Can kids be baptized in the Holy Spirit? You would be surprised how many Pentecostal and Charismatic Christians don’t believe they can! Many of you will boldly say, “Yes!” To you, it’s a no brainer! But there are a shocking number of Pentecostal and Charismatic children’s pastors and leaders who would say, “No!”
Not for Kids?
Not long ago, I got an email from a children’s pastor in a traditional Pentecostal denomination. He had heard me say kids could be filled, but he still didn’t think it could happen. Finally, he gave it a try in his kids’ service. He wrote me saying:
“Honestly, Becky, I never thought in a million years a child would be filled with the Holy Spirit. Lo and behold, I’ve seen two now in front of my eyes. These kids are experiencing things most adults never experienced after sitting for years in church. We don’t give kids enough credit. We tell them about this awesome God and then we leave it at that. It makes such a difference when they go from hearing about God to seeing Him operate.”
Well, duh! Right?
I have a wonderful children’s pastor on my leadership team who was also raised in a different Pentecostal denomination. She said the same thing. Never once in 15 years of being a children’s pastor had she ever preached on the baptism in the Holy Spirit or given kids an opportunity to receive.
Are you kidding me????
Then, one day, she heard me teach that they could and should be filled. So, she went back to her church and preached on it, made an altar call, and she said almost all her kids got filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues.
Have we Pentecostals and Charismatics gotten so far from our roots that we don’t even teach kids about the baptism in the Holy Spirit anymore? Where do you fall in this spectrum? Are you a children’s pastor or a parent who has trouble with this? Do you believe kids can be baptized in the Holy Spirit?
Show Me the Scripture
Let’s start with Mark 16:15-19, where Jesus is talking and says, “and these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues…” Nowhere in that verse did He put a qualifier, like only adults who believe will speak in tongues. Only pastors and people who’ve been to Bible school will speak in tongues. Only those with a college education and a shoe size of 15 will speak in tongues.
He said, “they that believe.” If a child of 3 or 4 years old believes in Jesus as their Lord and Savior, they qualify as believers. Therefore, a child of any age who is a follower of Jesus qualifies to speak in tongues.
Childhood is the Perfect Time
In fact, I believe childhood is the perfect time for people to receive this great gift so they can walk in its benefits all the days of their lives!
It is when we receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit that we receive power to live the Christian life and the power to perform signs, wonders, and miracles!! It’s not like an accessory to our Christian walk like earrings and a necklace. It is a vital part of our daily walk with God. And if anybody needs it, kids do, so they have the power of the Spirit inside them to keep from messing up their lives as they grow up!
Not only do we as adults need the baptism in the Holy Spirit, but kids today are hungry for the supernatural! And they can find it everywhere but in the church! They are hungry for an encounter with the living God! If we never give them opportunities to be touched by God like this, we are giving them religion with no relationship. We’re limiting them to head knowledge with no heart knowledge. Being filled with the Holy Spirit is one of the biggest ways they can experience the living supernatural God!
Not Just Once a Year
It’s important that we teach on the Holy Spirt in our homes and in our children’s ministries. Not just once a year at kids’ camp, or every now and then. But talking about the Holy Spirit, what He does for us, and why we need Him in our lives. Praying together in tongues as a family and talking about the power we get from being filled—all of those things should be an ongoing part of our conversations, both in church and in our homes. Being baptized in the Holy Spirit is the gateway to walking in signs, wonders and miracles! And our kids want to be a part of that! In fact, I wrote a 13-week curriculum called, “Filled with Power” that teaches in detail why we should pray in the Spirit, or tongues, every day!
If you as a children’s pastor or minister are not filled with the Holy Spirit yourself, that could be a big problem in teaching it to children. If no one has ever taught you the benefits of being filled, and the importance of it, then you have no hunger for it. If you aren’t hungry for Him and this experience, you will not have a desire for it. And you will lack the power you need to be a strong Christian.
The baptism in the Holy Spirit is not just to give us power for miracles. It is also to help us overcome sin and temptation, and to conquer the problems the enemy forces on us from childhood. It enables us to be strong in the Lord.
We know that when we get saved the Holy Spirit moves on the inside of us, filling us with His presence. And the Bible says we will never thirst again. But being baptized in the Spirit has a different purpose.
Holy Spirit Comes In and Flows Out of Us
When we get born again it’s all about the Holy Spirit coming inside of us. It’s for our own personal benefit. But when we are baptized in the Spirit, it’s all about the Holy Spirit coming out of us for the benefit of others. It’s those rivers of living water springing up on the inside and flowing out.
I don’t know where I would be without the baptism in the Holy Spirit and the ability to pray in tongues. It’s one of the most important things I have in my spiritual toolbox in my Christian walk. In fact, it has the power to change lives!
Kids are the easiest people on earth to get filled with the Holy Spirit. They receive so easily! They speak in tongues so easily! They are completely dependent on us a children’s ministers and parents to lead them to this experience. If our kids don’t get it in our homes and in our churches, then where are they going to get it? The truth: the longer we wait, the harder it is for them, and the less chance they will ever get filled because they will lose their interest in it.
This is the time and season where this generation need to be baptized in the power of the Holy Spirit! Join me in this, won’t you? Start ministering the baptism to every hungry boy or girl in your world!