The Holy Spirit in Children’s Ministry (aka Go With Your Gut)

Matt Norman —  October 6, 2010

As I have mentioned before I am an ER nurse in my “other job”. Over the course of 14 years of working in the ER I have learned the value of following my instincts, of “going with my gut”. Well, I have also learned the value of this in my ministry. If you are anything like me, Sunday mornings are hard work. There is a lot to get done, and it seems like no matter how prepared you are, there’s always more to be done. Don’t misunderstand me, I LOVE Sunday mornings! For me that is what the rest of the week is all about. Sunday is game day, and I’m not talking about the NFL. However, because of the hectic nature of Sunday, I tend to want to stick to the schedule because it’s easier that way. My tendency is to stick to the script because deviating from it causes stress.The problem with this thought is that sometimes God has different plans. It’s easy to say that our desire is to always follow the Holy Spirit, but if we are honest there have been times when we felt like we should go in a direction other than the one we planned for, and we just didn’t. I have plenty of those under my belt, but I’d like to share a story of one of those times when The Holy Spirit had a plan different from mine and I actually followed it.

It was a Sunday was like any other. I was going along with my lesson as I had planned when I had this strong urge to move to a salvation lesson. This was right in the middle of the service and completely unplanned. In fact this happened during our second service, and I had already been through my planned message once that morning. Despite this, I had an undeniable feeling that I needed to present the plan of salvation right then. We were in the middle of a song; so, as the song progressed I looked around at the kids trying to figure who this message would be for. Yes, I do understand how crazy that thought was, but I did have the thought. Anyway, as the song ended I move to the front of the stage and went through the plan of salvation. After going through the plan and the prayer I asked anyone who had prayed the prayer for the first time to raise their hands. There was one 5th grader that had been attending for a few weeks that raised her hand. Let’s call her Suzy. That family did not come back to church for several months after that. When they finally did come back Suzy was a sixth grader, and she was no longer in our children’s church. Suzy did come by to visit us one Sunday, but she is now in “big church”.

In that moment when the Holy Spirit was telling me to do the plan of salvation, I had no idea that this would be the only chance I would have to lead this young lady to Christ. Now, I am not saying that Suzy would not have received Christ without me. I give the glory to God that he had a plan for this young lady and let me be a part of it. The point of this whole article is to say that we should never be afraid to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. In this case it gave me my one chance to lead a young lady to Christ. Only God knows what he has planned – so go with your gut, even if it takes you someplace you had never planned on going. You never know what the impact will be.

Matt Norman

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Matt is married to his high school sweetheart Kim and together they have two wonderful kids. Matt is a part time children’s pastor at The Rock of Winter Haven, in the appropriately named town of Winter Haven, Florida. In his spare time Matt is an avid automotive enthusiast and a self confessed computer nerd and tech junkie.

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