Saturday, May 31, 2008

May down, June to go.....

What a week.
What a month!!

I can't believe how fast it has gone.
I'm well ready for the "June rush" now; where the vision for children and family ministry over the next three months becomes a worked-out-on-the-ground reality and I field texts, emails and phone calls from a hundred volunteers, parents, members of the public etc etc for the summer "stuff".

Over the years I've always had tremendous help from our office staff but in the last couple of months I have been given my own admin person for some hours of the week, who I can just go to for anything and everything and I have really felt the benefit of this. Even things like doing phone calls. She is an absolute honey with the most amazing temperament - I wish I was more like her! - nothing is too much trouble and best of all, she really knows me; she knows what I'm like and how I need things done (if that doesn't sound too fussy). I love her to bits. And we have known each other for over 20 years. Wow!

Coming up is one of my favourite annual tasks, for the all age service in a few weeks time. I buy a Bible for the children who are moving "up". I try to buy something appropriate to their age and stage but I also look for something that contains something of the Big Story i.e. God's metanarrative. If you (my silent audience) would like me to publish here what I decide to buy this year, then I'm happy to do that :-)

I can tell you right now what the P5s are getting. They don't get another Bible as when they were P4s they got a full Bible which lasts them till they receive a youth bible in P7. However, as they are "moving up" (an important rite of passage) I do like to get them a paperback. For the last two years it's been Stormie Omartian's Power of a Praying Kid, which is excellent - particularly good on praying for the hard stuff, like sickness, death and dying. A brilliant resource for those at the "searching faith" phase
(I should be on commission).

This year my P5s are getting Mike Seth/Bill Johnson "Here Comes Heaven". If you buy your hungry-for-God child only one book, that's not the Bible, let it be this one. It's outstandingly good, and a groundbreaking idea in my mind Mike Seth, (former children's pastor at Bill Johnson's church in Redding, CA), in partnership with Bill Johnson, rewrote his "When Heaven Invades Earth" book for children (reading age 8-11, I think). Or younger if an adult reads alongside.
(all recommendations on this page are opinion!)

So this is a VERY happy task. I should make it clear that not every child receives a book, because our groups "move up" every two years i.e. every child receives a Bible/book every second year. Everyone receives a certificate of attendance each year. Incidentally, never downplay the certificate. I have visited lots of our church children at home and I have seen many of these certificates stuck on the wall! Awards raise self-esteem in children.

I spend hundreds of pounds on this because there are lots and lots of children where I work. I think its VITAL that we recognise the children, bring them up to the front, clap them, make a fuss of them. I am so blessed to be somewhere where I don't have to fight for that to happen (if you are, feel free to email me for moral support or - seriously - prayer. I will do it!). It's not really a prizegiving, its not based on attendance or points won, its just based on the fact that YOU (kids) are part of our church family and we want to bless you. You might be reading this and thinking that financially you can't buy these books.

Some points to consider.
* Just go right up to people in your church (ask God who), share your vision for blessing children and ask them outright if they would be willing to donate into this "Bible" fund.
* Wesley Owen offer bulk buying discounts on certain Bibles - pick up the form from any shop. Make sure your church has a CPS (Churches Partnership Scheme) account to get an automatic 10% discount. I am amazed to hear from WO that many churches don't.
* check the prices of what you want to buy on Amazon - it can be substantially cheaper. I know this means you are not supporting STL (WO's charity arm) but if it makes a difference between buying gifts for the children in your church and not buying gifts..............
* I personally don't go for the substantially-discounted adult Bibles from different bible societies as they are usually thin-papered, in very small print, and without pictures. Children need material appropriate to them or they will cast it aside and label it as irrelevant because they can't read it. And that kind of thought will linger with them into adulthood. Spend more and catch the hunger-point.
* happy to give my opinions on anything you have seen or bought, I have probably bought it in the past too! Or is there a Bible or Christian children's paperback that you would recommend for presents or awards? Let me know in the comments section. It would be helpful if you could note what age range you think it is suitable for.

Better go, got summer club team training for my guys early tomorrow and people from neighbouring churches are coming. In the interests of ecumenicalism I've promised my SP that I'll be good and stick to that which unites, which is easy in children and family outreach - actually, scrub that! - it isn't!! What is the status of children before God etc....
(seriously, I head up a team from four other churches and we work together in a school club every Tuesday. I love'em to bits! I've just never met these folks coming tomorrow. They're from "the other side" of the 'hood)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Florida Outpouring Update

I have just read another great blog post by Steve Hickey today.
It feels so similar to what I wrote last night.

