick a child, a family, someone to pray over this week to realize their calling and their purpose.
Imagine this: a little boy, sitting at school, thinking to himself: “I’m not enough.” Imagine this: a little girl thinking in her mind: “I can’t do this, it’s too hard.” Imagine a family broken down, tired, alone, frantic with the weight of the world crushing them over the dinner table; the bills, the pain, the trials. Imagine a teacher at a public school, stressed out and the weight of the responsibility she has on her shoulders, but yet still struggling at home too. Imagine a Pastor, racking his brain for the answers of all that life has demanded: “Jesus, what do I do?”
The world crushes us sometimes and it makes the world hard to live in because when the devil gets a hold of our mind, he can get a hold of everything else in our lives. The world tells us, it tells our children, it tells our families all of the lies above and below:
- You aren’t enough, child.
- Mom, you are trying hard enough.
- Dad, what you are doing, isn’t working.
- Teacher, These kids don’t care.
- Pastor, you can pull, but no one will come.
That is when the faith of a child comes in. That is when we see our children praying for their friends at school that are alone and hurt. That is when we see our children grabbing mom and dads hand and speaking a prayer over their lives, their finances, the struggles. That is when we see a child writing a note to their teacher and telling her/him- I’m praying for you, you can do this teacher. That is when we see a child giving our pastor a pat on the back, a high five, laying their hand on him and praying for God’s protection and favor for HIS life and his family’s life. That is when we see our children look in the mirror and say, “I am a child of God, and he is going to use me mightily for HIS kingdom! I am enough. I am more that enough. I can do all things through Christ who give me strength. I am beautiful. I am talented. I am loved. I am awesome. I can do this.”
I said all the above to say...Riverbend Kidz is changing, growing, learning. I saw tonight as tears streamed down a little boys face while we prayed for his friend who has been struggling lately. I saw tonight a little girl get baptized in Jesus name for the first time. I saw tonight our children breaking out of their comfort zone and worshipping. I have seen for the past month small steps of a revival that is coming to the Riverbend. I have seen a shy girl begin to break out of her shell and engage in conversation with us. I have seen a boy who never wanted to do much, break out of his shell and begin to do sign language, action songs, singing loudly on the praise time so people can hear. I have seen our children lay their hands on people and pray for them. Comfort zones are being broken.
I have seen new smiles on faces where I once saw frowns. I have seen new faces come and keep smiling because of how welcomed they feel. I have felt us as teachers growing together, excited about what is to come!
It all starts when we look in the mirror and say (Yes you parents..teachers.. Pastors..) “I am a child of God. I can do great things. God will move through me. He will make me bold. He will place his love in my heart. He will lead me and guide me. I will not be shaken by this world, because I rest in your word.)
The world says, “You’re not enough.” The word says, “Jesus is enough.”
I see prayer warriors. I see children of God. I see difference makers. I see kids with a burden. I see kids who love to be in God’s presence. I see world changers. I see chance takers. I see the brave. I see the bold. I see an opportunity. I see an experience. I see love. I see today. I see the future. I see kids fighting their battles in prayers. I see good.
But I also see the pain. I see the worry. I see fear. I see the confusion. I see the battles within. I see the battles on the outside. I see the sadness. I see the anger. I see the struggles in the family. I see the thought of not being good enough, not being enough. I see the bad.
Being a child is so hard, really. It looks so fun, and we as adults all wish we could go back and be a child sometimes, but this world is so different now. These kids have the faith of a giant. I personally, can’t describe it. When asked, “Are you scared?” The reply is, “No, because God is with me.” But, when you truly choose to look into their eyes, and dive deep into their thoughts…you will see…yes, these kids love Jesus with all of their hearts. I see this in their worship, I see this in their praise. I see this when they lay hands on their friends and begin to pour their heart out to God for their friend who needs Jesus at that moment. I see that, I see that faith in their eyes, in their hands. But, we have to remember….kids battle things just as we do, and I think we have lost sight of that.
These kids cannot afford us to give up. These kids cannot afford us to not make the effort to help them succeed. Sometimes, they need to be reminded that they can do this. They need our encouragement to let them know, they are more than enough. They need us to push them a little to be motivated to read their bible, to pray, to live their life for God even at this young age. They need that. Because when they go to school, it’s hard. That is an understatement. I hear bullying stories from our own group of kids and it hurts me…because I don’t want them to hurt. But, I also want them to know…God will keep them. God will give them strength. God will give them the words to witness to those around them if they persevere and they give everything they have to God, as young as they are…they CAN and WILL make a difference.
