Equipping the Smaller Saints
by Lenny La Guardia
3 weeks ago
Signs and Wonders Camps
Luke records a scene in his gospel that reveals Jesus’ heart for children. He writes:
They also brought infants to Him that He might touch them; but when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to Him and said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.” Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” (Luke 18:15–17)
Jesus held up the faith of children as an example of what true spiritual maturity looked like. In the midst of the distractions of this age, it can become all too easy to neglect to call out the purity of a simple relationship with God in the lives of our children. Yet if Jesus is to be believed, they are cherished lovers of His heart.
Today our children are bombarded with many things that can distract them from pursuing a personal and ongoing relationship with Jesus. It is no surprise that many grow up without a knowledge of the power and ministry of the Holy Spirit; still, they are no less capable of knowing God in a deep way.
Few of us would say that young people cannot hear God’s voice, pray, or influence others. Yet our ministries often reflect an attitude towards children as junior Christians with a junior Holy Spirit who requires very little of them except that they be good and enjoy themselves.
Although we may not call it such, our view of ministry to our children as primarily a babysitting service must be challenged. The Christian life and impact of a child are just as important as any adult’s. More than simply ensuring that children have supervision and entertainment while their parents attend worship, our goal as leaders must be to create an environment in which children learn to preach, teach, and prophesy and thirst to see the sick healed and the lost saved. The world has been entrusted to them, not just in a future calling but in a present assignment.
Because of the cultural and spiritual barriers that a younger generation encounters in growing in God and because of His high calling for their lives, we must take our role as leaders and parents seriously. Today as we parent and lead generations, we must seek the Lord for divine guidance when facing and contending with the generational patterns of our culture. It is vital that we empower children to live in wholehearted devotion to Jesus.
To help our children grow in their pursuit of God, we must recognize what Jesus modeled for us when He allowed the children to come to Him. First, Jesus removed all obstacles that would hinder the children from coming to Him. Second, Jesus compared the children to the kingdom which means they are fully capable of knowing, serving, and walking in the present and future power of God through the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
It is my prayer that God would grant to us His heart for equipping our children. We cannot afford to neglect this part of the Body of Christ. They are far more called and capable than we will ever know.
How can you equip children to love and serve God more?
Now is the time to register for the Children’s Equipping Center’s Signs & Wonders Camps! This summer, we welcome children 6–12 to our camps in Kansas City for a week of prayer, teaching, ministry, and games. Spots are filling up, so register your children now: ihopkc.org/signsandwonders/
Lenny La Guardia
- Vice President of Ministries, IHOPKC
- Executive Director, Children's Equipping Center, IHOPKC
For over three decades, Lenny and Tracy La Guardia have devoted their lives locally and internationally to equipping, empowering, and mobilizing young people, parents, and leaders with biblical truths and relevant strategies for ministering to children and youth today. Lenny and Tracy are the executive directors of the Children’s Equipping Center (CEC) at the International House of Prayer of Kansas City, where they lead a missionary staff that equips children from all over the world. Currently, the CEC provides over 130 hours a week of children’s services. Lenny also serves as the senior vice president of IHOPKC’s Ministries and Justice Divisions, giving oversight to vital ministries that mobilize the values and priorities of the IHOPKC Missions Base in Kansas City and abroad. Lenny started the Grandview, Missouri, Police Chaplains in 2007 and currently serves as a police chaplain. Lenny and Tracy have been married for 38 years and have five children: Leonard, Leatha, Andrea, Adrienne, and Shontavion.