Please do read this. Steve Hickey is a respected senior pastor and writes much better than me :-) And although I don't know him, I sense so much wisdom.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Florida Outpouring continues

I wasn't going to bang on and on about this but I loved Anne's "its my blog" comment (do check it out) - (I posted here about this), but apart from my peak writing up period for college last week, I have been watching an hour or two of the Florida Outpouring most nights that I'm home. Moreover, I have been keeping note of some of the miracles, particularly the medically substantiated ones.

It's not my intention here to list where you can find these = though I am quite tickled with the AP (Associated Press) report of a resurrection of a dead person [not a child - see later section of this post] in a hospital - but now two extremely good friends of mine, both in full time ministry, have been to Lakeland for a week each.

Here are some of the things that have marked this out as a move of God for me.

* worship - often only 3-4 songs are used in hours of worship - spontaneous singing of "holy holy holy" or no words at all are used - but also not extended swinging from the chandeliers madness (hey, I'm there) - but passionate, heartfelt adoration. I've watched and joined in with thousands upon thousands kneeling, weeping, crying out, stopped low or lying down in God's presence. And the awesome.

* people coming to faith - at every meeting. Particularly blown away with a drug addicted young man some meetings ago who gave his life to Jesus and came off heroin with no withdrawals whatsoever. He came with his brother to testify that he had had no withdrawal symptoms at all and that his heart had changed on the inside.

* children - seeing Jesus, angels, clouds of God's presence. Being matter of fact as they are prayed for, completely at ease in the atmosphere. And also given quite a priority in the meetings. At least once a week I have watched and listened as children, young people and/or whole families are anointed and prayed for.

* the word is preached every night. The message always builds faith - if I can sum up those that I have heard, the focus is on God's "great and precious promises" - tonight, for example, is about God's promise to Abraham and Isaac.

* forgiveness - again, to me, this is significant. Testimonies have highlighted that people have either had to forgive others or receive God's forgiveness for themselves. Wonder if we often gloss over the importance of forgiveness?

* miracles. Worth keeping an open mind. Sure, with 8000 to 10000 people a night, there is bound to be some non-genuine/not able to be substantiated miracles from excited and well meaning attendees but there is story after story of medically substantiated miracles. I have watched the people with wasted limbs get up and walk out of wheelchairs. My husband pointed out: "watch the partner's face" - these guys come up with their friend/spouse, as they have been physically reliant on this person, who administer care and concern. You see the partners' faces GLOW, with incredulity and amazement, Leukemia disappeared, hepatitis disappeared, tumours disappeared - all with doctors letters "medically unexplainable".

* resurrection of the dead. Speaks for itself. My friends who were at the Lakeland meetings two weeks ago from Healing Rooms Scotland heard first hand the story you may have heard of. A 3 year old girl died and her kindergarten teacher, who was at the Lakeland meetings, started to pray for her (from afar). She had been dead for three days and was in the mortuary. As she was being wheeled on a trolley to the post mortem when she coughed and sat up. While my friends were there, Todd Bentley called her father on the phone to substantiate this.

* impact on communities. Remember this is early days yet people with no Christian background whatsoever are turning up for prayer for healing. The unbelievers have heard something is happening and want to come, hungry and open! My friends have prayed with waiters and shop assistants in the city itself; one a waiter who had lost a child at birth and was desperate to know if God cared (man, if that's just two people praying for individuals that they meet... how many times has something similar been happening?) We all agree that prayer changes things; dare I suggest that thousands of people not just coming to Lakeland hungry for God but going home again filled with faith and vision and power will make a difference in society....since their return the Healing Rooms team, bolstered by a great advert in a national tabloid, have had their phones ringing off the hook with people who would love to have prayer but who would have been unlikely to go to church. They feel full of faith and power and confident in God. Reminds me of someone called Peter!

*the witness in my spirit. I hesitate to even type this in case readers who don't know me think I'm a spiritual butterfly going from one conference/book/TV programme to another. I don't. I generally can't! As a working mum I just don't have time to do the "circuit". I don't generally read the lastest top ten Christian books because I've got to read so much for college (and kids ministry stuff is never in the top ten). I'm not a young, naive experience-led Christian. I'm sure I was though, twenty-odd years ago! (I devoured everything by Colin Urquhart, Bob Gordon and John Wimber) However, I welcome the experience of God's love and power because there's too much that's religion and head knowledge without the reality and experience of the love of God that melts your heart or brings tears to your eyes or makes you laugh out loud or makes you feel so silently grateful or thankful (choose what has been most applicable for you!)

