Children are watching. Have you ever noticed your child emulating you in some way? I noticed one day that my daughter consistently was making an “Mmhmm” sound of agreement after every statement she made. I thought, “Why is she making this sound?” Then, I noticed after the next story she told me, I distractedly responded with, “Mmhmm.”
Kids emulate us. Mmhmm, they sure do!
Anyway, there is a wonderful woman in my church who leads a tween girls’ Bible study and helps with the youth group. She has faithfully served in this capacity for years, and she also is dedicated to her own Bible studies as well. She recently purchased several of my books. I asked her what her plans were, and she told me they were for her daughter’s new book club.
Get this! The precious little second-grader from my Sunday school class, with her quiet voice and a sometimes-shy demeanor, had started a book club in her neighborhood! She had rounded up a couple of neighbor girls and asked them to meet to discuss this new book her teacher wrote called, “Do You Have to Take Showers in Heaven?” My heart just melted.
The awesome thing is that teaching a Bible study/book club was not a new concept to her. She had watched her mother do it for years. She watched her mom prepare lessons. Sometimes she sat in the background as girls gathered. Sometimes, she participated. But, as her mom fed others, this sweet girl was being fed too. As she observed her mother using her gifts, she realized she too had something to offer. When the Holy Spirit placed the idea in her heart, she knew just what to do.
God is so good!
My goal as a Sunday school teacher and author is not to simply fill the minds of children with Bible knowledge. That knowledge is important, but far more important is teaching kids to take what they learn to heart and apply it. They need to be encouraged to use the gifts God has given them and to share that knowledge and truth with others.
I recently studied the book of Jeremiah. I love studying the Old Testament prophets, because so many times they reacted to God’s calling with a bit of trepidation or a feeling of inadequacy. I certainly can relate. Jeremiah informed God in Chapter 1 that he was too young and couldn’t speak well. God reminded Jeremiah that He had chosen Jeremiah for this calling before Jeremiah was even born. God would be with Him. God would provide the words. God would protect him.
One is never too young to be used by God. Let’s keep encouraging our children to listen for the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Let’s give them the tools they need to be able to share the truth with others. Let’s model this in such a way that they see Jesus in us and have confidence that they too can shine the light of Christ wherever God calls them.