One of the first people in our church to be touched the night this revival first hit our congregation was Nancy Westerberg, our children’s pastor. My husband, Bill, the senior pastor of our church, lightly touched her forehead. Nancy’s petite frame hit the floor, and her feet began to drum roll on the carpet. She jumped up, grabbed my hands and danced me around the room, wore me out and found another “victim.” A three-year depression lifted off her and she’s never been the same since. Now she’s a one-woman crusade for involving children and youth in revival.
Six years later the River is flowing powerfully in the kids at our church. One of Nancy’s first steps was to pray for guidance. She found Mark Harper’s Sunday school curriculum, SuperChurch, and started teaching the kids about revival—including the manifestations. Now almost every child and young person in our church “soaks” regularly in the presence of God and functions on the prayer team alongside adults.
Every Sunday morning Nancy meets one hour before church with children, youth and adults for intercession all in the same meeting---accompanied by drums! They sit in a circle beating drums and receiving prophetic pictures and edifying words from God.
Recently a woman from England traveled across the Atlantic to spend time with Nancy and learn what she did to help our kids into the River. The woman was amazed as a group of children gathered around her and began to pray prophetically over her moving her to tears by their childlike sensitivity to the Holy Spirit and prophetic accuracy.
Nancy takes no credit. For years she, like the rest of us on our staff, couldn’t produce this kind of fruit. We owe it all to the presence of the Holy Spirit teaching us, but Nancy is a learner. Not content to watch children color pictures, she has learned that there is no such thing as a junior-sized Holy Spirit! She assumes that if a child can be saved and filled with the Holy Spirit, he can hear from God and flow in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Every meeting she encourages kids to participate in the services. And we’ve learned that the Holy Spirit uses kids mightily.
Often pre-teen children humbly approach the pastors to share a vision or a word they think they are receiving from God. More than once the service has been turned by a child’s word. The kids take the offering, too. One little boy prayed innocently into the microphone a prayer that cut to the bottom line, “Jesus, help us get more money for our church.” And the congregation emptied their pockets and purses.
Last Sunday as the adults gathered around a man to pray for him, Tyler, one of the young teens that has grown up under Nancy’s ministry shared a prophetic word that blessed not only the man but the rest of the adults. It hasn’t been that long since Tyler, then 11 years old, traveled with us at his own request to spread the fire at another church in our area. Standing before a congregation of 300 strangers, Tyler shared full of wide-eyed awe, “Our church used to be boring…”
And boy, was he right! I shudder to think how boring it would still be if it were not for this wonderful outpouring of the Holy Spirit that not only came to Toronto, but our church, too.
Your kids don’t need to be in a back room coloring pictures, either. Let them color at home. They can be prophesying, praying for adults and witnessing to their friends fully involved in this outpouring of the Holy Spirit. All they need is your faith that God can use them and your encouragement.
This issue is devoted to the theme, REVIVAL: THE NEXT GENERATION. In it are testimonies and articles that will astound you. Young people whose lives have been revolutionized by the Lord Jesus in this renewal wrote some of them. As you read you will begin to realize that revival isn’t just for adults, but kids and youth are being powerfully fired up with the presence of God these days. Maybe it will encourage you to bring your kids to the River, too, so the devil won’t lure them into his!
KEEP COMING, HOLY SPIRIT! We have so much to learn!
Originally Published May/June 2000 Edior Melinda Fish
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