What I'm trying to say, probably somewhat badly, is that Christian TV is generally not for me, watch a few minutes then turn it off, but I have felt God's in this Florida Outpouring BIG time. Sure, there are elements of "packaging" that I'm not comfy with; that you may not be comfy with; but it goes back to my very first post on this, and Steve Hickey's....that I don't want to miss something life giving and transforming....

(for those of you in England-shire, apparently Birmingham NEC is going to be hired out in August by Todd Bentley for a healing meeting there)

Sunday, May 25, 2008


Here are some pics from the weekend - starting with - this is our little school gate community decanted to a field in Northumberland. And our tent.

This is my castle.
Kidding - its Bamburgh Castle

And this is where I burned my nose

Here are my ridiculously Paris-Hilton-style-too-big-sunglasses which focussed inordinate amounts of sun on my nose. And resulted in a line of freckles on the cheeks (remember freckles = not good)

And here are a bunch of dads in the process of being gubbed by a bunch of 5-8 year olds in a football match

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Holiday Weekend

**** COMPETITION closes Tuesday 27 May ******* (more entries please!)

My family cell report is submitted, my personal reflections are written up and now I can relax for the weekend. I was absolutely ecstatic when I finished it at 4am this morning. God's been amazing - a friend who doesn't usually call me phoned out of the blue at 5.40pm last night, 5 mins after I put my head on the desk and cried really hard telling God I was so tired and just felt I had too much to get written up. (think I researched and read a little too much for the brief that I had. Information selection has always been my weakness). She prayed for me on the phone and God COMPLETELY renewed my strength as I had been up till 2am the night before the 4am one. I feel so, so good, not tired at all today! And just so...loved. I love him so much, whenever I sink to a low he's right there...even in something as mundane as writing up research!

I'm REALLY looking forward to going away this weekend.

We are going camping with six other families, friends from the "school gate" - all our kids play so well together and we're heading somewhere in England-shire, Northumberland (Doonhamer Geordie-way) for a few days. Think we will see a castle, visit a beach, have a walk, cook, chat and chill out together.

Worst bit with campping is always preparing to go - spending three nights scrabbling round the attic getting torches, sleeping bags, caping stove, plastic tableware etc - three nights finding it all for two nights use.....and two more weeks of stuff lying around the hallway afterwards till it all gets put away again......

We've been told by the main organiser that all we need is beer and a barbecue. Excellent. And earplugs (I'd add) and loads of jumpers and blankets. And mini packs of cereal - you know the ones you never let your kids buy? Till now.

What item would you make sure you took with you if you went camping?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Competition Time - Tuesday

This is not a staged photo - this is my dining room today (Tuesday)
Similar to the last competition, which GadgetVicar won, there will be prize.
(check out what he did here) I will make a donation to one of three charities:-

* Positive Action in Housing's Destitution Fund
* The Bethany Trust
* Tearfund - to go directly to women in Darfur - see Lucy's blog

The winner can choose which charity they would like the donation to go to.
The competition question is this:
In the photograph above, how many books are on the table?

BONUS - an extra £5 will be added to the donation if the first person with the correct number of books has additionally added the title and author of FIVE of the books with their answer.

TOP TIP (I'm far too kind) Double click on the picture to see my mess on an even larger scale. Is that tea or coffee I'm drinking do you think?

All reponses to the comments section. Please don't be shy! Give it a go, those who lurk, come and say hello!

Monday, May 19, 2008

One down, one to go....

What a weekend. I feel as if I have hit highs and lows like no-one's business. I am having to do academic work when it feels like everyone else is out playing. But I have been trying to be very disciplined with the result that one of my research papers is now written. Have got to work even harder now to get the second one in by Thursday as I have to do my "real" work Wednesday onwards..... got lots to do to prepare for summer events and more speaking events and training to get organised.

However, it's all for the greater good - not just because I will end up with some more letters after my name (I'm actually quite happy with those I've got) but in this case, because I have managed to conduct a useful piece of work for my church and, more importantly, for a group of people within it, who felt a bit isolated in the Sunday morning gathering or new to faith itself*

I've finished my report on setting up all age small groups, both the practical steps of doing so (which was a much bigger task than I originally envisaged), the steps taken to create teaching material, the response from those who have been attending them for 4 months and the theological rationale behind setting these groups up, beginning with an examination of a trinitarian understanding of community.

