Spiritual children: Empower them to reproduce themselves

Once while I was teaching a leadership-training seminar in Honolulu, Hawaii, I met a young man who had been sent out by his church a year before to plant a new church in a neighboring city. This church plant had reached many young people with the gospel—70 young people had given their lives to Christ within the past few weeks! I wanted to experience this dynamic ministry for myself, so the young pastor agreed to take me to a youth meeting before he dropped me off at the airport.

We jumped into his car and headed for the local school where the meeting was held. Inside, the young people were singing wholeheartedly, worshiping the Lord with their arms outstretched. They meant business with God! After a time of worship, everyone sat down and the lights flicked on. The youth pastor grabbed the microphone. “Everyone needs to be in a power huddle,” he charged the group of new believers. “It’s a place where you can get to know other kids, and there are people to help you out when you have a problem or a question about your life with God.”

After the meeting, the pastor explained the truth they had discovered. “We have so far reached 225 young people, mostly from unsaved homes, and we’ve found that these kids need relationships. So we started power huddles—small groups for young people. The young people in power huddles are growing in God, while the young people who are not involved are having a hard time.”

With the heart of a spiritual parent, the pastor revealed his releasing strategy: “I’ve told our youth pastor that he must plant a new church with these young people when he believes the time is right. I had to tell the church about the strategy, or I might be tempted to keep him here in order to help me build this church.”

This pastor had learned the value of reaching the next generation and empowering them to reproduce themselves. There is among us a whole new generation of pastors, small-group leaders and church planters who are enthusiastic and often unconventional. Though we parents may not always understand our children, we must always encourage them to dream big and allow God to use us to help them fulfill those dreams.

Paul the apostle said it clearly, “For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers…” Let’s become the spiritual fathers and mothers the Lord has called us to be and prepare the next generation for kingdom advancement.

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