Jun 24, 2013

12-Year-Old Sings National Anthem (And What the Church Can Learn From it)

With millions of people watching world-wide, a 12-year-old girl named Julia Dale, recently sang the national anthem at the NBA championship game.

Normally at a game of this magnitude, a famous adult singer would have been chosen.  But not this time.  This time, it was a 4 ft. 3 in. little girl stepping into the spotlight.

There is much the church can learn from this.

God has given children gifts...and they can use them now.  Yes, kids have gifts.  And they don't have to wait until they are adults to use them.  In fact, now is the time to help them begin to discover and cultivate the gifts God has given them. 

Children are not just the church of tomorrow.  They are the church of today.  There is no "Jr. Holy Spirit."  Kids are just as much a part of the church as adults are.  A healthy church family is made up of grandparents, parents, and children.

God can use children in amazing ways.  Throughout the Bible, we see God using children.  Samuel, Naaman's handmaid, the children praising Jesus in the temple, David, and the boy with five loaves and two fish are just a few examples.  God wants to use children today as well.  He's just waiting for us to give them the opportunity. 

Children can lead the way.  I have seen children lead the way in giving, serving, prayer, and more.  I have seen God use children to bring an entire family to Christ.

But how many times do we tell children to "sit still and be quiet?"  And then we wonder why they are "sitting still and being quiet" when they become adults.  It's time we empower kids to lead.

Involve children in the life of the church now if you want them to be in the church when they are adults.  We've all seen the stats of how many kids drop out of church when they graduate from high school.

Could it be because they never felt connected to the church body as a whole?  Could it be because we isolate them as children and students?  And when they graduate they can't relate to the rest of the church and drop out?  We must find ways to involve and include them in the entire life of the church.

So there's the big picture.  If you'd like specific ways we are empowering kids to do the above, feel free to leave questions in the comment section below and we will be glad to share.

3 comments:

Great post Dale and I agree wholeheartedly. I've said for years that youth leave when they're older because the church has entertained them, sent them away to minister (youth mission trips) or allowed them to help only when needed (vbs) but haven't said you're an important part of the church now.

Oh that more people in churches will see the importance of children and youth using their gifts now.

How do you specifically empower your kids? We have kids as worship leaders and prayer leaders during the kids worship service. How do you incorporate that within the adult worship service? Or does this alone help them feel connected to the church as a whole?

3-4 times a year we have the kids lead worship in the adult service, pray for the offering, etc. Many of them also serve alongside their parents as greeters, parking lot,etc.

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