Gareth Icenogle wrote:
“The small group is a generic form of human community that is trans-cultural, trans-generational and even transcendant. The call to human gathering in groups is an ontological and theological ministry birthed out of the very nature and purpose of God’s being. God as Being exists in community. The natural and simple demonstration of God’s communal image for humanity is the gathering of the small group.”

Biblical Foundations for Small Group Ministry, Downers Grove, Ill: Intervarsity 1994, 13

I've found a renewed desire for a genuinely open and honest small group experience has been birthed in me from completing this whole process. I've enjoyed it, even if I could think of a million better things to do at this moment than write it all up!

*Update: I listened to something today about how it's easy to be proud of our pastoral care for those who belong the church. Anything we set up has to be thought of as something for those outwith the church who are yet to come; to attract them to "come, see" to try us out and see if the promises we make about relationship and community are really true. Sobering thought.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Don't click here

Children's ministry humour - be warned. You'd enter at your own risk!
(the site is not connected to me but yes, I do read it from time to time)

Youth humour - your choice! Yoofwork website.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I gave in.

I just can't help it. I'm working hard on my intergenertional cell/small group research, have been reading one book every three days for about a month and I need a treat. I haven't bought a Heat or Now for weeks. ----->

In January, I requested a few sabbatical weeks next summer (ask now for 2009!!) because I would love to get a little time to read (non-celeb material) more, as I am actually enjoying all this reading but I'm sleepy because I tend to do it at night. There are so many interesting resources out there on child/family theology, evangelism, worship, discipleship and intergenerational issues. You may remember that I bought a large book on the theology of heaven at Spring Harvest and that's had to be shelved for the time being. Peppermint Pinatas also put to the side just now. Pooey.

Och well, back to quality. Where is Angelina Jolie going to choose to have her twins?

Monday, May 12, 2008

Thought provoking part 1

I'm reading and writing about evangelism and integration of children and their parents into "not church" :-) ....into fellowship, a living faith, I guess I'm blessed to not personally experience this sad statistic, but I'm reading about the numbers of children leaving churches in their droves. In 40 per cent of UK churches, across all denominations, there is no children's ministry at all. I suspect this figure is somewhat higher, 5 years on. My denomination has commissioned some major research into this and my contact on the inside tells me it's a sorry picture too.

I'm more and more convinced as time goes by that we need to be intentional about reaching children; not just assuming that they would come to faith via their families. Several authors suggest that renewed efforts at adult evangelism are seriously hampered without outreach and witness to children, because we have an increasingly secular generation growing up, who will care little about our call "come to Jesus". What? Who? Why? Let's get nurturing that innate spirituality! Jesus knew what he was talking about with children! Let's ask Holy Spirit to pour out on the little ones, who are so open and receptive to know more of their heavenly Father! My observation is that prayer, worship, basking in God's love is as natural to them as eating and drinking. They were made to love him! And let's not forget the overwhelming evidence that those who make a committment to God before the age of 14 are more likely to remain in relationship with God all of their lives (see here - think its occasional paper 47, from memory. A jolly good read. And you can download it in German, should you so desire! Good old Lausanne, I read these papers for enjoyment every so often. They really are very helpful.)

All of the text below is from Evangelism - which way now? by Mike Booker and Mark Ireland (2003)

In some larger churches which run a wide range of activities, children's work can be viewed as a lower priority than "adult" activities like small-group leadership, eldership or preaching. Our society suffers from a strange type of snobbery which accords higher status to those who have least opportunity to influence people. Put at its starkest, a university lecturer (who works with people whose characters are already formed) is accorded higher status than a primary school teacher (working with people who may be far more open to change), who is in turn viewed as more important than a nursery nurse (who may have the potential for the greatest influence of all three). Seeping into churches, such an attitude means that work with children is undervalued and sometimes left in the hands of less able leaders. Children's work is for the beginners, so the accepted wisdom seems to believe, adult leadership for the wise and mature. The priority given to children by Jesus, Luke 9:48, (whoever welcomes this child in my name welcomes me) is sadly not always shared by his contemporary followers.

It may not simply be a matter of low priorities. Children's work may have to compete for leaders with increasingly complex church programmes, while at the same time many Christians have less free time available. Worship groups replacing one organist, meetings and committees which seem to have a self-propagating energy all of their own, alay involvement in services, all have their value but take up time. If work with children is being squeezed out, there may be a case for taking a long, hard look at the other church activities that are doing the squeezing.

