. . . our vision
calls us to aim
for the “Young
2 WWM APRIL 2010
Bishop R. E. Howard, General Overseer
Catching the Little Ones
Recently, I was privileged to hear Sharon Daugherty speak. She was the wife of
Billy Joe Daugherty, founder and pastor of Victory Christian Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Since her husband’s death, Sharon has become the Senior Pastor and shares a vibrant
word of hope, faith, and vision. The entire journey of Victory Christian Center has been
a testimony to just those virtues.
Pastor Daugherty asked a friend visiting him once, “Do you catch many big fish
when you fish?” The friend thought about his fishing experiences and realized that he
had caught few large fish in comparison to catching many small fish. Pastor Daugherty
shared that as they had grown the ministry of the church there, he had learned the
same lesson. It had seemed hard to catch big fish, but God had given them little fish
often and in abundance through their ministry. He was speaking of reaching out to
the children of their communities.
Pastor Daugherty went on to say that one of the most significant and enduring
visions of his church through the years had been to reach out to children. Sharon
Daugherty elaborated that they had for years gone to the neighborhoods of Tulsa,
even areas most would not want to go. They had used many different strategies over
time to touch the lives of children and to impact them and their families for eternity.
Today their commitment to reach children beyond their church has flourished into a
development of many acres dedicated to community outreach, serving the poor, and
touching the lives of these little fish.
I will never forget going fishing with my uncle in Wyoming when I was quite young.
He was an excellent veteran fisherman who made his own lures and enjoyed all kinds
of game fishing. As he took me on this outing, he rigged my line, knowing that there
were small, insignificant fish in these waters that hindered him from catching the “big
ones” he aimed to bag. My job was to reel in as many of the small ones as possible
while he went for the prize fish.
I cannot recall what success he had that day. But what I will never forget was the
thrill I had reeling in fish after fish as long as we were there. Each one was a big game
fish for me, and the thrill was so intense that the adventure is branded in my memory
Perhaps, our ministries may be tempted to emulate the big game strategy at times,
going for the “big ones,” when God is sending abundant opportunities to reach the
small ones in mass. Perhaps, our gauge of success and our sense of thrill should be
calibrated again toward the excitement of catching many of these small ones and
watching them develop into a “prize catch” for eternity and the Kingdom. The words
of Christ still ring out: “Suffer the little children to come unto me . . .” (Mark 10:14),
and our vision calls us to aim for the “Young Harvest” to impact our communities.
April 2010 • Volume 86, Number 9
E D I T O R I A L
2 Facing Forward: Catching the Little Ones
by R. E. Howard
F E A T U R E S
4 Center Stage: A Look at Postmodern Kids
by Abigail Spears Velázquez
6 Redesigning the Set: What the Church Must Do to
Engage Kids in Christ-Centered Living by Kathy Creasy
1 0 Act I: Helping Kids KNOW God’s Word
by Sandy Knowles and Kathy Creasy
1 2 Act II: Tools That Will Equip Kids to LIVE Out Their Faith
by Karrie Endecott and Kathy Creasy
1 4 Act III: It’s Their SERVE by Melissa Minter
1 6 Raising Christ-Centered Kids by Jill Carnuccio
1 8 Where Are the Elis? Nurturing the Spiritual Gifts of
Children by R. Lee Creasy
2 0 Center Stage: One Day Training Intensive Brochure
M I N I S T R I E S
2 1 Global Outreach: Focusing Children’s Hearts
2 2 Stewardship Ministries: Tithing Begins at
2 3 Tomlinson Center Brochure
2 4 Youth Ministries: Youth Harvest Training • Omega
Conference 2010 • Missions Project 2010
2 7 Women’s Ministries: Assembly Mission Breakfast
C O L U M N
2 8 Inspirational: The Courtroom Became a Church
by Arleta Lefler
U P D A T E S
3 0 Local Church News: First Deaconess for the State of Georgia
• Testimonies • In His Presence • New Churches
Finance and Publications Director
Editorial Assistant/Marketing Coordinator
R. E. Howard
Perry Horner and Joann Nope
White Wing Messenger (ISSN 0043-5007) (USPS 683-020) is published monthly as the official publication of the
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Virginia Chatham, Managing Editor
Helping Kids Live Christ-Centered Lives
This issue of the White Wing Messenger is dedicated to
Children’s Ministries, and we extend our thanks to Children’s
Ministries International Director Kathy Creasy for her contribution
and oversight as she launches a new directive for the ministry
In the first article, “Center Stage: A Look at Postmodern
Kids,” writer Abigail Spears Velázquez states, “The generation
of children who sit in our churches today were born into a
postmodern world, and whether we associate postmodern with
negative or positive connotations, we cannot ignore the shift in
our culture.” Next, Kathy Creasy, in her article, “Redesigning the
Set: What the Church Must Do to Engage Kids in Christ-Centered
Living,” writes that now is the time to redesign ministry to
disciple and equip children to live for Christ. She continues that
“nurturing Christ-Centered kids is God’s will, and He has
provided all the necessary equipments—prayer, relationships
within His body, and content of God’s Word.”
In “Act I: Helping Kids KNOW God’s Word,” Sandy Knowles
and Kathy Creasy write that “Christ-centered living requires
our children to know God’s Word in such a way that its truths
affect everything they do. . . .” Then, in “Act II: Tools That Equip
Kids to LIVE Out Their Faith,” Karrie Endecott and Kathy Creasy
acknowledge that “as our children grow in their knowledge of
God, they must live out their faith in Him every day” and make
several suggestions as to ways to teach children about faith.
In “Act III: It’s Their Serve,” Melissa Minter suggests that
children must meet “the God of the Bible for themselves and
experience Him on a daily basis, God will just be another fairy
tale to abandon when they become adults.”
The remaining feature children’s articles focus on nurturing,
training, and equipping our children for the future.
Please submit all material to the White Wing Messenger;
Managing Editor; P. O. Box 2910; Cleveland, TN 37320-2910;
phone (423) 559-5128; e-mail us at Editorial@cogop.org.
Bringing honor to the WORD by the printed word, the
White Wing Messenger strives to inspire Christian thought and
practice as it imparts the “good news” of the Gospel while
serving the connectivity needs of our church community.
The White Wing Messenger is the official
publication of the Church of God of Prophecy.
White Wing Messenger Editorial Board
Londa Richardson, Chair
Daniel Chatham Cervin McKinnon
Perry Horner Tapio Sätilä
Shaun McKinley Adrian Varlack
WWM APRIL 2010 3
Recently there has been a lot of buzz
about Apple’s new product, the iPad. As
a book lover, I was initially interested in
such a gadget whose primary purpose
is to allow the owner access to literature
of all kinds, electronically, in the form
of “eBooks.” But when Steve Jobs, CEO
of Apple, unveiled the iPad, I became
the product’s biggest critic. He raved
about the various applications of the
iPad, searched for sushi on Google
maps, and showed a live baseball game
4 WWM APRIL 2010
being played. It became evident that
the biggest selling point for this product
is not the fact that it stores thousands of
eBooks, but that one can, for $29.99 a
month, have unlimited Internet access
and check Facebook as often as he or
she would like.
In the past 15 or so years, churches
have approached children’s ministry in
the same manner. We try to dazzle the
customers (parents) with our awardwinning
pageants, high-tech children’s
by Abigail Spears Velázquez
chapels, great prize-give-aways, and, of
course, the promise that the child will
be entertained while the parent(s) sit in
real church—all under the pretext
Our statements of purpose claim
that children’s ministers are dedicated
to winning kids for Christ and nurturing
them in their faith (and I do not doubt
the sincerity of children’s ministers),
but more often than not, a children’s
pastor is hired based on his or her
ability to attract the crowds with their
spectacular light shows on Sunday
mornings and Wednesday evenings.
The church is caught trying to be
culturally relevant but fails to see the
real changes in culture that run much
deeper than technology.
These cultural changes that are taking
place are happening slowly, but they
are inevitable. We are living in what
sociologists call the postmodern era,
or rather, we are living after the era of
modernity. The generation of children
and youth who sit in our churches
today were born into a postmodern
world, and whether we associate
postmodern with negative or positive
connotations, we cannot ignore the
shift in our culture.
What exactly is meant by the word
postmodern? Ivy Beckwith, in her book
Postmodern Children’s Ministry, gives
this explanation: “Postmoderns believe
that reality or truth is always subjective.
One’s reality or truth grows out of one’s
perspective and life experiences. It is
not imposed from the outside.”* To a
Christian, that may sound quite scary.
But let’s take a moment to analyze
what this means and how it affects the
way that children are taught to think
in this day and age before we come to
any conclusions about whether we like
postmodernism or not.
Postmodern thinking and philosophy,
the idea that the truth is what one
experiences, is something that has
permeated the way society thinks and
operates, though many rationalists (or
moderns) have tried to reject it and
show its folly in that there is absolute
truth we can hold onto and proclaim.
This comes from both Christians and
non-Christians alike who are afraid
of confronting the postmodern way
So what does all of this have to
do with children’s ministry? The key
is in experience. Truth is found in
experience. Children are looking to
experience God, and I am not talking
about a spiritual experience, though
that is important. While I do not want
to undermine the faith of a child or the
power of God to move upon a child
in a supernatural way, it is important
to understand that these spiritual
experiences end up having a disconnect
in the child’s heart once he or she
becomes an adolescent or young adult.
Children are seeking to put faith into
action. From what I understand in Acts,
the purpose of the Baptism of the Holy
Spirit was so that one could go out in
the power of Jesus to do great things
for the Kingdom of God. We have not
communicated this to our children nor
have we demonstrated this effectively.
