by John and Shirley Tasch
For over twenty years we have taken children all over the world on short-term mission trips. We have seen countless numbers of miracles as children are preaching the Gospel, laying hands on the sick, prophesying, seeing visions and doing the work of the ministry. Although children have not been esteemed in the past, scripture tells us that in the last days God will pour out His Spirit on all flesh and the children would prophesy. It is never too early to begin to instill a sense of destiny in our children and make them mighty for God.
In the average church we teach our children from an early age to sit still and let the adults do the work. After twenty to twenty-five years of this process we say, “Get up, do something, get involved.” When you teach children to do nothing when they are young, when they become adults they will do nothing. A child has the same capacity to serve God as an adult; however, they usually are not given the same opportunity as adults. The only limits that children have are the ones we adults put on them. We need to take the limits off our children. Children, like adults, need outlets to share their faith. We should not just train children for ministry tomorrow. We need to train them for ministry today. Children are not the church of tomorrow, but the church of today. Children are not given a junior Holy Spirit when they become Christians. Age is not the criteria, but willingness (being a believer).
The Bible has many accounts of children and youth who were used by God.
- Samuel ministered to the Lord as an infant (I Samuel 2:11, 18).
- Infants cried out praises to Jesus (Matthew 21:15-16).
- Parents brought their children to Jesus that He might touch them (Luke 18:15-16).
- Jesus was strong in Spirit and about His Father’s business at the age of twelve (Luke 2:40-49).
- Children attended Jesus’ meetings. The little boy with the loaves and fishes helped feed 5,000 men (John 6:9-14).
In addition, the following teenagers were used:
- Joseph had two dreams when he was seventeen (Genesis 37:2-11).
- The young lad Samuel had a word of rebuke for Eli, the high priest, though he was afraid to give it at first (I Samuel 3:4-18).
- Young David slew Goliath in spite of the fact that he was considered too young to fight (I Samuel 17:33).
- The Lord rebuked Jeremiah when he tried to use his age as an excuse for not serving God (Jeremiah 1:6-8).
- God chose a little teenage peasant girl named Mary to be the most honored woman in all history (Luke 1:26-31).
- As a teenager, Timothy was able to fulfill his calling against opposition because he had a godly mother and grandmother who were able to instill in him a genuine faith (I Timothy 4:12, II Timothy 1:5).
These examples show that indeed “God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong (I Corinthians 1:27).”
So how do we train children to minister? The same way we teach them to tie their shoelaces:
- I do; you watch.
- I do; you help.
- You do; I help.
- You do, I watch.
The wind of the Spirit is blowing through children’s ministries across the land. God is using them. He is drawing them into intimate worship and filling them with boldness, a vision for the world and compassion for the lost.
God is also using them to pray for adults, friends and families and for the nations. At the same time, He is raising up leaders who not only perceive the spiritual potential of children, but also are willing to invest their lives in training, equipping and mobilizing this generation so they can take their places in God’s army.
John and Shirley Tasch have nearly forty years of experience in ministry to children and the entire family. John and Shirley have a wealth of experience in many areas including training church leaders, ministry consulting, mentoring teen-age interns, and facilitating and leading short-term missions. Their ministry has taken over 4,000 children, youth and adults on short-term mission trips. God has given them a tremendous amount of energetic and wonderfully creative ideas on how to present the Word of God through exciting, high impact teaching techniques and time-tested methods that will keep you on the edge of your seats. John and Shirley’s love for God and unending enthusiasm will inspire you to become excitedly committed to do as much as you can to bring in the harvest for the kingdom of God.