FROM THE DESK OF ROGER HOLLOWAY
Children Ministry ~ It is an honor to serve God by publishing the Abbott Ministry blog of ministry to children around the world. David Abbott has over four decades of children ministry in the local church, orphanages, and street ministry on most every continent. People often wonder about giving their money for ministry to children, and I want you to consider David Abbott’s children ministry today. Beginning in 1989, I began to invite David Abbott to the local church I pastored in Indianapolis to do a Children’s Crusade, not just children Bible lessons, or children Bible stories, but real Children Ministry in our church. He gave of himself in such a powerful way, and he does that still today as a true missionary to the nations. To prove that point, take a look at his worldwide children ministry itinerary.
Ministry to children — So, when I asked David about his ministry to children, here is his reply.
“Ministry to children has been my calling and my life since I was sixteen years old. I was called by God to this ministry when I was fifteen and a half and began when I was sixteen. I have been doing this for forty six years and in fifty five different countries and there is no other age group I would rather work with. Children are our hope for the future and without them moving in God there will not be a church tomorrow. They are part of the church today and our leaders of tomorrow.”
Keys to children’s ministry? I also asked him about why he uses the preaching of children Bible stories in his crusades, instead of puppets, clowns, and props.
“Children Bible stories are an important way to teach as it achieves two vital goals, one it teaches them the word of God and two as you APPLY the bible story to their lives so it moves them into and on in the kingdom of God. Earlier this week I was teaching in a Christian school in Indiana and later when I read what the pupils wrote on Facebook it was all about the application the their lives they picked up on. Children want the word of God not just stories because they have a simple faith and trust so find the word works for them and makes being a Christian fun. So when they think of the bible story they automatically think of the application to their lives.”
Welcome to Children’s Ministry! His response to why children Bible lessons with straight-on teaching the children the Word of God has been effective for over four decades.
“Just giving children Bible lessons is like regular school on Sunday and just gives them head knowledge which gets boring. Children today like hands on things that they can be actively involved in and applying the word to their lives and seeing God work makes it hands on for them. Entertaining them misses it too as there is no way we in the church have the money and resources that the world has so we miss the mark completely. I use the most basic approach, I teach the word of God as you would to adults only using simple wording they can relate too and visualise my teaching with simple stick men and lines that I quickly draw as I go along on a white board. I am no artist either but even children in Japan who are the most highly educated race in the world and the most high tech and they love my illustrations. Visual aids are vital because we know that children understand and retain more when they both see and hear something.”
How to encourage children’s ministry workers? Just listen to his vision for children ministry (which is unchanged since he began in the 1970’s).
“Children ministry in the church is vital as it equips them for now and the future. If done the way I believe the Bible shows us then it equips children to live an active walk with God now. It recognizes the giftings and callings in their lives so that they can be developed while children. My goal when working with any children is to make myself redundant to them. So they have an alive daily walk with God and can stand on their own two feet in God when I am not there. In raising up gifting and ministry then have them doing all I do and more so they do the preaching, leading of meetings, make up the band and worship leaders and do the one on one ministry for those who want prayer after teaching. It is all done under my covering and I am the one who has the authority and the leader but under me they function in ministry. Today in one church I go regularly I have two boys aged twelve and thirteen and in the children’s meetings they do all the one on one ministry, teach the bible verse each day. In the family service on Sunday my last two visits the twelve year old preaches and the thirteen year old draws the illustrations for him as he goes along. The pastor of that church told me the other day that when the twelve year old stands to preach he doesn’t need to rant, rave or shout to make people listen when he opens his mouth he has an air of authority, leadership and humility. Afterwards they both lay hands on all who respond and pray for them. It’s not only preparing children for future ministry but also to stand a Christians in the workplace. Since the general election in England in May there are two men in the inner cabinet of government (the leaders), who have come up under my ministry since they were very young.”
My conclusion — and hopefully yours — is that supporting children ministry throughout the earth is a great way to help build the kingdom of God here on earth and throughout eternity by supporting someone who has consistently been a missionary and evangelist to the nations for so many years (try traveling from UK to India to Uganda for children ministry!). Or, just doing ministry in Mexico and Texas can be powerful! And for me, as a pastor who has witnessed the lifelong impact David Abbott has made in the lives of children, I continue to support his work and hope you will, too.
PS — You can CONTACT David directly for your support of worldwide children ministry giving with a check made out to DAVID ABBOTT. Why? This is not a large ministry with a staff. It’s just David and his wife Barbara who live on a shoestring budget. You’re welcome to contact them for a reference from the small local church they worship in.
But don’t look for a large organization! And due to the charity guidelines in England, he has found it best to have checks made out to “David Abbott”. But I have found that wiring children ministry support directly to him is the most powerful way to support his work, using XOOM.com (part of the PayPal family). The $5 charge to wire funds is fair and reasonable. Reach out to know more.