We are living in an age where children are developing a hunger and thirst for God unlike anything seen before, says Esme Schmitt, a children’s pastor who conducts conferences to train people working with and parenting children.
Several prophetic words have been released of a billion children who will have supernatural encounters with God and then get saved. This move of God will specifically affect churches, since they will predominantly consist of children, says Schmitt.
“Children’s churches, parents and school teachers are recognising a need in children to not only learn about God, but to also experience His Presence and to know His love. Over the last few years I have seen a growing interest in how to raise children who can hear God’s voice, encounter His Presence and do signs, miracles and wonders.” Due to this need, she says she started to conduct conferences to teach children’s churches, pastors and teachers these practical skills.
During the last two weekends such conferences took place at Father’s House in Cape Town and at Hope Family church in Johannesburg. Children’s churches and parents from different churches in these cities, as well as teachers from several Christian and public schools attended the conferences.
“During these conferences, attendees experience activities that can be done with children at church, school and home,“ says Schmitt. One of the activities that conference attendees experienced was called “Encounter stations”. These stations are creative areas that can be set up in the home, classroom or church and are used for the purpose of encountering God’s Presence. An example is a table that was set at the conference with different kinds of salty, sweet and sour food. Attendees had to meditate on Psalm 34: 8 (‘taste and see that the Lord is good.’) as they ate the food on the table. A children’s pastor from Nyanga had a powerful encounter with God at this specific station. He testified to being set free of fear as he meditated on God’s goodness.
Another tool that attendees learned is called soaking. During soaking training children are taught to be quiet before God, to soak in His Presence and to hear His voice. After the conference in Johannesburg, Shuanet Roux, an art teacher at a Christian school implemented soaking in her classroom. After this experience she reported: “Three hildren said that when Jesus showed them how much He loved them they felt like crying. Another girl said that God showed her that His love for her is like a rainbow that has no end.”
Many people working with children, especially children’s pastors, feel tired, are isolated and have little or no support structure. A purpose of these conferences was to connect children’s ministries with each other and to create a space where they can be refreshed and invigorated. Lynette Snyman, children’s pastor who hosted the conference at Father’s House, commented about this conference, “It was amazing to see how people started out hesitantly on Friday night, but by Saturday afternoon were basking in God’s presence. You could see the change in people. Everywhere I looked I saw people being deeply impacted by a loving Father.”
God is providing a new wineskin for raising a generation of children who will love Him with all their heart, soul and mind, says Schmitt. If you want to find out more of these conferences, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website at esmeschmitt.com. The next children’s ministry training conference will be this weekend (October 30-31) at God Adventure in East London. Visist www.godadventure.org