“Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”
The church’s strength to conquer is in the youth and the little ones as Pastor Cesar Castellanos has explained in many of his messages. They are the ones who fill the church with life, creativity and strength to conquer. Jesus was very aware of this. When the children were brought before Him, even His disciples rejected them. But Jesus, in an act of love, taught them a very valuable lesson in that moment: “for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”
The kingdom of heaven appears to have that specific characteristic. We are to be as happy, sensitive and pure as kids. But at the same time they are the ones we need to take care of the most. They are who we need to form in leadership from a young age.
The place children take in the church is fundamental. Sometimes, we think they are the least important ones and delegate this task to people without experience or without a high level of leadership, thinking they need to be babysat. But, that is not the case. They are the generation that renews the church and allows it to reach their generation for Christ. They are the most demanding, but also the most active and easily committed to the call.
Now, when we talk about leading children, we need to take into account what the Word teaches us. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it”. The Word train comes from the Hebrew word chanak, which means to strengthen, initiate, discipline, train and instruct. (http://www.licoc.org/Sermons/Instruir%20en%20su%20carrera.htm). This means that if we dedicate quality time to instruct the children, the will result in influential young people and potential leaders. But our task is to instruct them with Biblical principles by giving them the time, attention and care they demand. We need to understand that if we build them up on the christian foundation, we will be shaping a generation that will go against the world’s current of immorality, rebellion and humanism.
On another note, we need to take on this task with a sense of responsibility and dedication. We cannot expect immediate results if we do not sow in them with discipline and consistency.
I want to share with you these tips that can help shape your leadership:
- Teach them the Word of God: Make it the foundation for their lives. Every week they can bring a verse they’ve memorized. This is how you will shape leaders that will face and fight the enemy and the danger of this world.
- Make them a part of the Vision: They love to know they are part of a team. They enjoy responding with love and responsibility to the tasks they’ve been given. Delegate a few responsibilities week by week; they will always be very willing to do them.
- Encourage them to persevere in their calling: They live their battles just like anyone else. They are easily discouraged, which is why words of encouragement lift them up and motivate them. Tell them often that God has chosen them, has a plan for their lives and that it is fulfilled in them day by day.
Our task is to invest time in their formation. Of course, we like to have fun, but always establishing biblical foundations will make them strong and help them resist evil.