Children and Holy Spirit Baptism
Do our children need the baptism of the Holy Spirit to fully experience the power and authority of Jesus Christ in their lives? Yes. The Holy Spirit will guide them, comfort them, and equip them for the works of ministry God has purposed for them to do. But how can we encourage our children to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit?
Preach and teach about Holy Spirit baptism.
We must encourage our children to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit by creating an expectation that God is going to pour out His Spirit on every boy and girl who asks. One Sunday school teacher made it very clear at the beginning of each ministry year that she expected every child to be filled with the baptism of the Holy Spirit before they left her class. And every child who attended her class was baptized in the Holy Spirit. Why? Throughout the year she taught the children about the baptism of the Holy Spirit. She shared personal testimonies of the blessings of Holy Spirit baptism. She gave her students opportunities to receive this wonderful gift.
Create an environment of praise and worship.
Not only is it important to preach and teach about Holy Spirit baptism. It is also important to create an atmosphere of worship and praise. The Holy Spirit baptism is poured out when our attention is totally focused on God and we respond to His presence in praise and worship. You can help focus children’s minds and hearts on God through worship music that kids love. Teach the children to worship with movement as well as song. Provide worship banners, ribbons, or rhythm instruments to help them feel free to express their feelings of love and worship.
Give the children opportunities to praise the Lord by encouraging them to complete phrases such as “I love the Lord because___________” or “Thank you, Lord, for _____________.” Or encourage them to shout out words of praise just as the children in the Temple did when they saw the wonderful things Jesus was doing.
As you are encouraging children to praise and worship God, remember that worship is often caught rather than taught. Be a worshipper. Make sure you are aware that the Lord is present with you and the children as you minister to them. Don’t hesitate to worship freely during the children’s time of worship.
Assure the children that God wants them to receive the gift of Holy Spirit baptism.
The Holy Spirit comes to us as we ask in faith. Increase children’s faith by reminding them of God’s desire to baptize them in the Holy Spirit. Encourage the children to ask God for the gift of Holy Spirit baptism and believe that he is going to do it. A Scripture passage that illustrates this truth is Luke 11:9–13. As you show each of the objects mentioned in the verse emphasize that just as our fathers want to give us good gifts our heavenly Father wants us to have the gift of the Holy Spirit.
“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for[a] a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:9-13)
Invite children to receive the gift of Holy Spirit baptism.
Finally, be sure that you provide opportunities for children to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit baptism. Often fear keeps us from doing this. We are afraid that the children will not respond, that we won’t know how to pray with them, or that the children who do respond will be disappointed. But it is God’s responsibility to baptize children in the Holy Spirit. As children’s ministers, we are to do our part—teach basic truths, create an atmosphere of worship and expectation, and invite children to receive what God has for them. When we do our part, I am sure that God will do His.
Invite the children to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit by asking the children if they want more of God. A good illustration to use with children is a glass that has a lid on it. Pour water from a pitcher over the glass. Of course, no water will go into the glass because the lid is on it. Remind the children that God wants to fill us with His Spirit. He is pouring His Spirit out on boys and girls all over the world and He wants to pour His Spirit out on them as well. They must take the lid off by saying, “Lord, I want more of You. I want You to fill me full of your Holy Spirit.”
Then encourage the children to respond to the presence of the Lord by closing their eyes and lifting their faces up toward heaven as if they are expecting to receive from God. Ask the children to begin praising Jesus for who He is and what He has done. Challenge them to stop thinking about what to say and trust Jesus to give them the words to say. Encourage them to speak what the Holy Spirit is prompting them to speak.
Because of unbelief or because they are mimicking actions of others some children will seek but not experience any evidence of the Holy Spirit’s presence. Do not allow these children to seek for so long that they become discouraged. Challenge these children to pray for other children. As they do so, they often become so focused on God that they are no longer inhibited by unbelief or by learned behaviors they have mimicked.
After individual children have finished praying, talk with them and ask, “What has God done for you?” Affirm the child’s experience using God’s Word and encourage him to continue to speaking in the heavenly language God has given him during his personal prayer times.
Counseling for the BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a gift of God that empowers the believer to do the works of Christ. Biblical basis: Joel 2;28, 29; Acts 2:1-4, 39; Acts 10:44-48.
Ask the following questions–
- Has Jesus taken away your sins? (Use a phrase that is familiar to the child.) If necessary, remind him of the requirements for salvation found in I John 1:9, Acts 16:13 or Romans 10:31. Make sure the child is assured of his salvation before leading him further.
- Have you been “set apart” for God’s use? If the child is unsure, ask him to give himself completely to God and allow God to remove anything in his life that isn’t pleasing to Him.
Encourage the child to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Ask God to give you the gift of the Holy Spirit and believe that He is going to do it (Matthew 7:7-11). Encourage the child to respond to the presence of the Lord Jesus.
- Close your eyes.
- Lift your face up toward heaven as if you are expecting to receive.
- Begin praising Jesus for who He is and what He has done.
- Stop thinking about what to say. Trust Jesus to give you the words to say.
- Yield your lips to the Holy Spirit. Begin speaking as you feel the Spirit prompting you to speak. He will give you words to speak as you begin speaking.
As the child is seeking for the gift of the Holy Spirit, enter into praise. Speak in your heavenly language.
Do not allow the child to become discouraged seeking.
When the child has finished praying ask, “What has God done for you?” If he is unsure, read Acts 2:4, NIV with the child. Ask, “did you speak in a heavenly language?” If he says “yes,” ask, “When the disciples spoke in a heavenly language, what had happened to them? What has happened to you?”
Prepared by Kathryn H. Creasy. Some portions were taken from a lesson by Lance Colkmire entitled, “Altering Kids’ Lives at the Altar.”