A postmodern can only be taught
God’s love through a concrete
experience. A child who is seven years
old does not need to be told what not
to do, but needs to be shown what to
do. When a postmodern child sees a
family, who does not believe in Christ,
treating each other with more kindness
than his or her own family, he or she
will begin to wonder if Christianity is the
only option out there. If a child can be
taught what is right by demonstration,
the chance is greater that he or she will
continue to serve God throughout his or
Postmodern children are also looking
for a community of believers. Too many
times we have stressed a personal
relationship with Jesus Christ to our
children, telling them to pray and read
the Bible for themselves so that they
can understand what God is speaking
to them. Remember, a postmodern
needs truth through experience. A child
of postmodernity cannot understand
God’s Holy Word without a community
to instruct, guide, and correct when
Children are intelligent. They are
capable. But they are vulnerable and
need a community to support them,
love them, and let them know that
if they mess up, the community will
embrace them. If the community does
not embrace their mistakes and forgive
as Christ teaches, they will just as easily
find another community who accepts
them as they are.
Our church can effectively witness,
disciple, and teach the Gospel of Christ
to postmodern kids in several ways:
first, by demonstrating God’s love and
the power of the Spirit and not just
talking about these issues; second, by
offering a community that will love and
nurture them unconditionally; and third,
by validating a child’s experience as a
young Christian capable of witnessing
God’s love through the power of the
Holy Spirit that leads to action.
can only be
As a church, we must confront
the cultural challenges and offer
experiences that are real and concrete.
Children aren’t impressed by our
technology and cultural relevance. They
are impressed by men and women who
will teach them that there is truth and
relevance in Jesus Christ and who will
allow them to take an active part in
*Ivy Beckwith, Postmodern Children’s Ministry,
Ministry to Children in the 21 st Century
(Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2004).
Abigail Spears Velázquez
is a senior at Princeton
Theological Seminary in
New Jersey and will finish
in May with an M.Div. She
is currently pursuing a
ministerial license in the COGOP and would
one day very soon love to be involved in fulltime
ministry, preaching and teaching issues
of social justice within our communities.
WWM APRIL 2010 5
WWhen the Barna Research Group
interviewed 13-year-olds, they found
that nine out of ten said they were
Christians, but only one-third were
“absolutely committed to the Christian
faith.” Only four percent had a belief
system that was strongly aligned with
biblical teachings. Sam and Thom
Rainer’s research reveals that 70 percent
of churched kids are walking away from
Christianity between the ages of 18 and
22 because they do not feel that the
church has ever been essential in
their lives. 1
These statistics are just a small
portion of data that is available
regarding the local church’s inefficiency
in making lifelong disciples of children
and youth. Because children’s belief
systems are in place by the age of ten,
we have a short window of time to help
them embrace Christ-centered living.
Now is the time to redesign the
set. We have an opportunity to take
a look at what is currently happening
in our ministries and evaluate their
effectiveness in light of the biblical
purposes of children’s ministry—
evangelism and discipleship of
children. We have an opportunity
to redesign ministry so that kids are
intentionally discipled and equipped
to live Christ-centered lives for the
rest of their lives.
What are the key elements that
must be included in a redesign of our
ministries? Because children’s ministries
are usually centered on programs and
events, we are tempted to begin the
redesign there. However, discipleship
can only occur through programs and
events if the key elements of effective
discipleship are in place. The key
elements are prayer, relationship,
6 WWM APRIL 2010
y Kathy Creasy
Discipleship, helping kids live
Christ-centered lives, is not dependent
on programs, curricula, facilities, or
resources. Discipleship is dependent on
“For I am confident of this very thing,
that He who began a good work in you
will perfect it until the day of Christ
Jesus” (Philippians 1:6 NASB).
“For it is God who is at work in you,
both to will and to work for His good
pleasure” (2:13 NASB).
“Now may the God of peace Himself
sanctify you entirely. . . . Faithful is He
who calls you and He also will bring it to
pass” (1 Thessalonians 5:23, 24 NASB).
Because discipleship is dependent on
God’s work in the heart of the child, we
must depend on God. This dependence
is evidenced in prayer.
We see this dependence exhibited by
Jesus when He corrected Peter during
His Last Supper with the disciples:
“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift
you as wheat. But I have prayed for you,
Simon, that your faith may not fail. And
when you have turned back, strengthen
your brothers” (Luke 22:31, 32 NIV).
Effective discipleship ministries are
birthed in prayer and sustained by
consistent prayer. Children are prayed
over by individuals and groups of
people in the faith community. These
prayers are consistent and focused
prayers. Children are taught the value
of prayer, learn how to pray, and are
involved in the ministry of prayer.
Jesus recognized the powerful
influence of relationship. Mark 3:14 (NIV)
records that He chose 12 men to “. . . be
WWM APRIL 2010 7
with him. . . .” It was in the context of
relationship that they became disciples.
Children will never become Christcentered
simply through programs and
events. They will become true disciples
in the context of relationships.
What relationships are biblically
significant in the discipleship
1. Parent-child relationship. Parents have
been given a divine mandate in
both the Old and New Testaments
to disciple their children. (See
Deuteronomy 6:6, 7; Ephesians
6:4.) Why? Family relationships are
the most influential relationships
in a child’s life. If the family unit
(parents, siblings, and extended
family members) is healthy and
Christian, instruction, training, and
correction are done in the context of
loving relationships. Bible truths are
taught and lived out (modeled) in the
context of everyday life.
Many parents have failed to
accept responsibility. Some parents
are unsaved. Some parents are
saved but unwilling. Some parents
are willing but do not feel equipped
to disciple their children. In each
of these cases, what is the
In his book, Rock-Solid Kids,
Larry Fowler challenges us to “give
it back” 2 —to give the responsibility
for discipleship of children back
to parents. The church is not to
assume the parents’ responsibility for
discipleship. The church is to equip
parents to fulfill a responsibility that is
Each congregation must
prayerfully consider what steps
must be taken to give parents back
the responsibility of teaching their
children in the ways of the Lord.
2. Church-child relationship. Yes, parents
have a biblical mandate to disciple
their children. But as we give parents
back their responsibility, the church
cannot neglect its responsibility.
Ephesians 4:11–13 (NIV) paints a
very detailed portrait of the church’s
8 WWM APRIL 2010
Bible truths are
responsibility in the discipleship of
children: “It was he who gave some
to be apostles, some to be prophets,
some to be evangelists, and some to
be pastors and teachers, to prepare
God’s people for works of service, so
that the body of Christ may be built
up until we all reach unity in the faith
and in the knowledge of the Son of
God and become mature, attaining
to the whole measure of the fullness
The body of Christ, the church,
definitely has a responsibility not only
to evangelize children (Matthew 28:19,
20; Mark 16:15) but to disciple them
as well. Saved children are “God’s
people.” Saved children are part of
the “we all” who must be brought
to spiritual maturity.
3. Minister-child relationship. Often,
in local church ministries to children,
relationships between children’s
ministers and kids stop at the teacherstudent
level. Relationship with kids
is “cubbyholed” into the 45 minutes
of instruction on Sunday morning.
The children’s minister focuses on
the content of the lesson rather
than the context of relationship, and
relationships do not extend beyond
the ministry session.
Jesus was in a teacher-student
relationship with many of His
followers. But there were some
whom He called disciples. He moved
from the role of teacher into the role
of mentor in His relationship with
these men and women. He prayed
for them. He taught them. He was
involved in their everyday lives. He
modeled right actions and attitudes.
He included them in ministry.
The local church must encourage
and facilitate children’s ministers
rethinking their roles. Will they be
teachers or mentors? Will some
continue in a teacher/student
relationship while others develop a
mentor/disciple relationship? What
will children’s ministers do differently
in the role of mentor? Will children’s
ministry programs need to change
so that relational disciplemaking can
Paul wrote to Timothy, “But as for
you, continue in what you have learned
and have become convinced of,
because you know those from whom
you learned it, and how from infancy
you have known the holy Scriptures,
which are able to make you wise
for salvation through faith in Christ
Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed
and is useful for teaching, rebuking,
correcting and training in righteousness,
so that the man of God may be
thoroughly equipped for every good
work” (2 Timothy 3:14–17 NIV).
What had Timothy learned? He had
learned the Holy Scriptures. From whom
had he learned the Holy Scriptures?
He had learned from his mother and
grandmother. They had fulfilled their
God-given responsibility as parents.
Paul, along with others, had fulfilled
the God-given responsibility of the body
of Christ. What did the content of the
Holy Scriptures accomplish? It made
Timothy wise to receive salvation,
and it equipped Timothy for every
good work. Paul’s words verify that it
is the Holy Scriptures, God’s Word, that
must be the content of our ministries
Each of us would probably be quick
to affirm that the content of each
program and ministry session is God’s
Word. Yet Barna’s statistics demonstrate
that church-going kids are not
committed to Christ and do not have
a belief system that is consistent with
We must look intently at the content
we are teaching children. Before
children reach 13 years old, their belief
system is in place. During childhood,
we have the opportunity to help
them develop a belief system that is
consistent with the truths of God’s
Word. How will we do this?
1. We must be students of God’s Word.
In 2 Timothy 2:15 (NIV), Paul
reminded Timothy to “Do your best
to present yourself to God as one
approved, a workman who does not
need to be ashamed and who
correctly handles the word of truth.”
Children’s ministers, parents, and
others who speak God’s Word to
kids must correctly handle it. We
must avoid teaching traditions,
personal experiences, or knowledge
gained from sources other than the
Bible unless these are consistent with
Scripture. Our teaching and behavior
must affirm the authority of God’s
Word as the ultimate source of truth,
wisdom, and guidance.
2. We must help children develop a
commanding knowledge of the Bible.
