His Mighty Power Will Roll On
I wonder what would happen if you asked your own small group to name a member of any other small group in the church? My guess is that the majority of people will name an adult. Yet, the Body of Christ is every generation! So many have been raised with the concept that children, and even young people, are awaiting the early twenties to be able to have spiritual gifts. Although we might not say it in this way, the inference is that the Holy Spirit does not have the capability to give gifts to, equip, and empower the emerging generation. It is as though He is limited by the size of a person, their age, and even their natural ability. Just as we wait for a “coming of age” to equip a teenager to drive a car or a child to go to school, so subconsciously we believe that the Holy Spirit has some “divinely appointed age” when the emerging generation are capable of and ready to receive spiritual gifts. I rarely hear people doubting if God could speak through Balaam’s donkey; yet they are skeptical of hearing Him through a child.
Yes, children and youth need empowering and direction. They need wisdom in using these gifts, but this is the same with adults. How do you do it? In much the same way as you do with adults: encouragement, releasing them to “get it wrong,” modeling, and bringing a lifestyle of accountability. This would be a great start.
So... wake up church of Jesus. Let’s not refuse to use His gifts because He chooses to reveal them through children or teenagers! Imagine a church where “each member” of any age is helped to identify his or her spiritual gift and then use those gifts inside and outside of the group. From Generation to generation His mighty power will roll on!