"Now the children will leave is for their classes" is an often-heard statement in those churches that still have children's groups. The "children leaving us" mentality communicates that children are a minority group, separate from "normal church". This need not be a bad thing, it is possible that special groups for children reflect a special interest in their spiritual growth. However, the implications that children are not "us" can be part of the subtle message that they are less than a full part of the church. When families arrive at a service, if parents and other adults are greeted with a smile and a service sheet while the shorter people in the family are ignored, it simply adds to the message received by children that they are less than full members. Small, symbolic messages communicate to all present that children are a lower priority.

What is true within the church is true within the edge of a church as well. In the specific area of children's evangelism, the tragedy is that hugely successful events can go largely unreported. Thirty new children at a summer holiday club, several hundred hearing the Christian message at a special assembly in school may pass virtually without mention. When this happens, not only are children undervalued, but an enormous opportunity for encouragement is overlooked.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Radio Silence

I'm going to have to slide off the radar this week and get my 8000 word practical theology placement papers written.....I am sorely tempted, in the child-like frame of mind which characterises me tonight, to submit the following:-

Pastoral care of children and families new to faith

I want to see whole families loving God.
I can't make it happen.
I can't make great programmes.
I need you to direct it all Lord.
You love the families to bits
You want them to keep on loving you
Help me do my bit
More love
More power to live
People loving you joined to other people joining you
To make your kingdom bigger here on earth.
The End (68 words)

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

A first....

I became the proud recipient of a "First" today.

For the first time ever in my years as a children's pastor (and some of you will say: "eh? It's taken THIS long????) a volunteer came up to me and with a little cough said he had to tell me that he got nits from the kids club this week. He hadn't been anywhere else where children were. I didn't know what to say!! (apart from to take a big step back. They can jump, you know) But it is true, as our local school has repeated infestations just now, and nearly all of the children attend this school.

No, seriously, my first thought was to say sorry on behalf of ::::name of church::::: - and he was laughing (he is brand new to our church as well!) - but we both shrugged and laughed. There's not much else you can do, apart from dicuss combs and treatments. And accept it as part and parcel of the wonderful world of children's ministry.

So far I have personal experience of each of the following:
- children throwing up during the programme
- children wetting themselves during the programme
- children doing inappropriate things with parts of their bodies during the programme
- children pulling a wobbly tooth out, which otherwise would have remained in place for at least another fortnight, during the programme
- children picking their noses with a vengeance during the programme - making sticky balls of snot, eating it, flicking it, seeing how long a trail they can make with it etc etc whilst you teach about their position in Christ without throwing up
- children picking scabs off till they bleed is a weekly occurrence, then making prints on the floor with the seeping blood
- one of my deputies cleaned up lumps of poo from the floor in the middle of the holiday club programme 3 years ago (I escaped that one!!)

Goes back to something I said a while ago - those in children's ministry have to be prepared to not just cope with but be able to clean up whilst proclaiming God's word in a multi-media, encompassing-as-many-learning-styles-as-possible, stimulating, relevant, nurturing, Holy Spirit-empowered teaching programme with fun, relevance, balance and theological content. Whilst loving, loving, loving these precious little ones :-)

And folks wonder why I love all age services :-) :-)

If any of the above happens, parents/carers are at hand!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Young Team

I'm responsible for four young people working with our church this week in a very unique programme (and a good one I think). They have spent 6 months living and working in another culture, getting on with primary education in a pretty poor area, and being part of an indigineous local church, serving and helping in any way they can. They are now travelling round the UK for 8 weeks, visiting a different church each week.

I've only been with them for a few hours today and it's clear that this has impacted them in many, many ways. They seem like an outstanding bunch and I'm looking forward to nurturing the giftings and potential I see already on them. They will be commencing further studies and going back to work so this year is a VITAL one for them; one which they have never to forget, and they seem so open to learn and capitalise on that which they have already learned in another culture. I want to pray that they will also give and receive on this week.

So I've worked hard to give them a balanced timetable and stuck to all the instructions given to me by the mission agency; to provide a good mix of children/youth work; some ministry with vulnerable adults as well; and plenty of time to receive some teaching and refreshing... I'm certain they are going to have a good time. And we want to bless their socks off, make them feel special too. I think I can do that :-)

So please pray for them and all the young people they will be in contact with this week. I feel very privileged to have them. So many older people nurtured me and released giftings in me when I was mid/late teens and twenties: I love returning the favour.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Dealing with Disappointment

Last week I experienced disappointment. This always knocks me for a day, I feel low, morose, lacking in faith, start getting into negative thought patterns then I nearly always rebound quickly - but only by using some specific tools or strategies. But I have to make a conscious decision to deal with disappointment. Sometimes I consider choosing NOT to deal with it, but that would utterly ridiculous.