A commanding knowledge of the
Bible goes beyond being able to
retell a Bible story or recite a Bible
verse. A commanding knowledge of
the Bible is a knowledge that
includes the following:
• Understanding principle Bible
truths such as “Who is God?”
“Who is Jesus?” “How can I be
kids is God’s will.
saved?” “Why am I here?” “Who is
the devil?” “What is sin?” “Is the
Bible God’s Word?” “Where will I
go after I die?”
• Committing Bible verses to longterm
memory that affirm these
principles and provide insight on
how to live out Bible truth.
• Correctly applying Bible truths to
life situations so that the child’s
responses honor God.
• The ability to use the Bible
and basic study tools so the
child is able to study God’s
3. We must help children develop a
passionate desire to obey God’s
Word. It is at this point when the
other elements become so crucial.
Prayer prepares our children’s
hearts to receive the Word of God
with joy and obedience. Relationships
allow them to see obedience to the
Word of God modeled by men and
women who are intimately involved
in their lives. Content provides
instruction, reproof, correction, and
training in righteousness, which
will show them how to live Christcentered
Ivy Beckwith says, “There will never
be a kit available at the local Christian
bookstore that provides everything
needed for the spiritual nurture of the
children in the emerging church of
the 21st century.” 3 Thus, an effective
plan for nurturing Christ-centered kids
doesn’t come in a box with instructions.
But nurturing Christ-centered kids is
God’s will, and He has provided all
the necessary ingredients—prayer,
relationships within His body, and
God’s Word. Our responsibility is to
prayerfully put them all together in the
ways that work best for the children and
families of our congregation and our
communities. When we begin doing
this, God will work with us to make
sure the children we serve live Christcentered
lives for the rest of their lives.
1 George Barna, Transforming Children Into
Spiritual Champions (Ventura, CA: Issachar
2 Larry Fowler, Rock Solid Kids (Ventura, CA:
Gospel Light, 2005).
3 Ivy Beckwith, Postmodern Children’s Ministry,
Ministry to Children in the 21st Century
(Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2004).
For the past 18 years,
Kathy Creasy has served
as the Coordinator of
Children’s Ministries for
the International Offices
of the Church of God of
Prophecy. Her passion is to develop leaders
in children’s ministry who will multiply
themselves and impact the lives of children
in their churches and communities. Kathy
has earned a Masters of Science degree
in Early Childhood Education and has
taught in the public schools of Georgia,
Tennessee, and Virginia. In May of 2003,
Kathy completed a graduate certificate in
Children’s Ministry from Lancaster Bible
College. Kathy and her husband, Rick, live
in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, with their
two adult sons, Lee and Clint, and a lovely
WWM APRIL 2010 9
IIt may surprise you to know that a
majority of today’s teenagers say they
attended church regularly (at least two
times a month) until they reached the
age of 13. These teens said they were
exposed to Bible stories, learned about
the lives of great Bible characters, and
had a positive experience. But the
survey done by the Barna Research
Group also found that almost half of
these teens said that they did not gain
enough understanding of the Bible to
make decisions that were based on
Yes, many kids know Bible stories
and are familiar with well-known Bible
characters. However, that knowledge
alone is not enough for children to live
Christ-centered lives. Christ-centered
living requires our children to know
God’s Word in such a way that its truths
affect everything they do, especially the
decisions that they make each day.
How can we help
children KNOW God’s
Word in such a way?
We must first come to an understanding
that children are not too young to know
and understand God’s Word. Just as
sponges are made to absorb water,
no matter what their size, children
are created by God to absorb and
understand the Word of God. Paul said
of Timothy, “. . . from childhood you
have known the Holy Scriptures, which
are able to make you wise for salvation
through faith which is in Christ Jesus”
(2 Timothy 3:15 NKJV). The knowledge
of God’s Word that Timothy gained
in childhood enabled him to pursue
a life of Christ-centered living as a
10 WWM APRIL 2010
INTENTIONALLY teach God’s Word.
To understand what is meant by
“intentional teaching,” think about the
analogy of hunting with a rifle versus
a shotgun. Rifles are designed for
accuracy to hit a precise point or target
at long-range with a single projectile.
Shotguns are designed to shoot a spread
of shot at short-range moving targets.
The word intentional means to be
“done or said on purpose” or “planned,
weighed, or estimated in advance.”
Intentional teaching is teaching that
is planned for, that is thought out in
advance; it is teaching in which the
content has been weighed in advance
for the benefit of the learner. It is like
aiming for the precise, long-range target
with the rifle.
In our homes, our children’s ministries,
and our congregations, we must be
intentional in teaching God’s Word to
our children. How do we do this?
1. Make the Bible prominent.
Does the Bible have a prominent
place in your home, in your classroom,
and in your church? When our Bibles
have a prominent place in our homes
and ministries, children understand
without being told that the Bible is a
special book that helps us determine
how to live every day.
Make the Bible prominent by
doing the following:
• Have a special but accessible
place for the Bible.
• Read the Bible to and with
children. Bible storybooks and
children’s devotions are good to
use to help children understand
the Bible more easily. But don’t
substitute these for reading
directly from the Bible.
by Sandy Knowles
and Kathy Creasy
• Help children understand and
memorize Scripture verses and
passages. As soon as a child can
memorize nursery rhymes, he or
she can begin memorizing verses
• Apply specific verses to life
situations that the child encounters.
For example, when a child is
afraid, encourage him or her to
read and memorize Isaiah 41:10
(NASB): “Do not fear, for I am
with you. . . .”
2. Teach Bible skills.
For many children (and adults),
the Bible is a very difficult book to
comprehend. They don’t understand
its structure, content, timeline, or
how to use the tools of Bible study. If
children don’t feel comfortable using
the Bible, they will never come to
KNOW and absorb God’s Word.
If our children are to have a
commanding knowledge of the
Bible, they must grow
into an independent
reader and student
of God’s Word.
this goal, our
skills that will
an excellent, downloadable resource
on helping children from nursery
through sixth grade develop
3. Teach Bible content.
The Bible is filled with truths that
will help our children learn how to
live Christ-centered lives. However,
many times, even children from
Christian homes who attend church
regularly are suffering from spiritual
malnutrition. Rather than being
systematically and consistently
fed biblical truth that is age-level
appropriate, children are often fed
random Bible stories and lessons.
If our children are to have a
thorough knowledge of the key
principles of the Christian faith, they
must be taught intentionally and
systematically. As you prayerfully
determine what you will teach
the children in your home or in
your ministry from God’s Word,
consider their age, life experiences,
and spiritual maturity. Don’t just
teach truth that is relevant such as
being kind, giving our tithes and
offerings, etc. Also teach truth that
is foundational to the Christian faith.
The Apostles’ Creed provides a very
simple state of the foundational
principles of the Christian faith.
Make sure your children know
these basic truths and more.
Help children ENGAGE
with God’s Word.
True discipleship must go
beyond knowing biblical
principles and the skills
needed to navigate
the Bible. Even Satan
knew God’s Word.
He quoted Scripture when he was
tempting Jesus in the wilderness
(Matthew 4:1–7). It was Jesus who
understood Scripture and applied it to
His situation, choosing not to throw
Himself down from the temple.
If children are to live Christ-centered
lives, they must engage with the
Word in such a way that they develop
a mindset that is eternal rather than
temporal. They must be able and willing
to apply biblical principles to everyday
life circumstances and relationships.
How can we help children become
engaged with God’s Word?
• Spiritual labor. Paul wrote, “My
dear children, for whom I am
again in the pains of childbirth
until Christ is formed in you”
(Galatians 4:19 NIV). In this
context, the word travail means
“to strive with intense effort and
anguish.” Our children will not
become Christ-centered disciples
through reading bedtime Bible
stories and providing “boxed”
children’s ministry programs. We
must labor intensely in prayer,
study of God’s Word, teaching,
modeling, loving relationships,
• Life application. Christ-centered
living is about being and doing.
Children can be taught to
respond to relationships and
circumstances with obedience to
biblical principles. They can be
given opportunities to live out
their faith through service, giving,
witnessing, and more.
• Spirit-led ministry. Too often,
our family devotion times
and our Sunday school
class times are simply
times of instruction.
There are seldom
ministry when children are given
opportunities to respond to God’s
Word in confession, repentance,
thanksgiving, praise, or supplication.
Times of ministry allow children to
experience God’s presence quite
intimately, which engages their
hearts in a lifetime of obedience.
Whatever a sponge absorbs will come
out when the sponge is squeezed.
The same is true with our children. The
youth culture, family dysfunction, peer
pressure, and many other circumstances
will continually “put the squeeze” on
If we have labored intensely to equip
them with a good understanding of
biblical principles and skills, we can
be sure that the outflow will be Christcentered
Sandy Knowles has been involved in
Children’s Ministries for more than seven
years. She has served as the Children’s
Pastor at Summerville Family Worship Center
in Summerville, South Carolina, for five
years, and most recently as Children’s Pastor
at Bethesda Ministries in Elizabethtown,
Kentucky and Bethany Family Worship
Center in Bethany, North Carolina.
WWM APRIL 2010 11
Suppose I had a collection of
cookbooks. I read these cookbooks
often, carefully studying the recipes and
looking at the photographs of delicious
dishes. You might think that with all
of these cookbooks I must be a great
cook, but I’m not. I don’t cook at all! To
be a cook, I not only have to read the
recipe, I have to actually do what it says.
The Bible is like a cookbook. The
Bible has God’s recipe for living a Christcentered
life. But knowing the Bible
won’t make you a Christian any more
than reading a cookbook will make you
a cook. We must follow the recipe in
our everyday lives.
James 1:22 reminds us, “And
remember, it is a message to obey,
not just to listen to. If you don’t obey,
you are only fooling yourself” (NLT). As
our children grow in their knowledge
of God, they must live out their faith
in Him every day. How can we move
children from simply knowing God and
His Word to living out that knowledge in
the context of their daily lives?
