Pester Power

When my oldest son was a little boy, he needed some batteries for a toy that required batteries.  The batteries in the toy had gone dead and so he needed some new ones. 

He asked me to take him to get some new batteries and at the time I was tied up and couldn't get them.  I told him we would get them as soon as we had a chance.  

Well, he would have nothing to do with that.  He needed batteries and he needed them now. 

After being asked "Can we go get my batteries?" like a thousand times (in one day), I said "Yes!  Let's go get the batteries...right now, before you drive me crazy!"

He was like most kids his age.  When he needed something or wanted something, he would bring out the PESTER POWER.  If you have kids, I am sure you are also familiar with PESTER POWER.  When kids really want something, they will pester you and pester you and pester you and pester you, until you get it for them.  

A study done by Totally Awesome shows that 79% of kids regularly ask their parents to buy something for them.  When kids see something they want, they bring out the pester power.  Stop by the cereal aisle the next time you are in the grocery store and you'll see this in action.

The good news is kids can also use pester power for spiritual influence.  I'm sure you've read the verse that says "a child shall lead them."  How about saying "a child shall pester them until they say 'yes'?" 

Pester Power is good thing when kids use it for spiritual influence.  I have often heard a parent say, "we were going to skip church today, but our daughter wouldn't stop saying, "I want to go...I want to go...I want to go!  So here we are."

We often talk about how parents are to lead their children spiritually...and yes...that is totally true and needed.  But it can run both ways.  God can use children to lead their parents spiritually as well.

Do you want to harness the power of the pester?  Here are a few tips...

  • Make church such a great experience for kids that they pester their parents to bring them.  This is the phrase "kids dragging their parents to church" being lived out. 
  • Put cliffhangers into your lessons so kids pester their parents to bring them back so they can see what happens.  
  • Teach and encourage kids about being faithful to God's house.  
  • Remind parents this type of pestering is a good thing.  They should be thankful that their kids have a heart for God and His house.
I'll never forget what happened one week.  It was a powerful example of "pester power."  We had built a new indoor playground at the church where I was serving as children's pastor.  The playground was open after service for parents and their kids.  
One Sunday after the service, I was in the park talking with and connecting with parents.  I noticed a lady who was standing in the corner.  She was crying.  I went to see if she was okay.  Here's what she told me."
"See that little girl on the playground equipment and the man that is with her?"
"Yes," I said. 
"That is my daughter and my husband.  My husband is not a believer.  I have been praying and asking him to come to church with me for over 7 years, but he always says 'no'."

"When the church put in the new playground a few weeks ago, my daughter was so excited.  She even asked my husband (her dad) to come with her.  She wouldn't give up when he said 'no' and she keep asking and asking and asking (pester power) him to come with her and play on the playground after service with her."  
"He finally said 'yes' and here he is at church.  I could tell God was working in his heart during the service."  For the first time, "I have faith and believe that he is going to come to Christ."  
Maybe...just of the best things you can do for your ministry is to unleash the power of the pester.  Remember this verse?

"Then the master told his servant, 'Go out to the roads and country lanes and COMPEL them to come in, so that my house will be full'." Luke 14:23

Compel is another way to say "pester" them to come.  

Release the power of the pester and watch the amazing things God will do.