I learned long ago that, as a minister to children, I can’t do anything that will have any lasting affect unless I spend time with God. Here are seven steps children’s leaders should do to spend time with God before they stand before their students to minister.
1. Pray regularly for students. Every week, schedule time to pray for your students. You might want to print out a list of students with prayer needs they have. Divide them up and pray for different students every day.
2. Pray for church leaders. Your children’s ministry is a part of the church. Pray for the pastor and church leaders to have a vision from God and be in unity. This will help your children’s ministry in ways you can’t imagine.
3. Pray for the anointing as you come before your class each week. A great definition of anointing is the strength and ability to do what God directs you to do. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength when I operate under His anointing.
4. Pray for a word from the Lord every week. Bible stories and games are fine, but they mean nothing if the children’s lives are not changed. Every time you minister, you should have a word from God for those kids. Even if you use curriculum, God will use that curriculum and give you a way to communicate that lesson. Or He might have you teach something completely different. Pray that God lead you.
5. Rest in God’s presence until you have a vision and a clear direction for your class. If that direction is from God, it will correspond with the vision of the pastor and leaders.
6. Fast. Have a regular time each week to fast for your students. You might decide to only fast one meal, or a certain kind of food, or you might fast one day every week. Fasting will intensify your prayers and mobilize your ministry in a way that prayer alone won’t do.
7. Remember the Lid Principle. John Maxwell teaches us a principle called the lid principle. Basically any substance in a jar can’t rise any farther than the lid. The lid holds it down. In the same way, the level that your students grow spiritually will not exceed where you are spiritually. If you want your students to grow close to God, you need to grow close to God first.