Offer children a sense
of expectation and
God said to Jeremiah, “Before I
formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the
nations” (Jeremiah 1:5 NIV). Jesus said
to Peter, James, and John, “Come follow
me, and I will make you fishers of
men” (Matthew 4:19 NIV).
Even in very young children, we can
build a sense of expectation of what
God is going to do with their lives.
Rather than adapting the mindset of
12 WWM APRIL 2010
culture that says, “I can determine what
I will do with my life,” we can encourage
the child to begin asking, “Lord, what do
You desire to do with my life?” We can
help them develop a mindset of yielding
their lives to God’s purposes.
Mary said when the angel told her
she would have a baby, “I am the
Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you
have said” (Luke 1:38 NIV). When a
child’s thoughts are centered on God’s
purposes and not his or her own, there
is a confidence and peace because the
outcome of his or her life is not in his or
her hands, but in God’s.
Provide tools that will
equip children to live
out their faith.
Often, we fail to give our children tools
they need to LIVE out their faith. Equip
children to LIVE out their faith by teaching
them to pray, worship, and witness.
“Dear God, What do You do with
families that don’t have much faith?
There’s a family on the next block
like that. I don’t want to get them in
trouble. I don’t want to say who. See
you in church.”—Alexis, age 9.*
Alexis knows how to pray. She talks
to God as she would to a parent or
friend. She speaks from her heart
about things that concern her and
trusts that God, her Father, hears and
That’s what prayer should be—an
intimate, ongoing conversation
between God and the child. There is
no certain form that must be followed
or certain words that must be said.
by Karrie Endecott and Kathy Creasy
It is the child talking to God and
listening as God speaks to him or her.
• Teach children that prayer is a
relationship between them and
their Father in heaven. He wants
wants to talk with them anytime,
anywhere. He listens and
• Teach children to have faith. Help
them memorize Scriptures such
as Matthew 7:7, 1 John 5:14, 15,
and Mark 11:24, which promise
God will answer. Encourage them
to pray for the things that concern
them and then believe that God
is going to answer. Share your
testimonies of answered prayer,
and let them share theirs.
A pastor’s son was going with
his father and mother to a city
where one of his favorite major
league baseball teams was playing.
His parents had planned many
activities, but nothing had been
said about attending a ball game.
The boy prayed, asking God to
make it possible for him to attend
the ball game. During the weekend,
the family’s plans changed, and
the father suggested that he and
his sons go to the team’s baseball
game. When the boy got back
home, he was excited to share with
his children’s pastor how God had
answered his prayer.
No doubt, the boy’s faith was
increased because of God’s answer
to his prayer.
• Help children understand that
God always answers prayer even
if the answer is not what we
expect or want.
• Involve children in prayer.
Don’t just teach then about
prayer; let them experience it.
—Create a prayer list. Together,
make a list of prayer needs. Pray
together for each need. Keep a
record of answered prayers.
—Teach your children to pray
“flash” prayers. When they pass
someone who is in need—sick,
disabled, poor, in trouble—
encourage them to ask for
—Teach children to pray the
Scriptures. Begin with simple
verses such as, “. . . my God
will supply all your needs . . .”
(Philippians 4:19 NASB). Show the
children how to insert his or her
name or the name of another
person in the verse: “Thank You,
God, that You will supply all my
needs” or “Thank You, God,
that You will supply all of my
The children in the temple shouted,
“Hosanna to the son of David!”
(Matthew 21:15) when they saw the
wonderful things that Jesus did.
Worship was a natural, uninhibited
response to the presence and work
of Jesus. How can we enable our
children to respond with praise
and thanksgiving to the presence,
character, and work of God?
• Teach about worship. The Bible is
filled with wonderful stories that
will help children discover who
we worship, why we worship,
how we worship, and where
• Invite children to worship
wherever they are.
—Encourage children to be
awed by God’s work and by His
character in nature—the changing
seasons, the mother’s care of her
baby birds, the uniqueness of
each snowflake, and the roar of
the ocean in a seashell.
—Testify to God’s presence,
work, and character in your life.
Invite your children to tell about
how He is at work in their lives
• Provide opportunities for children
to freely express worship in
creative writing, dance, singing,
playing instruments, testimony,
• Create quiet moments that allow
children to “be still” so they
can become aware of God’s
presence, remember His work,
and hear His voice.
3. Sharing their faith
• Give children opportunities to
share to family members, friends,
and in church settings what Jesus
means to them.
• Help children memorize key
salvation scriptures (Romans 3:23;
6:23; 10:19). Let them mark these
verses in their Bibles so they can
find these references easily when
they are talking with a friend or
• Provide opportunities for children
to practice sharing their faith.
• Pray with your children that God
will help them to share their faith
wherever they are.
Remember the cookbooks? In one
of these cookbooks is a recipe for
chocolate chip cookies. I decided
to look up the recipe and follow it
carefully. The result was a batch of
delicious chocolate chip cookies that
everyone in my family enjoyed.
Helping children move beyond simply
knowing God’s Word into living out its
truth in their everyday lives is much like
following a recipe. The results will bless
everyone—his or her family, church,
community, and him or her personally.
“Blessed are they whose ways are
blameless, who walk according to the
law of the Lord” (Psalm 119:1 NIV).
*Cheryl Sacks and Arlyn Lawrence, Prayer-
Saturated Kids: Equipping and Empowering
Children in Prayer (Colorado Springs, CO:
Karrie lives in Council Bluffs, Iowa, with her
husband, Darick, and their 4 daughters. Karrie
serves as the Children’s Ministry Director
in her local church and in the Midwest
Region. Karrie and Darick are members of
the Children’s Ministries Task Force and
have attended ICM since i1998. Karrie has
also served as an instructor at International
Institutes in Trinidad, El Salvador, and Egypt.
WWM APRIL 2010 13
Have you ever played in a volleyball
game? When forced to participate as
a child, I can vividly remember when
it was my turn to serve. Everyone was
watching to see if I could get the ball
over the net. The next few moments
of the game rested in my hands.
Unfortunately, for my team, getting
the ball over the net was not exactly
my gift. As my hand connected
with the ball, I can assure you that
everyone in the gym was aware of
that fact. Consequently, I have not
played in a single volleyball game as
an adult because I never learned to
serve as a child. I have abandoned
Many of the young adults in our
congregations are graduating from high
school and walking away from church.
Although I am sure there are many
reasons for this problem, could one of
them be that they never learned to serve
as children? Are we entertaining our
children with fun Bible stories and games,
never asking them to live out those Bible
stories in their lives? Unless children meet
the God of the Bible for themselves and
experience Him on a daily basis, God
will just be another fairy tale to abandon
when they become adults.
14 WWM APRIL 2010
by Melissa Minter
Why teach children
Service brings glory to God. In
a world that emphasizes personal
satisfaction, accomplishment, and
pleasure, we can teach our kids to serve
others for God’s glory. There are many
organizations that teach children to
give back to their community and to
help others. However, Christian service
is not just about giving to others. It is
about bringing glory to God’s name by
reaching out to others. When people
see children serving, they often ask
questions about the motivation behind
the service. This gives children the
perfect opportunity to share their faith
and honor God.
Service allows kids to give to God.
Jesus made it clear that when we do for
others, we are really doing it for Him
(Matthew 25:40). Because children think
concretely, it is sometimes difficult for
them to see how they can actually serve
God. By involving children in service,
we teach them that we serve God by
physically serving others. They begin to
understand the value of service, not as
a good deed, but as a gift to God.
This past December, I smiled at my
husband as we looked in the rearview
mirror of our van. There sat five
giggling girls, ages four to eight. What
insanity could have prompted us to be
in this situation? There could have only
been one thing—the annual Christmas
Each year, during the Christmas
season, our church spends an evening
visiting the nursing home, the sick,
and the elderly. The children file onto
porches and frosty lawns to sing, often
off-key, about the birth of the Savior.
Why do we bother? It is because this is
one opportunity to allow our children to
physically give a gift to God.
Service makes kids different. 1 Kids
benefit from serving others. Children
for Children, a non-profit organization,
promoting hands-on volunteerism
and giving for kids, identifies several
benefits children reap when they serve.
They learn traits such as responsibility,
leadership, critical thinking, problemsolving,
self-respect, self-discipline, selfmotivation,
With tears in her eyes, a little girl
told me, “But I want to keep it!” Just
moments earlier, I had finished giving
the children directions for our latest
service project. They were to create
welcome bags for children who would
visit our church in the coming weeks.
Armed with stickers, small toys, candy,
and notes, the children began work
on this project. Everything was going
well until this little girl realized that
she couldn’t keep one of the bags.
When understanding dawned that
they were all to be given away, her
struggle began. At that instant, one
little girl found herself in a teachable
moment. Her character was about to be
developed, and she would be changed
in a positive way.
Service makes kids servants for
life. 2 When we teach a child to serve,
we’re also teaching that child to
become a servant for life because
children who serve become adults who
serve. Consider these statistics from
Engaging Youth in Lifelong Service
•Adults who volunteered as children
give more money and volunteer
more time than adults who began
serving later in life.
• Two-thirds of adult volunteers
began serving as children.
• Those who volunteer as children
are twice as likely to volunteer as
those who don’t.
• Across incomes and age groups,
those who volunteered as children
give and volunteer more than those
• Those who volunteered as youth
and whose parents volunteered
became the most generous adults
when it came to giving their time.
God’s Word tells us that Jesus took on
the nature of a servant. Everything He
did was an act of service to God and to
others. If our children are to live Christcentered
lives, they, too, must develop
the heart of a servant. As you provide
opportunities for them to invest in what
touches God’s heart, in the church, and
in the lives of their families and friends,
you are working with God to develop
within them a servant’s heart.
