This Is What Can Happen When We Practice What We Preach
For the past few years my oldest child, Spenser, has had the privilege of singing during Kids Ramp. This year he sang with my brother-in-law twice during the event. It is always fun to see how the children attending the event respond to their peers on stage. Not only does The Ramp preach to the children that God can use you at any age, they allow them to witness their peers on stage – whether that is through singing, dancing or acting out skits. When they see someone their own age doing something, it begins to click that “hey, maybe my gifts can also be used for the Lord.”
On Sunday evening, I got a glimpse of something special as a result of what the Holy Spirit did during Kids Ramp this year.
A children’s pastor who takes a group of children from a church in Gadsden, Alabama saw my son sing the past couple of years at Kids Ramp. After last year’s event, he invited Spenser to come and sing at their church. It worked out for everyone’s schedule for us to go to the church the day after Kids Ramp ended. Sunday afternoon, Spenser and I headed out for the two and a half hour drive to the church not really knowing what to expect. I thought it was for a kick-off event for their VBS and it was, but it also turned out that it was their regular Sunday night church service.
We arrived in time for a sound check and got everything set up. Spenser led worship with about six songs and the children’s pastor got up and delivered a word. He shared a little more about how Kids Ramp had affected the children he brought, as well as how it had affected him (the children had shared their personal testimonies from the weekend during their morning church service). At the end of his message, he said that he was going to do things a little differently. He invited Spenser back up to sing his last song again. The song, “Holy Spirit” was added last minute by Spenser right before the service started. As he stood up there with just a guitar singing the words to the song, the children’s pastor invited all of the children to come down to the front. Knowing fully what the children had experienced at Kids Ramp and expounding on the premise that the Holy Spirit can use you at any age, he told the congregation that if they needed prayer that night to come forward and have the children pray for them. He said that these young children are so filled with the Holy Spirit that they can pray for you, lay hands on you and miracles can happen because of their open and willing hearts.
I watched as some members came forward and had the children pray for them. One older gentleman in particular stood out. As he went forward, he knelt down on the ground and the children gathered around him and laid hands on him. They all remained in that position for a very long time and I watched as they all prayed. It was moving. He later said that he had never before felt the presence of the Holy Spirit like he did in that moment.
As I went to return to my seat, there was a group of people huddled near it so I stood back a few feet. The senior pastor of the church was speaking to a young woman who obviously was in need. She was crying and her two friends standing there were also crying for her. The whole moment was dizzying because my son was still up at the front singing and people were still going through the line to be touched by these children and this young woman was in the middle of something about to happen. After the pastor was done praying with this young woman, he grabbed a microphone and explained a little bit about what was happening. He said that this young woman, who had been brought by a couple of friends that night, had been thrown from a moving vehicle by a boyfriend and abused in so many ways. She said that what moved her to come to the front that night was because she saw the line of children praying for people and it broke her. It was a beautiful picture of Jesus saying, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these” (Luke 18:16).
I am so grateful to have been a witness to the obedience of this children’s pastor and for the freedom his pastor gave him to allow what he preached from the pulpit to transpire immediately in that sanctuary. He did not just tell children they could be used for the Kingdom, but he allowed them to be used and for all of us to witness a movement of the Holy Spirit in a mighty and powerful way as a result.
My husband recently visited Cairo, Egypt and spent some time with a friend’s brother there who is an Egyptian born Christian pastor. They talked about many things, but one thing he told me continually stands out. This pastor talked about how in America, we refer to children as “kids.” They do not because a “kid” is a baby goat and the goat is used as a symbol of the devil. If we are praying for our children – their hopes and futures – we need to be careful to speak words of encouragement, prosperity, blessing and life-giving statements about them and to them. I had never thought about the word “kid” in this way before, but every time I hear it now, I cringe. The Bible tells us that we are “children of God” (Galatians 3:26) not “kids of God.” It may be semantics to some, but words (our tongues) have the power to speak life and death (Proverbs 18:21).
I challenge you today as parents, grandparents, children’s pastors, youth pastors, pastors in general, teachers – whatever your role and/or title – to not only tell children their lives matter and that they can be used, but to allow them to be used for the glory of God right now. What I experienced and witnessed was beautiful and life changing, not only for myself, but also for the people who received healing, eternal life and deliverance in that place.
This was a beautiful, moving read. I attend The Tabernacle, in Gadsden, AL. I was there in both morning and evening service. I let them pray for healing in my foot, as I had a bad bone spur. The next morning when I awoke, I was healed. I was told that the children's pastor, Jon Wade has received 5 other messages from people who were prayed for by the children Sunday night, and those messages were 5 miracles that happened as a result. I truly enjoyed Spenser ministering. I am 40 years old, and I let him know after the service that I was truly ministered to by him, and I thanked him for his heart for God. I pray it works out that you all come back soon! God Bless!
God bless Karen, she is such a gift and blessing to others. I'm so glad the kids sing "oh" and not whoa like I often hear these days I n worship songs. God you are great and greatly to be praised... Love you, home sweet Alabama %u2764%uFE0F