Are you anointed with the Holy Spirit when you minister to children, or are you just entertaining them because you are really talented? Is there a difference between anointing and entertaining? Is it possible that most children’s ministers never even think about the anointing, never look for the anointing or expect the anointing when they minister to kids? And does it matter?
What is the Anointing?
I am passionate about bringing the presence of God into my children’s services, because it is only the anointing that breaks the yoke, and every child has yokes that need to be broken.
So, what is the anointing? Well, it’s a big subject.
Before we discuss the anointing in our kids services, let’s get some background. Look quickly at the examples of King Saul and King David in the Old Testament.
Samuel the prophet “anointed” each of them at different times to be king. To do this he poured oil on their heads (which we know represents the Holy Spirit).
In the case of Saul, Samuel prophesied to him that “the spirit of the Lord will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy…and be changed into a different person.” And it came to pass just like he said. Something would change in Saul, and he would begin to operate supernaturally in a power beyond his natural ability to function. It also says that God gave Saul a NEW HEART when he was anointed. What does that mean? (1 Samuel 10:6)/new heart 10:9-10)
Saul was later rejected (and, as such, he lost the anointing) and Samuel anointed a young man named David to be King. Once again, he poured oil on his head (once again a symbol of the Holy spirit) and the Bible says Immediately the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David from that day on. (1 Samuel 16:13)
Do you ever wonder if you had been standing there, what would that have looked like? Did David’s countenance change? Did David himself sense that anything was different? Was there a change in the atmosphere? Did the people standing around him sense the change? Or was it all imperceptible and just something God knew but the humans standing around had no idea was going on?
I believe people around them could sense something, whether they could see anything or not is another issue. There was a change in and on both men.
I believe the anointing still impacts people in similar ways today. Today we don’t have to have oil poured on our heads, because as Christians the Holy Spirit now resides on the inside of us. If you are a believer in Christ, the Holy Spirit dwells in you. Therefore, the Holy Spirit (or the anointing) is in you all the time. Sometimes we are just more aware of it than others.
Increasing the Anointing
I’m going to share 5 ways to help you increase the anointing in your services!
What is the anointing? Anointing is the burden removing and yoke breaking power of God that empowers a man or a woman to function supernaturally to do things for Him that they normally couldn’t do on their own.
Let’s break it down even further for the sake of this conversation – when I sense the anointing of the Holy Spirit in my life, whether I’m teaching adults or kids, I literally feel His presence with me. Sometimes it’s strong. Sometimes I’m just aware that He’s there. As I get deeper into my sermons many times, I feel His presence get stronger and more evident.
It reminds me of a time I was a children’s pastor, and I was leading my kids in worship. We didn’t have a live band in those days. We just depended on CD’s. So, we were playing this one worship song. The kids were entering in fairly well, when the music modulated up to another key. Do you know what I mean by that? Musicians do this all the time in church and in general. This day, when it happened, I instantly felt an increase in the presence of the Holy Spirit in the room. I never wanted to take His presence for granted, and I never wanted my kids to miss it!
Research says most kids in our churches will tell you to their knowledge they have never felt the presence of God. So, I wanted to make sure they were very aware of what had just happened. I stopped the music, and, of course, instantly, all eyes were open and on me. I said, “Did you guys feel that?” They just stared at me because they had no idea what I was talking about. I said, “Did you notice when the music went up to a higher key that the presence of God just got stronger in this room.”
You could see the wheels turning in their heads. Their eyes got a little bigger. Slowly a few of the kids nodded their heads. So, we played the song again so they could pay attention, and it was a powerful little instruction time.
A week later one of the moms came in to talk to me, and she was smiling. She said, “Courtney and I were driving in the car this week listening to some Christian music and one of the songs modulated. When, all of a sudden, Courtney hollered, “Mom! Did you feel that? The presence of God just got stronger in this car.”
We both had a good laugh, but that’s the whole point! If you are confused when I say Is there an anointing in your kids services and you have no idea what I’m talking about, just think of the worship music in your adult services. What do you feel? Most of you would say a strong sense of the presence of the Holy Spirit!
THAT’S THE ANOINTING!
It’s All about His Presence!
It’s all about His presence. No matter how gifted and talented we as children’s ministers are, there is nothing as “entertaining” as the presence of the Holy Spirit. You can be crazy gifted, but only the anointing of the Holy Spirit can change children into something new. Only the Holy Spirit can break the bondages of sin, depression, fear, abuse, and more in the life of child.
One of my good friends and mentors in children’s ministry is John Tasch. Many of you probably know him. I got connected with John years ago because he was one of the only kids ministers, I knew of that taught his kids to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit.
