Leadership Blog

03 Apr The Samuels and Samuelettes Need You!

If you have been in the children’s or student ministry for any length of time, you have probably heard comments from well-meaning people that minimize the importance of your ministry. You’ve heard the “it’s just kids” or the “when are you going to get into the real ministry” or, even worse, instead of asking about spiritual results after your service, you hear the dreaded “Did you have fun today?”. If we aren’t careful, we can allow these comments to cause us to adopt what I call a “spiritual babysitter” mentality. Consequently, week after week, you just make it through a service until the parents come to retrieve their angels.

While reading my devotions this morning in 1 Samuel, I was reminded of these important facts …

  • Children/youth are capable of serving the Lord and being involved in His work even at an early age. (1 Samuel 2:11,18; 3:1)
  • Children/youth can be taught by word and deed how to serve the Lord. (1 Samuel 2:11; 3:1)
  • Being in God’s presence should be a part of a child/youth’s lifestyle and not a when-convenient occurrence. (1 Samuel 2:21)
  • TeachingDiscipleship/mentoring provides the opportunity for a child/youth to grow spiritually and be blessed by God and loved by people. (1 Samuel 2:26)
  • God wants to visit and speak to children/youth. (1 Samuel 3:4,6,8,10,11)
  • Children/youth are fully capable of hearing God’s voice. (1 Samuel 3:4,6,8,10,11)
  • Children/youth need to be trained to recognize and distinguish God’s voice. (1 Samuel 3:7,9)
  • Children/youth need to learn to respond to God’s voice with a “yes, I’m listening”. (1 Samuel 3:9)
  • God can give supernatural insight to children/youth not received by adults/leaders. (1 Samuel 3:11-14)
  • Children/youth are capable of communicating the heart of God to others. (1 Samuel 3:15-18)
  • Children/youth can grow in the Lord and be taught by the Lord to accurately flow in His anointing. (1 Samuel 3:19)
  • God’s constant interaction with a child/youth will set the stage for continued revelations that will impact people groups, cities, and nations. (1 Samuel 3:21)

Do your children/youth ministries a huge favor by copying and then sending this reminder to all involved in these important ministries. Believe me when I state that these facts will eliminate any and all ministry minimizing. We all need to be reminded that there are young Samuels and Samuelettes (that’s my name for female Samuels) sitting in our classroom that need someone to pastor them. Through our ministry, they will know God, learn to recognize His voice, and then begin to speak for Him to their generation. They are counting on us!!!

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27 Mar Supernatural Signs Follow Me

For the past few weeks, the Holy Spirit has challenged my heart to make Mark 16:20 my expectation for each and every time that I have the privilege to minister.

“And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them,
and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.”

Mark 16:20

As I stand up to proclaim the Good News, I can know that I am working side-by-side with Jesus Christ and, through the power of the Holy Spirit, the message will be confirmed by attesting signs and wonders.  The signs that Jesus promised in March 16:17-18 should accompany or follow the preaching of the Word. Consider this thought taken from The Phenomena of Pentecost written back in 1931 by D.W. Kerr (an educator and the primary author of the Assemblies of God’s Statement of Fundamental Truths).

094_dw_kerr“The word “follow” is a peculiar word in Greek and means to follow
so closely as never to be absent. The five signs followed the disciples
in their ministry of the Word so closely that they were never absent.
They were always present when they preached the Gospel with the
power of the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven.” 
~ D.W. Kerr

That’s my expectation. Make it yours!

 

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20 Mar Exploits Are Waiting!

Here is an honest confession … in reading through the Bible, I acknowledge that some portions of my daily readings are far more enjoyable than others. I always absolutely love reading through the Gospels and the Book of Acts and I struggle reading through Leviticus. It is all that I can do to labor through the laws and commands. And then, in reading through other portions of the Pentateuch, I struggle with the genealogies and the chapters telling about where the different tribes lived. I have to develop the mentality of the little caboose as it was trying to make it up the mountain by constantly thinking “I think I can, I think I can, …” as I struggle through the verses. There, I feel better now that I’ve made that confession.

There’s one Old Testament book that is filled with stories of Israel’s ups and downs, the book of Judges. I read through that book this week and noticed that Samuel tells of when the Spirit of the Lord would come upon individuals so that they could perform a certain task …. Othniel to judge (Judges 3), Deborah  to judge (Judges 4), Gideon to lead into battle (Judges 6), Jephthah to judge (Judges 11), and Samson to bring God’s judgement on the Philistines (Judges 13, 14, 15, and 16). I didn’t have to take off my shoes to provide additional digits to be able to count the number of individuals. Samuel lists and gives the stories of only five people that had the privilege of being clothed by God’s Spirit. Not five hundred or five thousand … five.

filledWhat a contrast to today. Each and every born again believer today has the potential and privilege to be clothed and possessed by the Spirit of God 24/7/365. No seminary degree is needed. No background check is required. No position in an organization or church is necessary. You don’t have to have the “right” last name. It’s just a matter of believe, receive, and then walk in the Spirit.

What a privilege. Each and every one of us gets to be a present day Spirit-clothed representative for the Kingdom. (Luke 24:49).  We are critical to the plan of God for today. Let’s boldly walk with the Holy Spirit and do exploits to advance the Kingdom. Remember, exploits are waiting.

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13 Mar Supernatural Healings – TODAY!

I am so excited about the day and age in which we live. I am convinced that God is up to something supernatural and we get to be a part of it. I wouldn’t trade living today for any other time that witnessed an outpouring of God’s Spirit. The move of God that is presently unfolding will far exceed anything in recorded history. It truly is the day of the Holy Ghost.

Altar MinistryHere is one exciting part of this outpouring – divine healing is being brought to the forefront. The perfunctory, ritualistic healing prayer found in of many of today’s churches is being replaced with the Holy Spirit showcasing His miracle-working power through signs, wonders, and miracles. And here’s the part that I love. This isn’t being seen only in the adult services but also in the ministry to children and youth. And wait, there’s more. These demonstrations of the Spirit aren’t confined to a church service. They are happening in homes and businesses everywhere.

Why is this important? Because, if this gospel is to be preached throughout the earth before the return of Jesus (Matthew 24:14), and, if His return is imminent, then demonstrations of healing are vital to hastening His return. Holy Spirit-produced, visible, undeniable healings have always been a vital part of the advancing of the gospel. We see this throughout Jesus’ ministry.

“Jesus traveled throughout Galilee teaching in the synagogues, preaching everywhere
the Good News about the Kingdom. And he healed people who had every kind of sickness
and disease. News about him spread far beyond the borders of Galilee so that the sick
were soon coming to be healed 
from as far away as Syria. And whatever their illness
and pain,  or if they were possessed by demons, or were epileptics, or were
paralyzed — he healed them all. Large crowds followed him wherever he went …”

Matthew 4:23-25 (New Living Translation)

I believe that Raymond T. Richey said it best …

“Divine healing is the dinner bell. Keep ringing that bell and people will come.”
~ Raymond T. Richey

Let’s work together with the Holy Spirit and “ring the bell”. Allow the Holy Spirit to demonstrate His power and then expect New Testament results – people healed of every kind of sickness and disease, news of God’s power spreading abroad, and people becoming followers of Jesus.

 

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