So I offer some personal reflections and thoughts about disappointment. They're not out of a book; perhaps such a book has been written; they're just from my experiences and as such are anecdotal, personal, perhaps not for universal application.

Isaiah 49:23 promises that those who hope in God will not be disappointed. But what if you are? You've asked for something that hasn't happened or you have lost something you dearly wanted to keep? Some years ago, I went for my early pregnancy scan only to be told that either I had my dates wrong or the pregnancy was not progressing as it should. The consultant explained the possibilities and I was sent home to return in a week to see if there was any change in the size of the developing baby.

I KNEW God could work in awesome power and make this baby grow. In those intervening 7 days I prayed and prayed and wept and prayed. A few close friends did the same with us; I was hoping and praying for something miraculous....

On the re-scan, there was no change, and the pregnancy did not continue; I can't feel the pain of it now, but I can remember that disappointment threatened to crush me. I felt let down. I had to go into hospital for a small op, and all I can remember was that I cried my heart out when I came round from the anaesthetic. But as the brief sobbing finished (maybe 5 mins after I woke up) I was filled with an indescribable peace and I KNEW that God was in control and that it really was going to be OK. There was hope.

(A few months later my son was growing away healthily inside me, making me throw up as a happy side-effect!)

Martin Luther King (Jr) said: We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.

This is the truth; that those in Christ have access to the God of hope;
That we're not responsible for every other person's decisions and life choices
That we are not responsible for constructing theologies to explain suffering, pain or death;
That we're not to work up hope out of our own feeble attempt to use sociological disciplines and optimism alone

for hope comes from God alone
from the Spirit who wants to hover over us, burn within us and impart hope.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Is he safe? No. But He's good.

The title of this post comes from a description of Aslan in the Narnia books.

This is one of the fairest posts I have read on the Florida Outpouring. Please check it out.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Florida Outpouring and Children

Photo courtesy of Ernest von Rosen,

I started to write another post on children and worship but I've canned it for the moment.

I have been watching a lot of the Florida revival meetings this week. I have listened to Todd Bentley in various forms for a couple of years now and I have the utmost respect for the prophetic and justice emphasis of Freshfire Ministries. Well worth reading his biographical details on the website. He not only has some testimony but is aggressively bringing the kingdom in healing and evangelism. Reminds me of Rheinhard Bonnke.

If applicable, suspend any preconceptions you may have for religious programming, God TV etc (as I had!!), and listen to the prophetic words and watch for the signs which match up with stuff you have longed for and prayed for. Ignore the cultural context in which prayers/words are delivered if it stands in the way for you. Please don't discount what God is doing if it looks different from what you're used to. I reckon that's what people had to do during the Great Awakening and I know for sure its what they had to do in the two Lewis revivals (see Colin Whittaker's book)- they had to put aside "this is alien to us; we don't do this)

6000 - 8000 people are attending twice daily meetings. I have watched some medically substantiated miracles. When people return home and see doctors, I presume there will be more.

I watched several children, on separate occasions, describing Jesus coming down from heaven, touching them and going back up again.
I have listened to prophetic words over and over again for children in the past week - that we are entering into a time where children will see God's supernatural power at work through them in greater measure than any previous generation of children. I do believe this, because I am hearing the very same words from friends in Toronto, England(shire) and Argentina. I am also reading the very same words in several books and websites from other nations of the world.

God promised to pour out his spirit on all flesh. Yes, I believe those of us who are trained in child development, educational studies, theology etc etc etc (the list could be endless!) need to use our pastoral sensitivity, common sense and retain our sense of fun and lightness, but we also need to recognise that God is sovereign and is preparing for his son's return. He will use "all flesh" to achieve his eschatological purposes.

"God told me he would come to children in a special way, 3 years old, 5 years old. They will see visions of heaven, visions of angels." (Todd Bentley, Thurs 30 April 2008)

Remember what Jean Darnell spoke in 1987: believe children who come to you and say things like this.

In October, two different children told me that they had seen angels in the same spot in our church and I believe them. They were pretty matter of fact about it. No big deal. Children just don't get worked up about the same things that we do.

We need careful shepherds of children and young people, who will work in partnership with parents, standing with them in their place of covering and authority over their children, but will also be a bridgehead between adult and children/teen ministry. We all need each other! We need our separateness but we also need our togetherness because there is a job to be done.

I'm very excited. I think we are in amazing times.