Exodus 1: 17
“But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children alive.”
I came to know the Lord when I was 10 years old, an age that was not considered very important in a Christian church made up of mostly adults and youth. There was no children or pre-teen ministry prepared to cater to the needs of the kids.
At the time, I went because my mom had made it part of our lifestyle as a family. I did not have a leader (or midwife) to give me direction. And the truth is, I would’ve loved for there to have been children’s leaders who answered the call to preserve my generation. On many occasions I felt without direction, and not having a leader marked my new Christian life.
I love to play with kids. I enjoy their innocence and creativity; it’s so easy for me to become one of them. But one day the Lord gave me this Word about the midwives and I understood that it needed to be much more than having fun with them.
In the beginning, I didn’t understand how I could save kids and preteens. But in an act of obedience, I began serving in the Kids Zone at church. I must confess that in the beginning it was not easy, but little by little I began to feel greatly responsible for them, for that new generation that was emerging.
The more I served, the more I saw their need. I could clearly see that midwives were needed to save this generation. It was in this way that my heart was moved to take on a greater level of service. I looked for other creative ideas to get their attention, to teach them and lay down the foundations for their character. I also began to focus on the pre-teens between the ages of nine and fourteen. They are very demanding! In the midst of all of this, God brought Matthew 18:3 to mind, which says, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven”.
If you lead kids or pre-teens, and the Lord has given you this calling to be like a midwife, let me tell you that you are a part of the transformation of an entire generation. You are not only shaping people, but an entire generation with principles. Nowadays, it is harder for kids to grow up with principles, given that the world offers them ideas and philosophies contrary to the Bible through the different channels of communication.
I want to share with you a few things that can help you in your kids and pre-teen cell group:
- Be very creative: Kids and pre-teens can be VERY demanding. They are expecting much more than just a normal meeting like the one the adults have. They want a fun meeting, with games and activities that will bring out their creativity, and to always be connected. To achieve this, you can look for games to learn Bible verses and have competitions.
- Look for relevant and relatable examples: When you’re teaching the Word, look for ways to apply the message to what they are currently going through. You might need to get deeply involved with what they are living at home or at school. Don’t just reference what you lived at your age. Increase your knowledge regarding their current interests, read about what they like. This will give you the tools for them to relate to the Word and better understand it.
- Have a different kind of cell group: If you can have your cell group in different places, even better! They love to know that the most fun they’ll have all week is in their cell group. This is the place where they learn about the Word, play with their friends, and enjoy a different experience every week. Make the cell group a place where they can live adventures, as this will stay with them forever.
- Challenge them to be leaders: Sometimes we think that because kids are younger, they don’t understand their calling or the vision. But the truth is, they are imitators of who we are and what we teach them. You can challenge them every week to preach to someone in their school, or pray for someone they barely know. All of this with the purpose of inviting someone, like their cousin or neighbor, to the next cell group. They love to have a responsibility within the group. If you delegate them a task, they will gladly respond.
Not too long ago, I challenged my pre-teen cell group to host a Macrocell, to which they would invite the guests they had been working for in their own cell groups. I thought it was something crazy and that maybe it wouldn’t work, but did it anyway. We started organizing it and delegating tasks to everyone. I could see in their faces the joy of having their own responsibility for this challenge. When the big day came, they arrived an hour early, and each one began to execute their tasks with excellence. Some of them decorated, others registered the new guests, others were in charge of the activities, and everyone knew exactly what they had to do. They did it with such love and diligence that it was a very special and fun Macrocell.
Do not despise their youth; they will remember what happens in this short period for the rest of their lives.