1 Taken from 19 Ideas to Help Kids Serve at
Home and Around the World.
Melissa Minter is the
children’s pastor at
Church in Chatsworth, Georgia. She has
a B.S. degree in Elementary Math and
Science from Lee University and a M.Ed.
degree in Curriculum and Instruction
from Lincoln Memorial University. Melissa
and her husband, Scott, serve on the
Children’s Ministry Task Force. She also
edits the preschool lessons for One
Accord Curriculum. Melissa is the proud
homeschooling mom of Laura, age six, and
Leah, age five.
Invest in issues that touch the heart of God. In the Bible, God repeatedly
asks us to take care of the widows, orphans, and those who cannot care
for themselves. Give your children opportunities to do the following:
Help other kids.
•As a family or class, sponsor a child. Let the children save their own
money to give. Encourage them to write notes, cards, and letters to the
child. Take time to pray together for the child’s needs.
•Prepare Easter baskets, back to school packs, or Christmas treat bags
for foster children, children of prisoners, children in abuse shelters, or
children who are terminally ill.
Serve the elderly and needy.
•Help children write letters to residents of assisted living or nursing
homes. Let children use their allowance to purchase small gifts such as
lotion or socks to give with the letters.
•Help children gather canned goods from friends and family members
to stock a soup kitchen or food pantry. Make arrangements for them to
help at the soup kitchen prepping the food, washing dishes, etc.
Be involved in missions.
•Connect with a mission family through e-mail, Skype, and video clips.
•Pray together for children around the world impacted by war, natural
disasters, and other current events.
•Get your kids involved in a missions project. Helping Hands for Kids
offers you the opportunity to give to a project that specifically targets
children; visit www.children.org for more information.
Invest in God’s church.
In today’s Christian culture, many people have become consumers.
People look for a church based upon what the church has to offer. We
need to teach children that a church is not a building, and it is not staff;
it is the people! And children are people. Children can give back to their
church. As they do, they will feel that they belong and are an important
part of all the church does.
• Teach kids to give their tithes and offerings. Show them how their
tithes and offerings are used in the church to help others.
• Help them discover and use their spiritual gifts, natural abilities,
and interests. Teach about men and women in the Bible who used
their abilities and gifts to serve such as Barnabas (encouragement and
giving), Dorcas (handcrafts), Moses (leadership), and David (worship).
• Provide kid-sized service opportunities. Involve them in church
workdays, volunteering in the church nursery or toddler class, greeting
visitors, prayer ministry, and more.
Invest in their friends and family. The mission field closest to children
is their family and friends. Encourage children to serve willingly in their
homes. Help them discover needs of a family member or friend that they
could meet. Many children have parents, brothers, sisters, and extended
family members who do not know Christ. The children’s acts of service
will open a door for sharing about God.
WWM APRIL 2010 15
16 WWM APRIL 2010
by Jill Carnuccio
My brother often reminds me, “There are no
‘normal’ kids, only varying degrees of uniqueness.”
I like that. I like it for many reasons. It seems the
sentiment is not only true but also key in parenting.
Almost 17 years ago, I held my first child in
my arms. It would be wonderful to say my first
thoughts were of how beautiful she was or that my
first feelings were those of deep connection. But
alas, I must confess, my first thought was, Oh my!
I’ve given birth to my father-in-law! This was not,
in any way, what I anticipated. She felt like a little
alien in my arms. As my child grew, it became
increasingly clear just how differently we were
made. A monumental choice rose up before me—
embrace or reject the differences.
With each of our children, we have
come to this same crossroad. Each time,
the Lord has continued to challenge
my heart, asking, “Will you praise Me?
For they are fearfully and wonderfully
made.” Through this attitude of
thankfulness, He has been able to
fill us with unconditional love, His
love. His love reaches out in spite of
conflict, frustration, and, yes, even
As parents, we want to assist our
children in knowing and receiving
God’s love. We want to bring them up
“in the way that THEY should go.” We
passionately want them to find the path
that God has for them to walk in, but they
will not call Him their God unless they
experience Him in a way that is uniquely
personal. That will not happen if Phil and
I are not tuned into and encouraging
God’s unique expression in them.
Sometimes, we as parents fail to see
how God is at work in our kids because
they are not what we expected. We
can become so intent on showing
them God through our own eyes and
experience that we forget they must see
Him from their own eyes and their own
experience. As we have watched the
spiritual development of kids around
us, it has become obvious that in order
for children to choose a life with Christ,
they must encounter Him personally.
Our daughter, Brenna, is a very
expressive person. Unlike me, she
often raises her hands, claps, or even
wants to dance in worship. While
visiting the church I grew up in, she
was encouraged to “stay settled
down.” The warning squashed her and
consequently squashed the beautiful
expression of Christ in her. I’m all for
teaching our children to be sensitive
and appropriate in their surroundings,
but how can they feel connected to
God if they are pretending to be what
they are not? If we want our children
to encounter God personally, we must
allow them to be real.
The differences within our family
have provided more than ample
opportunity for extending grace to be
real. When we are at an impasse with
each other and the misunderstandings
and tensions are piling up, only God can
We must never give
up on nurturing,
training, and protecting
the life God has given
help us give each other acceptance and
understanding! What a perfect training
ground our family disagreements have
been for handling conflict in the future
by depending on God; what a prime
opportunity they have been for God to
“be real” to them.
Our last family vacation was miserable.
We quarreled and grumbled from
beginning to end. The atmosphere of
intolerance and stress continued well
after our week together. Finally, we
came together and prayed for God to
intervene in our family. Hearing my
children call out to God was something
so precious, I can’t describe it. Within
24 hours, God answered our prayers in
These moments have built my
children’s faith. These are times that
scream out over the voices of the liespewing
media, biology teachers, and
cynical friends with the truth, “Yes, God
is real. He cares. He is powerful.” If we
want our children to follow Christ, we
must help them to engage with Him,
depend on Him, and see Him work.
A few years ago, I took a course
through the Elijah House Ministry.
The philosophy of Elijah House is
hinged mainly on two biblical concepts:
“Judge not, that ye be not judged”
(Matthew 7:1) and “Honor your father
and mother, so that you may live long
in the land the Lord your God is giving
you” (Exodus 20:12 NIV).
I have fantastic parents and have
never considered the fact that there
could be dishonor lurking in my heart or
unforgiveness holding me in bondage.
As the class progressed, however, the
gracious Spirit of God revealed areas
in my heart in which I needed to
extend and receive forgiveness with my
parents. Amazingly, forgiveness gave
birth to a freedom in my life I had given
up hoping for.
This healing in my own heart has
motivated me to help my children learn
to forgive and be forgiven. When we
have wronged them, we apologize.
When their perception is that Phil or
I have wronged them, we seek to
understand their perspective and lead
them in forgiveness.
This concept, in my estimation, is
how kids can turn out so differently
within a family. Truly, it is not what is
done to us that can create barriers with
God but what we do with what is done
to us. Forgiveness draws us to God
while unforgiveness repels us from Him.
If we want our children to walk with
Christ, we must teach them to forgive.
While in the throes of parenting preadolescents
and adolescents, I have
been on the verge of throwing up my
hands in surrender multiple times. When
my voice has become hoarse from
shouting, or another school lunch has
been thrown through the front door with
a shoe following after, or I am locked
into silence because of my anger, I think
of the words of Winston Churchill, and
“Never give up” rings in my mind.
Though the good Lord knows I
become tired and baffled, He whispers,
“Stay in the battle.” It is a battle worth
fighting. The enemy is not my child, and
the victory is the Lord’s. There can be
no retreat. We must never give up on
nurturing, training, and protecting the
life God has given our children.
I thank God for the challenges
parenting has brought into my life.
Phil and I continue to grow in love and
admiration for our kids even more than
we grow in frustration with them! We
joyfully anticipate the future for them
as they walk with Christ. For as I often
remind myself, “They are not what they
Jill lives with her husband, Phil, and three
children in Westchester, Pennsylvania.
She enjoys being a mom and teaching
the truths of God through the arts.
WWM APRIL 2010 17
Where Are the Elis?
Nurturing the Spiritual
Gifts of Children
R. Lee Creasy
As a very young child, Samuel was
brought to the tabernacle to live and
was placed in the care of the priest, Eli.
Eli was an old man whose children were
not obedient to God.
In the middle of the night, Samuel
heard a voice calling his name. Each
time his name was called, Samuel
went to Eli to ask if he had called him.
The third time, the Bible says that “Eli
perceived that the Lord was calling
[Samuel]” (1 Samuel 3:8 ESV), and Eli
said to Samuel, “Go, lie down, and if he
calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord, for
your servant hears’” (v. 9 ESV). Samuel
obeyed Eli, and this began his training
in learning to hear and obey the voice
of the Lord.
Just as Eli equipped Samuel to
hear and respond to the voice of the
Lord, the church body, church leaders,
children’s ministers, and parents must
be committed to intentionally training
up children to hear and respond to
the voice of the Lord so that they can
know and use their spiritual gifts. We
must teach the same spiritual gifts to
children with the intensity and vigor
that they are taught to adults. We must
be committed to pointing children in
the way they should go during their
18 WWM APRIL 2010
intimate times with the Lord. We need
to provide meaningful encounters and
opportunities that allow children to
practice their spiritual gifts.
First Corinthians 12:4 says that there
are a variety of gifts, “. . . but the same
Spirit.” Moreover, it tells us that the
body has many members and that no
matter how many parts or the type of
parts it has, it makes one body and
operates in one Spirit. This applies to
children as well. How can it not? If
they are believers, are they not part
of the body? The body that lacks in
any part will not show the diversity of
the love of Christ that God intends for
the church. It will not be capable of
displaying the love that the Bible says
For ministry to adults, church leaders
create classes to explore spiritual gifts,
proctor gift inventory tests, host retreats,
et cetera, et cetera, ad nauseam. There
is an entire sub-industry of Christian
business built entirely on discovering
and training spiritual gifts—for adults.