Fight your battles, help them fight their battles in prayer, in surrender, in total trust in God…they got this…you got this..God’s got this!
You know when it’s a kid’s birthday and they are opening up their presents one by one and they finally get to the one they’ve REALLY been wanting and everything in their little body screams, “THIS IS IT! THIS IS IT! IT’S WHAT I’VE BEEN WANTING FOREVER!” This was the type of thing that was going on in my brain as we led worship tonight..let me rephrase that..as the KIDS led worship tonight.
For the past week…I knew it was our week to lead worship and I always pray for the kids, for my teammate; Sis. Kim, for myself and for the anointing of God to flow. But…the one amazing thing about being a teacher whether it’s in church, or in a public setting….is the growth you see within these kids. This past week the word “anointed,” has went over and over in my head. I was so excited for this worship service because I knew God wanted to do something special with these kids and thru these kids. What do you know…they start singing “He’s Alive…He’s alive…He rose..in glory…with all power..and authority…he conquered my enemies..he put them under my feet…” and the Holy Ghost swept through that sanctuary. God had specially poured out his anointing over these kids and it was spilling over unto the people sitting all around them. To see how they have grown in their love for God…is amazing. Absolutely amazing. We have prayed for them to grasp a real love of God in their hearts and their minds and it’s happening! It is happening!
After the song was over…praise was still going up and the only thought that kept going over and over in my head was…“this is it!” We know the verses: “But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.” (Acts 2:16-17) That is the verse that I thought of as the thought kept going over and over in my mind. Sis. Kim has repeated the phrase over and over again to the kids and to the church…”THIS IS THE CHURCH OF TODAY!” These kids are the church of today, not tomorrow.
Riverbend Kidz is where revival will begin. Riverbend Kidz will bring their families in. Riverbend Kidz will bring Jesus to their schools. Riverbend Kidz will pray people through to the Holy Ghost. Riverbend Kidz will be a life changer to this community with the help of a great big God and a church that stands behind us in every way!
Our Children’s Ministry has been through many bumps & roadblocks in the past couple years. We’ve struggled with finding people to connect with us & we’ve struggled with other issues along the road. It hasn’t been the easiest road, but it has been more than worth it to see God’s plan unfold.
But, in the past year…we’ve seen almost everyone of our children be filled with the baptism of the Holy Ghost, besides a few and almost all of those have been baptized, besides a few. We run about 30 children all together when everyone is present, and more when they bring their friends. So many times I’ve heard the phrase, “Children are the church of tomorrow…” No. Children are the church of today. They are the church of right now. Our focus has shifted in Riverbend Kidz. Not only do we want these kids to have fun while learning about Jesus, but there is also a serious aspect that we want these kids to learn. I have prayed for the longest that these kids will get a love for Jesus in their hearts that will not go away. That they will grasp a hold of God’s word and make it mean something to them.
They are young, but they can make a difference in their schools, in their family, with their friends, at the grocery store…everywhere they go. It’s been enforced in my mind like never before this past year…“Our revival will start with our children.” We invest in them, and God will invest in us. God rewards faithfulness. What more screams faithfulness than investing in our children? What could tell God we love him more, than loving our children?
We want these kids to begin to see that God has a bigger plan for them, even when they are young. We are starting to see them teach bible studies, tell their friends about Jesus, ask about getting baptized, carry their bible with them to school, starting prayer clubs and praying for people at church, seeing their friend struggle and getting together to go pray for a dad and a son who needs them. These kids are going to be the start of a revival in our town like we’ve never seen before.
Invest in them. Love them. There’s a child that may seem unreachable….but God can reach them. Realize that our kids are going through things every day and they need us to pray for them. Pray that that will have courage. Pray that they will be an example. Pray that God’s hand of protection is over them because the devil is after them.
- Choose a child everyday to pray for. Pray a specific pray for them throughout the day.
- Go to a child and let them know you love them. Let them know that God has big plans for them.
- Parents, create a schedule to help your kids pray everyday, to help your kids memorize a bible verse everyday, to help your kids reach their friends everyday. Nothing is more important than working for the kingdom.
Drop the phone, mute the text messages. Facebook is not more important than that child memorizing scripture. Your stressful day can be erased when you sit down and pray with your child. Your burdens will lift, and so will theirs. BE THERE. BE PRESENT.