John White wrote this very helpful comment on a post I wrote a few days ago. It is worth repeating in the main blog. It is another great example of what can happen when a group listens to God together. There are many wonderful stories of what can happen when people listen to God on the blog he mentions at the end.
"Rather than just talk about listening, we've found it transformational
to actually do this with people at every opportunity. Mary Geegh
describes this practice in her powerful little book "God Guides".
(Experiential learning vs theoretical learning) Then, we reinforce it
at every level. First, with our alone time with God each day. Then,
with our daily CO2s (churches of two which includes marriages). Then,
with our house churches. And, finally, with our regional leadership
teams (MRTs). In each situation we are seeking to follow in Jesus'
steps: "I do nothing on my own initiative. I only do what I see the
Father doing." (Jn. 5:19)
It's been especially fun to see how this works out in house churches.
We teach each church to simply ask the Lord one question each week:
"Jesus, what do you want to say to your church today." The group takes
20-30 minutes to listen and write what they hear in response to that
question. And, then, they come back together to share what they heard.
New Christians and children often are the best "hearers" in this
situation. What we are discovering is that Jesus is really quite good
at leading individual churches. (Who would have thought?!) As we listen
and obey, everything else seems to flow naturally – Bible study,
prayer, intimate fellowship, mission, etc. And, it makes starting new
churches quite simple.
Here's a short video on how one family is putting this into practice.
Very fun to see how the 7 and 10 year olds are "getting it"!
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2 replies on “Even children can learn to hear God”
This is so cool. I believe wholeheartedly that children have keen ears to hear God. I blog about doing house church with young children and we see similar things happen from time to time. We did something similar last year during Lent, teaching the children the discipline of stillness and listening.
I wish we would be careful how we talk about kids hearing God, though. To say, “Even children can learn to hear God” reveals a lack of expectation on our part that it will happen. Imagine if someone said, “Even women can learn to hear God.” Or “Even members of [minority group] can learn to hear God.”
I think it’s because we don’t truly value the contribution of the children in our churches that we don’t expect them to step up to the plate. I think we are also impatient wanting them to act like grown-ups. (I speak for myself, if not others.) Since they don’t, we shush them or send them to another room to play.
When we let the children know that not only does God speak to them, but that we expect them to share with the group what God is saying, they’ll enthusiastically participate. The video is a good example of that. It takes a great deal of discipline on the part of the adults (as well as the children), and tolerance for letting kids act like kids.
I think the rewards are worth it and will make the Church more effective overall because the whole Body is working together.
Thanks so much for pointing out the error of my post title! I completely agree with you! Children are the church of today, not the church of tomorrow; they do not have a junior Holy Spirit. They are often more capable of hearing from the Lord than adults.