Children can’t participate in the same
training as adults do, but we should
provide the same opportunities for
children. Children cannot practice their
spiritual gifts if no one has helped them
discover what those gifts are. Teaching
children their spiritual gifting is not
difficult. Eli showed how easy it is. He
simply taught Samuel to know and obey
the voice of God.
God anointed Samuel that night
because Eli taught Samuel to know
and obey the voice of God. The Bible
continues to say that “. . . none of
[Samuel’s] words f[e]ll to the ground”
(v. 19 ESV). Samuel and God entered
into an intimate relationship.
We must help direct children into
intimate times with the Lord so that they
are able to discern and obey the voice
of God. When Samuel heard from the
Lord, he was immediately given a task
and a decision. He had to tell Eli, his
mentor and spiritual father, that God
was displeased with him. Samuel had
to tell Eli that he and his children were
going to die.
Children, when faced with the voice
of God, will have to make the same
difficult decisions. Children’s ministers
and parents must mentor and partner
with children to help them discern what
God’s will is.
Parents, children’s ministers, and
the church leadership should look into
the hearts of children. As an adult,
Samuel learned this lesson when he
sought a king to replace Saul. Samuel
saw the smallest, youngest, and least
experienced of Jesse’s sons. God saw
a heart that was bent toward Him. The
anointing of the Father gave David
the power to be a mighty man. His
heart allowed him to take hold of the
The church body must let love
cover the behaviors that are natural to
children and annoying to adults so that
they can see through to their hearts. An
adult staring at a child’s rambunctious
behavior won’t be able to see the heart
they are supposed to be molding.
We will mold a child’s heart by
prophesying into it and being diligent
to see the Word of God manifest in the
child’s life. Timothy was young, yet his
mother and grandmother were diligent.
Paul discipled Timothy and was also
diligent to see God’s promises come to
fruition in Timothy’s life. He said,
“. . . in accordance with the prophecies
previously made about you, that by
them you may wage the good warfare”
(1 Timothy 1:18 ESV). Children will be
able to know and obey God’s Word in
their lives as the adults around them
prophesy into them and work with God
to see that prophecy come to life.
Finally, children must be presented
with opportunities to discover and
practice their spiritual gifts. Eli didn’t tell
Samuel to stop proclaiming the Word
of God. Paul didn’t tell Timothy to stop
The church body must provide a place
of grace for anyone practicing the gifts
of the Spirit. The Spirit is perfect but
must move through an imperfect adult.
The same Spirit moves through a child.
If leaders or parents judge a child for
wrongly discerning the will of God, they
will face that judgment themselves.
Church leaders, children’s ministers,
and parents are responsible to guide
children forward in practicing their gifts.
They cannot minimize or quench the
manifestation of spiritual gifts in children.
Instead, Eli and Paul did the opposite.
They provided fertile ground for the
gifts of Samuel and Timothy to grow.
Children can speak wisdom, children
can speak knowledge, children can
have faith, children can heal, children
can work miracles, children can
prophesy, children can discern spirits,
and children can speak in tongues. As
Paul told Timothy, the young cannot
only practice the gifts of the Spirit, but
they should set an example in doing so.
A ten-year-old could set an example
by teaching a class of five-year-olds.
A class of children could help prepare
a worship service. Children can serve
as part of the intercessions team or
worship team. The church body can
involve children in healing ministries
or make them a part of a community
outreach. The body must be willing
to do whatever it takes to encourage
and provide opportunities for children
to serve, practice, and grow in their
Can we raise up Samuels if there
are no Elis? Can children put Christ
center stage in their lives without godly
adults coming alongside to help them
hear and respond to the voice of God?
Perhaps, God is asking you to become
Eli to a child in your congregation,
home, or ministry. If our children are
to experience Christ-centered living for
the rest of their lives, the only answer
Eight Ways You Can Be an Eli to Today’s Kids
Pray for kids—your kids, kids in your church, kids in your
neighborhood, and kids around the world. Ask God to bring
these kids to salvation and equip them to live Christ-centered lives.
Build relationships with kids. Get to know kids’ names, and use them.
Ask questions about their interests. Get involved in their lives.
Spend time with kids. Invite a few girls to your house to bake
cookies. Take a couple of kids to a fast food restaurant for lunch.
Get some kids together for a game of soccer or baseball.
Serve kids in need. Needy kids are all around us—homeless kids,
foster kids, terminally ill kids, kids of prisoners, and abused kids.
Connect with an organization that serves kids in need, and find
out how you can help.
Encourage kids when they exhibit a positive character trait or
serve using a spiritual gift.
Model service, and teach kids to serve. Let kids know that no
task is too insignificant when we are doing it to serve God and
others. Samuel opened the doors of the tabernacle and lit the
lamps long on his way to becoming a judge in Israel. Read
the article “Teaching Kids to Serve With Discernment” at www.
Speak prophetic words to kids. As you pray for kids and listen
to God’s voice, He may speak to you about His purposes for a
specific child. When God nudges you, speak a simple word from
God to the child that will provide guidance and encouragement.
Teach kids in your life how to develop a relationship with
God through the spiritual disciplines, especially prayer and
Bible reading. Check out the article “How to Foster Spiritual
Disciplines in Your Children” at www.awana.org/parents/default.
WWM APRIL 2010 19
developing leaders impacting kids presents . . .
Would YOU like to offer training . . .
• to children’s ministers in your local church that is on-site,
self-funding, and provides training applicable to every person
who works with children? Consider hosting a Children’s
Ministry One-Day Training Intensive in your local church
A one-day intensive . . .
• provides on-site training at a church or conference facility
in your region.
• is funded through registration fees paid by participants.
Registration fees provide a morning snack, light lunch,
teaching materials, interactive instruction, and free resources.
The local church or region hosting the event provides
the training facility.
• gives participants opportunity to develop competency in
one or more ministry skills through interactive learning,
small-group activities, and a question-answer session.
One-day training intensives target ministry volunteers but
also provide training and resources for children’s ministry leaders.
The intensives focus on personal spiritual growth and the development of ministry and leadership skills. They also
encourage the development of relationships among ministers in the region and in the local church as well as allow
regional leaders to target potential leaders for further mentoring, training, and leadership development.
Because registration costs are low, your entire ministry team can participate.
Since 2003, the one-day training intensives have provided training both locally and regionally to more than
“CENTER STAGE,” the 2010 one-day training intensive, is currently being scheduled in local churches and regions
in North America.
8:30 a.m. Registration
9:00 a.m. Morning Session
“Behind the Scenes”
“Redesigning the Set”
“ACT 1: Know”
12:00 p.m. Lunch
12:45 p.m. Afternoon Session
“ACT 2: Live”
“ACT 3: Serve”
“That’s a Wrap!”
3:00 p.m. Dismiss
20 WWM APRIL 2010
a one-day training intensive
Lunch and training materials are included in the
registration fee of $30 (in advance) or $40 (day of event).
If you would like to host CENTER STAGE in your local
church or region, please contact the following:
CHURCH OF GOD OF PROPHECY
P. O. Box 2910 • Cleveland, TN 37320-2910
423-559-5328 • firstname.lastname@example.org
Children are never too young to begin focusing their hearts
in the right direction. And, certainly, they are never too young
to be taught about missions. So why not set aside your second
Sundays to focus on missions during some part of your
Children’s Ministry hour?
For example, you can readily find information and photos
on the World Wide Web to freely share about your local
church’s Harvest Partner; bring a globe to discuss the location
of your partner nation; check out library books to teach
children about the different cultures of the nations; explore
the exchange rate of currency in the nation, comparing it to
your nation’s currency or system and discussing whether the
children of the nation have access to allowances or offerings
to give at church; etc.
Take some time to share the lifestyles of how your partner
nation’s children around the world actually live—what they
eat; where they sleep; whether or not they have schools and
education available; what games they like to play and what
toys are available in their nation; and, most importantly, what
religious preferences are dominant within your partner’s
These suggestions are just a few pointers to get you
started on a mission-focused session to enter into teaching
your children that not every child in the world has the
freedom to learn about Jesus. And, by all means, you should
utilize this opportunity as a point of prayer for the children of
your partner nation.
Recently, our local church in
Sabillasville, Maryland, decided to teach
their children about the principles of giving
to our orphanage ministry in Uganda. Though
it’s a very small local church, only having three
children who participated in this fund-raising effort—
Tara (age ten), Falon (age eight), and Ian (age six)—these
children raised $110.67 for this project.
The children’s teacher, Sister Fay Kuhn, shared that she
wanted “to encourage the children of our church to have a
desire to become mission-minded for Jesus.” Sister Fay had
asked them to bring in their change to assist the orphans, but
these children took it to heart, became more deeply involved,
and decided to even contribute their allowances to help the
children in Uganda.
Did you know that such an offering as this can provide
sustenance for one child in Uganda for nearly six months?
What will you do to instill
mission vision into your children’s
By everyone working
together, we can surely make a
difference for the Kingdom—
one child at a time.
Annette Taylor, International Director
Harvest Partners Ministry
WWM APRIL 2010 21
Those who learn tithing and giving as a young child
most often become lifetime tithe givers. Tithing is a
scriptural principle and a Christian discipline that we need
to teach our children. In the same way we teach children
to pray, to worship, to read their Bible, and to memorize
Scriptures, we teach them the joy and the blessings of
tithing and giving.
