Children are becoming increasingly active in charismatic practices as well as in evangelism and prayer movements, reports Charisma magazine (September).
A notable feature of recent revivals in an Assembly of God church in Brownsville, Florida was the participation of young children in the phenomenon, dancing, speaking in tongues and being “slain in the spirit.” The role of children appears to be changing in many circles of the charismatic movement around the world.
There is a growing prayer movement, as represented by the Children’s Global Prayer Movement, and the National Children’s Prayer Network, where youngsters pray not only for their own needs but for such goals as world evangelism and national lawmakers. Children are also being put to use in mission organizations, such as Youth with a Mission, to witness to unbelievers.
Likely to be most controversial is the new participation of young children in charismatic practices. Children in Pentecostal churches have traditionally been “separated” from adults in children’s services where there is not the strong emphasis on speaking in tongues and other emotional elements as found in the main service, says Mark Harper of Joy Christian Center in St. Cloud, Minn. But today, new Christian education material is emphasizing the “gifts of the spirit,” and such participation is being viewed as a sign of revival to the whole church.
In Our Lords Academy in Tarpon Springs, Florida, a revival broke out among 40 children last year, and today children are leading preaching and healing services for adults. Writer Cheri Fuller adds that kids do not seem to experience the charismatic “manifestations” differently than adults.
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