In the Vineyard, we believe that our children and young people carry the same spiritual authority and significance and have access to exactly the same inheritance as their parents do.
We want to see our kids worship the Lord with their whole hearts, pray for the sick, know the prophetic voice of God and lead people to Jesus. Recently we have heard a number of stories about our kids in churches across the movement and would love to share them with you!
At Riverside Vineyard Church, in Feltham, children are learning to listen to God’s voice. One Sunday morning a boy in the age 9-11 group told the leader that he had a word from God – that somebody was struggling with fear. They shared this with the group, and one girl put her hand up and said, “That’s amazing! I have been feeling like that because I keep having nightmares.” The children gathered around her to pray, commanding the nightmares to stop in the name of Jesus. Her bravery encouraged three boys in the group to then respond, asking for prayer with similar nightmares. The other children gathered around them to pray.
In Northern Ireland, the mother a 10-year-old from Causeway Coast Vineyard shared this story. “My daughter Aimee came to me in tears telling me that God was speaking to her. She said he showed her a picture of a street and a lady with her hands up to her chin in prayer. She thought the person she saw looked dark skinned but on hindsight, it could have been a darkness over them. She was very sure it meant that she was to go straight away and find this person to pray for them. A few minutes later we were in my car heading into town, with Aimee directing me. We parked and walked through the town and as we were crossing over a street and Aimee said to me, “Mummy, this is the lady.” We approached her and Aimee introduced herself. I explained that we were at home and Aimee heard God telling her that there was someone up the street that she needed to pray for and that God highlighted that the person was this lady. The lady was amazed. She opened up when we were talking to her and shared that she suffered from severe anxiety and wanted to go on holiday but was so frightened of flying. She also told us that she would love to break her addiction to smoking. She allowed Aimee and I to pray for her. We spoke of God’s love for her and prayed against fear and anxiety. We also prayed for her son who she was worried about. Immediately she was in tears – hugging us and thanking us so much. She said she wasn’t even meant to be on the street today. God is amazing!”
At Birmingham Vineyard, the Children are being encouraged to read their Bibles more. This is the testimony of a seven-year-old child who has been reading his Bible every night with a highlighter in hand (to highlight what God shows him): “Before bed, I was reading 1 Samuel. I then turned off my lights. A huge, really, really, bright light appeared behind me. I turned around there were angels singing in harmony all at the same time. They didn’t stop. When I went back to sleep I listened. I had a dream about Jesus talking to me and he said, ‘If you’re a child, you can be a hero, if you’re little, you can save big. If you’re not powerful, just a little child, you can still overcome huge things.’ I said to myself, I wonder what he means. And I still wonder that now.”
There are no age categories in the question of who can receive and be used by God, and therefore we welcome and encourage children to be involved in the ministry of the Holy Spirit. In order for the church to be the dynamic, culture-changing, heart-shaping family Jesus intends for us to be, it must involve everyone, including the littlest. When part of the body is left behind, we quite simply can’t carry the weight of all that he has for us! And so we must be catalytic in getting our whole church family into environments where God’s presence is thick, and we are propelled outwards. For when the powerful presence of God comes and revives, it comes for a generation in its entirety… young and old!
Find out more about Children’s Ministry
To find out more about Children’s Ministry, we have various modules on the Vineyard Training platform which you can sign up to for free including a module on Children’s Ministry Vision, and one on Children and Worship. Sign up below!