So, I invited him in to my church one year to hold a vacation Bible school. It was top notch! He had a team with him, and they played games—every night for up to two hours. It just went on and on, and, of course, the kids absolutely loved it! They were as professional as anything I had ever seen. They could easily compete with the world in their genre.
But because of his reputation, I kept wanted to see the move of God in the services. He was a master at what he did. But I can honestly say, during those games I felt the presence of the Holy spirit.
Then, on a dime he stopped playing the games, and, masterfully, he began a powerful ten-minute sermon, maybe it was fifteen minutes, but no longer than that. And he gave an altar call. And the kids flooded the altar. And for the next hour 175 kids stayed at the altar in the presence of the Holy Spirit, crying and weeping and seeking God. Many got saved and filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues. It was a mind blower!
When the conference was over, I asked him, “John why do you play so many games?” He just paused, looked me deep in the eyes and said, “Because I’m anointed to play games!” And he was!! There’s nothing wrong with entertainment when the Holy Spirit’s anointing is upon you, and you recognize that He’s the star of the show, and your goal is to draw your kids into the presence of God!
Anointing or Adrenaline Rush?
And children’s minister –do not confuse the anointing with an adrenaline rush! They are completely different. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance says that “anointing” is a special endowment of the Holy Spirit. To endow means to equip –rather to prepare, supply, or provide someone with special ability to minister to others. There can be as many special abilities to minister as there are people. In John’s case it was games.
But we live in such an entertainment-saturated society, my concern is that we have honed our skills, whatever they may be, because they are fun, and exciting and we forget that it’s the anointing — or God’s supernatural presence—that is needed the most in our services. We have too often become entertainers instead of ministers. And there is a difference!
I was out of town one time over the weekend, and I decided to visit a children’s ministry service by a man who I was told was one of the best. So, I was excited because I always want to learn everything I can to become better at what I do. His room was excellently decorated with awesome staging in the front that included an area for puppetry, it was just really well done, so you got excited just walking into his room.
As he began his service you could see he was a really creative and talented guy. He acted out a comedy skit. He did a puppet skit. He was a good actor and good puppeteer. He did a fun activity for scripture memorization. That’s good. Kids need to memorize scripture, and I don’t remember what else. But the service went on forever, and I kept wondering, “when is he going to get to the meat?” When is he going to get to the good stuff? The Word of God? My expectations were had been set high.
But I have to tell you, as talented as this guy was, I never felt one ounce of the anointing or the presence of the Holy Spirit in that service. The kids were bored. They were not engaged in what he was doing. And He WAS talented!
Evidence of the Anointing
Acts 10:38 said that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and He went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with Him. – THE ANOINTING WILL BRING IN SIGNS AND WONDERS AND MIRACLES INTO YOUR SERVICES. Kids will go home healed and changed in His presence. I would rather have the presence of the Spirit and a sense of His power any day than the best entertainment you can muster. And I love to entertain like everyone else.
Signs and wonders and changed lives will be some of the evidence of the anointing in a service. Jesus said, “for the Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free.” He was anointed for that, and so are we.
That’s what the anointing is for. There is nothing wrong with good, wholesome entertainment, Hone your skills. Be the best you can be in whatever talent you have. But never sacrifice the anointing for entertainment in your children’s services because it’s the anointing that’s going to change lives.
Make having His presence in the room your highest priority.
How can you increase the anointing in your services?
Keys to Increasing the Anointing
1. Fellowship with the Holy Spirit every day, in your Bible reading and prayer. You can’t give out what you don’t have. You can’t water others from a dry well. If you want the anointing and His presence, you have to seek His presence.
2. Pray over your sermons and services as intensely as you practice your skills and skits and magic tricks. Ask God what He wants you to teach on. And be quick to follow His leading. He knows better than anyone what your kids need to hear each week. And what their hearts are hungering for.
3. Invite the Holy Spirit into your services. Then watch for His presence. Stay alert. Pay attention, and if you weren’t able to feel His presence in a service, be honest about it. Then get alone with God afterwards and ask Him to show you what happened and what you need to change next time.
4. Value and cherish the anointing, and don’t grieve the Spirit by pushing Him aside because you want to showcase your skills and gifts. You are not to be the focus in your services. He is. Teach your kids to watch for the anointing. Teach them what God’s presence feels like and looks like. Teach them to value the Holy Spirit.
5. Then Glorify Jesus (John 16:14). Take time to share testimonies about answered prayers, miracles that you’ve heard about. Because this makes your kids hungry to know more about this Jesus and Holy Spirit.