Kids Hear. Listen.

“There’s no junior Holy Spirit.” If you have been exposed to any spirited groups of people, you’ve heard that phrase. This phrase is used in reference to how God speaks to kids. I love it! 

Hear is how I’ve learned about this in my own family… Conner started asking to get baptized when he was five years old. We put him off and wouldn’t even discuss it seriously with him because we just thought he was asking because he’d seen so many others get baptized in his lifetime. I should have listened… asked questions… sought to understand him more. And he was persistent. He didn’t let up for years to follow. It wasn’t until he was nine years old and through my own journey in listening, that I started to take him seriously. We went through a short, three lesson Bible study and it was evident. The Lord had been speaking to Conner in mighty ways. He was strong in his convictions. He had to wait so long (half his life for him!) that we made a really big deal out of his baptism – a double birthday party on his 10th birthday! We invited all the friends and family in his life that had influenced him and helped bring him to that point. It was such an amazing, important day! We celebrated Conner’s ability to hear the call in his own spiritual journey and his response to that – his decision to commit his entire life to Jesus and mark that commitment by being obedient in baptism. A call. A response. A commitment. God speaks to all three of my kids in different, beautiful ways. And we had set a precedent with Conner without realizing it. Karis and Collin both had double birthdays too! Karis at nine and Collin at eight years old. Each one of them has had their own discoveries in hearing from God and answering His call.

In the past 15 years of ministry, I have been amazed countless times at what kids tell me about how they are hearing from God and how the Spirit grips their hearts. When kids are sitting in my office, working on healing their broken hearts, I marvel each time how kids describe what Jesus looks like to them. It always brings me to tears to watch kids experience their own faith when we get them away at camps and conferences where a lot of them have their own spiritual mountaintop moments – those moments are so important! I love hearing the hearts and passions of young adults I mentor putting all the puzzle pieces together to hear where God is leading them.

As a parent or a kids’ ministry leader, sift through moments of disobedience and immaturity. Pray and ask God to allow you to see kids the way He sees them, the way He talks to them. Yes, kids are and need to be KIDS and still need our discipline and guidance, but a child who believes in Jesus can hear from Him just like you and me. It’s such a joy to watch God mold and shape kids and young adults into the amazing, unique individuals He’s created them to be! There’s no junior Holy Spirit and He’s speaking, guiding, convicting. Kids hear. Listen.