I’ve been blessed in my 35 years of ministry to travel to and minister in a lot of nations. During these trips, I have seen the diversity of cultures, the uniqueness of foods and the preparation of foods, and the beauty of God’s creation in these places. I’m a blessed man!
In these travels, I’ve seen a lot of funny things. You have to remember that I’m a person that finds humor in almost any situation. If allowed, I could conduct a funeral service and have people laughing the entire service. One of the things that I saw on the trip to Trinidad was a horse being transported in the back of a Toyota truck. To you, this may not seem funny. But, to me, I laughed and laughed until I was hurting. I knew that I had just seen one of the most pampered horses in the world. We’ve all heard the phrase about putting the cart before the horse. I had just witnessed the horse ON the cart. Way to go Trinidad!
Early this morning, I sensed the Holy Spirit speaking to me about the condition of children’s ministries and student ministries. For many, revival isn’t on the radar. I sensed the Holy Spirit telling that there is a major hindrance to the last great outpouring of God’s Spirit. Unlike the Toyota truck in Trinidad, the horse isn’t on the truck. Our ministries have gotten the cart before the horse. Let me explain.
When I first entered into children’s ministry back in the late 1970’s, there were very few curriculums available. Some of you have been around long enough to remember how in the late 70’s and early 80’s Bill Wilson’s Train Depot changed everything. Then, Willie George entered the curriculum scene with some exciting teaching series. Today, curriculums are plentiful. You have series that teach about every imaginable subject and are packed with the technology and the bells and whistles. It’s a far cry from the early days of our ministry.
This morning, I sensed that the Holy Spirit was telling me that today we’ve placed the cart before the horse. In this plethora of curriculums, I am finding few if any that are themed to teach radically falling in love with Jesus, learning to devour the Word, or being filled with the Holy Spirit. I’m finding today that children’s pastors and student ministry leaders are crying for the next new 4 week series that they can quickly glance over and then master the icebreaker game, download the video and PowerPoint slides, and then walk into the service. While the topics in all of these series might be Bible-based and relevant, without kids first falling head-over-heels in love with Jesus, being passionate about consuming the Word that was given to be a lamp unto their feet and a light unto their paths, and being overflowingly filled with the Person that empowered Jesus to be Jesus (Luke 4:18; John 5:19; Acts 10:38) these kids have no foundation for the subjects being propagated in the current curriculums. I’m not advocating that we quit publishing the curriculums. I’m just hearing the Holy Spirit instruct us to get things in the right order. Lay the strong foundation. When we lay this foundation, sin isn’t an issue with people who are intimate with Jesus. Confusion is eradicated for those who know the Word. Spiritual assaults are minimized when people are filled with the Holy Spirit. Then we can add the current curriculums and they will be effective.
I apologize for the length of this blog. It isn’t the norm. But, one of my callings is to be a voice for the Holy Spirit to this generation of leaders. Let’s harken unto His cry and get the horse back in front of the cart. Selah!