After a presentation on tithing and giving, a ten-year-old
boy asked his parents if he could withdraw the $255 in his
savings account and give it to the Lord. This sensitivity to
the Word and the Holy Spirit began a giving process in his
local church. Ultimately, the church built a new building
debt-free as a result of a “tsunami” of giving that was set
forward by this child’s pure gift.
Another child, who heard that not tithing was robbing
God, asked her parents, “Why are we robbing God?”
The Sunday lunch table conversation took on a serious
tone as the parents talked through this with the child.
In this case, the family thought it best if they would
just begin to tithe.
22 WWM APRIL 2010
As we all know, children have powerful, anointed
experiences with their Lord. Tithing must be part of their
development and growth in their personal relationship
with the Lord.
Saving and other biblical principles of personal finance
should be taught as well. Understanding that the Scripture
supports saving and condemns hoarding can be beneficial
in shaping a child’s financial understanding. Knowing
that Scripture always casts debt in a negative light can
help a child grow up and live with minimum debt. These
principles will do nothing but bless those who embrace
them at any age.
A great way to begin is to label three jars—one as “Ten
Percent to God” (tithe), one as “Ten Percent to Savings,”
and one as “Eighty Percent to Me.” If from an early age we
practice these principles of giving, saving, and budgeting,
we will be blessed and more joyful.
When children receive gifts, allowances, or payment for
chores, the money should be paid in cash in easily divided
denominations to enable the child to take out the tithe
immediately and place it in an envelope
to be given in the next offering at
church or storehouse. Reading the
Scripture and putting what we read
into practice will impact children deeply.
For example, if the allowance is $10,
give at least five ones so that $1—the
tithe—can be separated from the
As in all things we teach our children,
modeling is powerful. Someone has
said, “Of our words, lessons, and
modeling, the greatest of these is
modeling.” Let our children see our
giving. Talk about God’s provision.
When there is a financial or material
need, explain that the tithe has
been given, and we believe God for
supernatural help. Read Malachi 3:8–11
to them, and have them help you watch
for the miracle. These life lessons from
the Word never leave us.
One family prays over their tithe
and writes the check during family
devotions. Sometimes, the father
chooses a child to write out the tithe
check, and then he signs it.
You are only as happy as your most
unhappy child. A great deal of time,
money, and energy go into our children.
We want them to be saved, fruitful in
ministry, and happy. Givers are the
happiest people I know. If you want
your child to be happy, teach him or
her the joy of giving.
Children’s lessons are available
within seven stewardship manuals—
six have Spanish translation—that
will be a great study for Children’s
Church. Many parents are not teaching
stewardship in the home. The Church
must be sure our children understand
and practice stewardship.
These children’s stewardship lessons
are available on the Stewardship website at
by calling the Stewardship Ministries
Department at 423-559-5109, or through
e-mail at email@example.com.
Stewardship Ministries Director
Want to improve your ministry skills?
Consider the Tomlinson Center.
Why take Tomlinson Center courses?
Read what current students are saying:
“I needed to upgrade my skills for service to complement my
experience in ministry.”
—Pastor Randolph P. Curtis, age 43, Bahamas
“I needed to advance my education of the Bible and to become a
—Pastor Mike Orr, age 37, Michigan
“I needed to further my education, to partner with the directive of our
leadership in the need of leadership development; it’s more
convenient than moving my family to Cleveland, Tennessee.”
Tomlinson Center Online College Courses—Fall 2010
Introduction to the Old Testament:
BIBL 101—Bishop Tim Harper
The Pastoral Epistles:
BIBL 304—Bishop Tim Harper
The Synoptic Gospels:
BIBL 312—Dr. H. E. Cardin
BIBL 313—Pastor Jack Anderson, Jr.
Introduction to the New Testament (Spanish):
BIBL 102—Bishop Elias Rodríguez
H. E. Cardin, M.Div., D.Min.
Tomlinson Center Director
Church of God of Prophecy International Offices
P. O. Box 2910
3720 Keith St. NW
Cleveland, TN 37320-2910
Office phone: (423) 559-5324
Fax: (423) 559-5461
The Ministry of Preaching 2:
PASM 262—Dr. H. E. Cardin
Contemporary World Religions:
PASM 353—Pastor Larry Lowry
The Pastoral Ministry 2:
PASM 462—Dr. Sylvester Smith
PASM 464—Bishop Tim Harper
WWM APRIL 2010 23
YHT North America
On January 14–17, 2010, Operation Omega International Youth Ministries launched Youth Harvest
Training (YHT), an all-new training event for overseers, pastors, and youth and camping ministry leaders,
and it provided training in the areas of leadership development, counseling, camp management,
administration, outreach, and culture.
Approximately 130 participants attended the workshops and general
sessions taught by Paul Robertson, Center for Parent and Youth
Understanding; Tammy Lopez, Perimeter Church, Atlanta, Georgia;
Devon Harris, Full Circle Refuge, Savannah, Georgia; key Church
leaders including Trevor and Aileen Reid, David Bryan, Kathy Creasy,
Jan Couch, Palma Hutchinson, and Darren Schalk, Sunday School
Editor; as well as many state/regional youth, children’s, and camping
ministry leaders and pastors. Bishop Billy Wilson, Director of the
International Center for Spiritual Renewal, and Bishop Sam Clements,
North American General Presbyter, challenged each participant with
A jam-packed weekend, this first
YHT was not only a great forum of
learning and developing in ministry skill, but also a great place to
network with other youth ministry leaders from across the U.S. and
beyond. This “iron sharpening iron” is perhaps one of the greatest
benefits to attending such a training event.
Participants left YHT armed
with fresh inspiration, renewed
passion, and new ideas for
leading their volunteers and
ministering to their young
people with excitement
YHT Dominican Republic
On February 4–7, YHT traveled to the Dominican Republic
and was offered concurrently to the National Youth Convention.
More than 350 youth leaders from across the nation participated
in the training event. During the day, general sessions and
workshops provided training in the areas of ministry vision,
leadership, youth culture, safety, administration,
and crisis counseling. During the evening,
YHT participants joined an arena of 3,500
young people to celebrate and worship at the National Youth
Convention. All events were held on the national property in
On Thursday evening, Aileen Reid, International Youth
Ministries Co-Director, presented a teaching session entitled,
“Understanding Their Culture, Hearing Their Cries,” which
provided attendees with an overview of the challenges facing
our youth in our postmodern culture. Issues of relationships,
media influence, and sexuality were presented.
On Friday evening, Esther Rondon, the newly appointed National
Youth Ministries Leader of Dominican Republic, brought a challenge
to the young people to be soldiers in God’s army, capable of doing
spiritual warfare and engaging the enemy in these last days.
On Saturday evening, Trevor Reid, International Youth
Ministries Co-Director, preached a sermon entitled “Receive
the Spirit of Elijah.” The ministry’s national stadium, which
housed the event, was charged with an atmosphere of
expectation. Thousands of young men and women filled
the altar and stage area seeking God for salvation,
deliverance, and anointing to serve God with power.
Each workshop and general session was marked with participants
eager to learn and a desire to develop as ministry leaders.
Throughout the day, moments of powerful prayer would erupt,
indicating the hunger of these leaders to be
fully engaged in this last days harvest.
The teaching team for the Dominican
Republic YHT consisted of Trevor and Aileen
Reid, Valerie Moreno, Shaun McKinley, and
William Lamb. Lucas Leys, Latin American
author and speaker for Youth Specialties,
participated as a general session guest presenter.
YHT is the formal training arm of the
International Youth Ministries for all levels
of youth and camping ministry leadership.
Article written by Shaun McKinley
Trevor and Aileen Reid
International Youth Ministry Co-Directors
July 27–31, 2010
June 25–July 4, 2010
April 16-18, 2010
Marriott Torrance South Bay
$99 per night, Book by April 2
3635 Fashion Way ∙ Torrance, CA
$30 per person (5 or more), $35 per individual
After March 20, 2010–$45 per person.
REGISTER ONLINE AT
Our international missions focus for 2010 will be Guinea
Conakry, West Africa. We aim to raise $25,000 toward
“Loving Muslims to Jesus.” All youth groups
are encouraged to support this
missions effort through prayer
and sacrificial giving. Log on to
for more details.
Sheraton Greensboro at Four Seasons
Saturday, July 31, 2010
The Assembly Mission Breakfast has become one of the highlight
ministries of the International Assembly. The morning provides the
opportunity to be transported to a beautiful island, an exotic jungle,
or a historical city for breakfast as representatives from around the world
are seated at most of the tables. This year, while enjoying a plated
traditional Southern American breakfast, you will learn about the work,
needs, cultures, and lifestyles as well as the challenges these missionaries
encounter in their particular area of ministry.
Please join me, along with state/regional/national women’s ministries
directors, and various mission representatives at 7:00 a.m. in the Imperial
Ballroom at the Sheraton Greensboro at Four Seasons for this time of sharing with our sisters (and brothers), who are
ministering on the mission fields.
Limited space is available, and you must have a ticket to attend; so if you have not already made your reservations, please
send $25.00 U.S. to the Women’s Ministries Department to reserve your space. Tickets may either be mailed to you or picked
up at the Women’s Ministries booth.
Breakfast begins at 7:00 a.m., Saturday, July 31, 2010. See you there!
Women’s Ministries Director
2010 Assembly Mission Breakfast Reservation Form
City State Zip
Number of Tickets @ $25.00 each Amount Enclosed
Please return to the following address:
Church of God of Prophecy
P.O. Box 2910
Cleveland, TN 37320-2910
WWM APRIL 2010 27
28 WWM APRIL 2010
The Courtroom Became a Chur
The article below is a follow-up to the story we ran in the
February 2010 issue of the White Wing Messenger
entitled “Alaska Update” on page 20. This is a testimony
of the power of God.
