In anticipation of our son Michael coming home for an evening last weekend, we raced home after church Sunday morning and made a big pan of enchiladas for a special dinner that evening. By the time that dinner finally arrived, my mouth was salivating. I was really, really ready to end my hunger pains. After all, I had fasted since lunch (except for the chips and guacamole throughout the afternoon). Upon taking that first bite, I immediately discovered that something was noticeably different about the taste. For whatever reason, it was missing that extra “oomph” that makes a meal into something that you’ll talk about days later. To this day, I can’t tell you what it was. But, this thing is for sure, something was definitely missing!!!
While I haven’t discovered the missing ingredient for the enchiladas last weekend, I have discovered what I believe is the missing ingredient in many Spirit-filled Christian lives. This same ingredient is also missing in most children’s ministry settings. What is it? I discovered it while reading through the Book of Acts again. It’s found in a single word that is used 3 times in the Book of Acts. This missing ingredient is boldness. “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John …” (Acts 4:13) … “with all boldness they may speak thy word …” (Acts 4:29) … “they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.” (Acts 4:31).
Allow me to use a Texas phrase. I double dawg dare you to honestly look at your personal life last week or for those in children’s ministry think about last weekend’s service(s). You’ll quickly agree that there had to have been something missing, right?
Here’s our situation. Life is full and busy. You can only do so much. Little by little, the portion size of this ingredient has dissipated and eventually become non-existent. Eventually, you’ve been missing this ingredient for so long that you’ve become accustomed to this blandness. You don’t even notice that it is missing.
I’m writing this blog asking you to put the spice back into your ministry. This ingredient is already residing on the inside of you waiting for an opportunity to be used. We know this because “the Spirit that raised Christ from the dead” (Romans 8:11) is living and abiding within us. The Holy Spirit isn’t weak or anemic. He isn’t lacking in power.
Here’s how to “shake” the boldness container and see the Holy Spirit begin to show that He is residing in you. Don’t allow things to “just” happen. Speak with confidence and authority. For those of us in children’s ministry, boldly announce to your children that everyone will raise their hands and begin to worship God. And then with authority lead and demonstrate the joy of worshipping God. Don’t be passive. Announce with authority what is about to happen and then draw the children in. The same is true of engaging your children in praying in their heavenly prayer language. Many children’s ministry leaders are passive about engaging the children into this realm of prayer. Consequently, few if any children pray in their prayer language. But, I’ve found that as I boldly announce to the children that for the next 30 seconds EVERY person will close their eyes, raise their hands up towards heaven, open both their hearts and mouth and begin to pray in their prayer language, a large majority of the children begin to connect with God through the prayer of the Spirit. Midway through the 30 seconds, I again boldly emphasize that everyone should be praying with me.
Before you take on this next week or the next weekend services, begin to talk to the Holy Spirit about boldness. Then, take on the week/weekend services with a spirit of boldness and authority. You’ll notice a remarkable difference. Afterwards, write me and tell me about it … [email protected].
I’m Billy Burns and I endorse this blog entry!!!