When a child receives Christ, the Holy Spirit comes to live inside of them. Kids don’t get a junior Holy Spirit. They get the same Holy Spirit that you and I get.
Why does the Holy Spirit come to live in us? To lead and to empower us for ministry. If I could do my parenting all over again, I would spend less time teaching my kids to obey me and more time teaching them to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit. The bottom line is this, it’s good for kids to obey their parents, but it’s better for them to obey the voice of the Holy Spirit. Their parents are not always with them, but the Holy Spirit is always there.
It is critical that we not just talk about the Holy Spirit, but that we teach kids how to actually hear the voice of the Holy Spirit. Do you believe this? Do you believe that the Holy Spirit lives inside your kids and the kids that you encounter? Do you believe that the Holy Spirit speaks to kids? Then start acting like you believe it, and teach on the Holy Spirit. The following is how I teach on the Holy Spirit.
1) The Bible
The primary way that God talks to us is through the Bible. Sometimes you are reading the Bible and a certain verse will stand out to you. When this happens it’s critical that we do whatever the Holy Spirit is telling us to do. It is also important that we teach kids that the Holy Spirit will never contradict the Bible.
2) The Inward Witness
“The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,” Romans 8:16. The inward witness is an inner feeling that you have in your gut. It’s a red light or a green light. You may be watching a TV show and you get a yucky feeling on the inside. That’s the red light, the inward witness, telling you to turn it off or change the channel.
Ask your kids to close their eyes, then tell them the following story:
Imagine that you are in the cafeteria eating your lunch. Your friend doesn’t have any desert and you think “I’m going to share my desert with my friend.”
When you think about that thought what does it feel like inside? Let the kids respond. Most will say, “It felt good.” Then tell this story:
You are at the grocery store. When you see the candy bars at the checkout counter you are tempted to just stick one in your pocket.
Think about that thought, what does it feel like? Allow the kids to respond. Most will say something like, “A yucky feeling.” Ask your children if they needed to ask you if it’s wrong to steal the candy bar? Obviously no, they know on the inside that it’s wrong to steal. That’s the inward witness. You have the inward witness on the inside of you. You don’t have to wait until you grow up to get the inward witness. This is how the Holy Spirit leads you. You can hear the voice of the Holy Spirit right now.
3) Your Conscience
The third way that the Holy Spirit speaks to us is through our conscience. Paul said, “Brothers, I have always lived before God with a clear conscience!” Acts 23:1. Your conscience is an inner voice that is different from the inward witness in that you actually hear words on the inside. Your conscience is a still small voice. I’ve taught kids to listen to their conscience by putting them in real-life situations. I ask them, “How many of you have ever walked past your bedroom and you heard a voice say, ‘Remember, Mom told you to clean up your room”? That still small voice is your conscience and it is one way that the Holy Spirit leads you.
Let me leave you with a dinner table spiritual exercise. After you’ve finished dinner and before they all blast off to play video games or watch TV, ask everyone to bow their heads and close their eyes. Tell them, “Listen to your heart.” Wait about 60 seconds and just listen. Then ask, “Did anybody hear anything?” Take some time to really listen to each other and talk about what everyone heard. When you’re done, tell them to clear the table and do the dishes.
Portions of this blog were taken from a fellow Children’s Pastor and blogger, Mark Harper.