Regarding the situation in which the four Muslim men
had threatened Dirie’s life, the police put out an emergency
restraining order against the Muslims. During the first week
of December, Dirie asked me to go to court with him for
a hearing in which the judge would listen to both Dirie
and his four attackers, and then decide whether to give a
continuance of the restraining/protective order.
I went to court with Dirie, but the four men had not been
found, so the police had not been able to serve them their
subpoenas to appear in court. The hearing was postponed
for a couple weeks to give time for the subpoenas to be
served. It’s hard to believe that here in the good ole USA,
there are these Muslims literally looking for a Christian in
order to kill him.
Dirie asked me to go with him again to court when it
was re-scheduled. I told him that I would if he would just
let me know the day and time. The date came, but Dirie
had been working some double shifts and was tired and
had forgotten to tell me about the new date. When he
remembered it late in the night the night before, he didn’t
want to call and disturb me, so he decided to just go by
himself the next day.
The hearing was at 8:30 a.m., and Dirie arrived there
first. Right at 8:30, between 50–60 Muslim men entered the
courtroom, with the four men who had been served the
restraining order a few weeks before. They had gathered
together a bunch of the Muslim men and had driven them
to the courthouse in two big buses.
So there stood 50–60 angry Muslims and one young
Christian boy (I call him boy because he seems so young).
The judge, fearing what might happen, called in a large
contingent of police officers to stand in the courtroom. The
judge asked why all those men had come and was told that
they were there to stand with their four brothers against
this “man who has left our religion and our god, and is
trying to lead others into his Christianity.”
The judge asked Dirie about this claim. He gently said
that he wasn’t trying to make anyone do anything, but
that he had chosen to follow the Lord Jesus Christ, and no
one could persuade him to stop. The judge asked more
questions of the four men and others.
Finally, the judge turned to Dirie and asked if he would
like to say anything to the four men and the others. Dirie
told me that he could feel the Spirit and anointing of God
fill his being. Boldness began to rise up within him, and
the Word of God began going through his thoughts. He
faced all the Muslims and said the quote from David when
facing Goliath: “You come to me with sword and shield, but
I come to you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Dirie later told me that he quoted a number of scriptures
and witnessed to the Muslims of the Lord Jesus Christ and
His great love for them. He said, “Pastor Arleta, I think I
preached my first sermon there.” He proceeded to tell
them that God loved them and that he loved them, but that
they needed to accept the Lord Jesus as their Savior and not
Muhammad or Allah.
Apparently, the judge let Dirie witness (preach) and
didn’t stop him at all. Then, at some point in the hearing,
the judge decided the 50–60 men had to leave except for
the four attackers. He had the police officers escort them
out, put them back on their buses, and made them leave.
Then, the judge ordered the continuance of the
protective restraining order for one year. After the four
Muslims left, the judge asked to speak to Dirie. He told
Dirie that even though he had ordered the protective order,
he was afraid that it still would not protect him. He said he
feared for Dirie’s life and knew all these men were intent
on stopping Dirie. He then recommended that Dirie move
quickly out of Alaska to the lower 48.
Dirie didn’t really have anywhere to go because the
family members that he has in the U.S. are against him
as well because he left the Islamic religion. In fact, if his
family knew his location, they would quickly report it to the
Muslim leadership. Brother Isaac, our brother from Nigeria,
has a brother in the lower 48 who is a Christian. He said
Dirie could come there and stay with him. So my “little
brother” left for the lower 48.
The praise part—the part that has blessed me—is this:
“The courtroom became a church.” God took a
courtroom and turned it into a church. He brought in a
congregation of 50–60 hardened evildoers, who otherwise
would NEVER have entered any church anywhere in the
city. He even had the “devil” drive the bus and pick them
up for this special “church” service. He had the legal
system (the judge) introduce the preacher and “turn the
service over to him.”
God caused Dirie to preach his first sermon, and it was
one of love and mercy and also of the deity and divinity
of our Lord. He “held” the “congregation’s” attention with
a group of angels dressed in police uniforms. And He
showed them the true “Word of God” and not the Koran or
any of the other writings of Muhammad. Then, once they
had heard the message, he had them placed back on the
bus and taken home.
Wow! What we could not have accomplished in a
lifetime perhaps (getting 50–60 Islamic Muslims into a
church for a Holy Ghost-filled child of God to proclaim the
Word), God was able to accomplish in just one “service”
and with one “sermon.”
After Dirie left the court, a man stopped him outside.
He was a Muslim and had been in the courtroom with the
other 50–60 Muslims. He had not come on the bus but
had come on his own and by himself. He knew about the
situation (the Muslim community is very close and tight-knit
here in Anchorage), but he still came on his own. He told
Dirie that the reason he came was not to help threaten or
harass Dirie, but he said, “I have never seen or met anyone
who has ever turned from the Islam religion to Christianity,
and I wanted to come and see you for myself. I needed to
actually see someone who has gone over to Christianity.”
This kind of reminds me of the wise men when they told
the king, “We have come to see if it is true.” Anyway, I pray
that this man’s curiosity (conviction) gets control of him,
and he begins to seek the Lord diligently.
We pray for Dirie’s protection and his ministry through
Christ. We also pray for the salvation of approximately
50–60 men who have now heard the true Word of God and
must decide what they want to do with it. And we miss our
little brother terribly.
WWM APRIL 2010 29
Local Church News
for the State
Geneva Bowman Byrd
In the last chapter
of Romans, the apostle
Paul gave kudos to
various people who assisted him in his
ministry. In verse one, he singled
out by name Phoebe, one of the first
deaconesses mentioned in Scripture:
“I commend to you our sister Phoebe,
a servant of the church in Cenchrea.
I ask you to receive her in the Lord
in a way worthy of the saints and to
give her any help she may need
from you, for she has been a great
help to many people, including me”
(Romans 16:1, 2 NIV).
In his letter to the young minister,
Timothy, Paul laid out the requirements
for deacons and deaconesses: “Deacons
[Deaconesses], likewise, are to be men
worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging
in much wine, and not pursuing
dishonest gain. They must keep hold
of the deep truths of the faith with a
clear conscience. They must first be
tested; and then if there is nothing
against them, let them serve as deacons
[deaconesses]” (1 Timothy 3:8, 9 NIV).
According to Strong’s Dictionary, the
Greek word for deacon is diakonos
(dee-ak’-on-os). It is probably from an
obsolete diako: to run on errands; an
attendant or a waiter at tables; or in other
menial duties. It is used specially as a
Christian teacher and pastor; technically,
a deacon or deaconess. In the King
30 WWM APRIL 2010
James Version of the Bible, it is translated
as deacon, minister, and servant.
On Sunday, December 27, 2009, the
Rossville Church of God of Prophecy
ordained Geneva Bowman Byrd as the very
first deaconess for the Church of God
of Prophecy in the state of Georgia. Her
Deaconess Certificate number is 2009-0001.
From 1955 to 1995, Sister Byrd
served alongside her deacon husband,
Clarence Byrd, for 40 years at the East
Ridge, Tennessee, Church of God of
Prophecy. She completed all terms of
the Bible Training Institute in 1975.
After transferring her membership to
Rossville in 1999, she completed all the
requirements for a Certified Teacher
including the Foundations Course.
The local church set Sister Byrd forth as
deaconess in October 2009. In writing
my recommendation to Georgia State
Overseer Bishop Billy Adams, I said in
part, “Geneva Byrd has been doing the
ministry of a deaconess for over 40 years.
She assisted her husband, Clarence
Byrd, in every aspect of his calling as a
deacon.” Normally, there is a period of
a year serving as a trial deaconess, but
due to her prior training and experience
and the fact she had completed
the Foundations Course, she was
immediately set forth as a deaconess.
The wording of the Deaconess
Certificate states in part, “She is to
complement the office of the bishop
or pastor. She may serve in the
temporal needs of God’s work, such
as coordinating relief to the poor
and needy. She may conduct church
business affairs and conferences
when officially authorized by the
pastor or overseer. She is to teach
and defend the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
She may serve in baptism, administering
the Lord’s Supper, and washing to the
saints feet. Both biblical and historical
records confirm that she is to service
alongside and in harmony with the
bishop or pastor as a servant to
Sister Jean Byrd, as she likes to be
called, has definitely been a tremendous
blessing to the Rossville local church
and pastor, serving as the church clerk
and treasurer, a substitute Sunday
school teacher, a member of the
Finance and Stewardship Committee,
and now as a deaconess.
When her pastor asked Sister Byrd
about serving as a deaconess, she
initially told him that she, at 83 years
of age, she was “too old to serve.” He
replied, “Better late than never!”
Article submitted by
Dr. Douglas R. Stephenson
Chaplaincy Ministries Director
I received confirmation at Ladies
Retreat at Barkley Lake. In the spring,
they found a large mass on my pancreas.
I went through many tests. There was
no fear on my part. I had gotten up
one morning and felt a heavy load; I
couldn’t carry the load, it was so heavy.
I lay before the Lord and told the Lord,
“Lord, I don’t know what this load is, but
I can’t handle it; I give it to You.” I didn’t
know at that time my healing took place.
I went through the tests, and the doctors
said that there was no cancer there. I felt
so good within my body.
I went to Lake Barkley in November
and feasted on Dr. Renfro’s message. I
went at lunchtime, gave him a hug, and
told him what they had found on my
pancreas. These were his words: “You
had cancer, but God healed you.” That
was my confirmation I needed.
I have told everyone I see that God
healed me of pancreatic cancer. I am
71 years old; this shows that there is no
age with God. I thank Him every day
and cry every day because that could
have been my death warrant. God is
good all the time; all the time, God
A Gospel Singer’s Report
There was an awesome presence of
the Lord at my concert at the Crown
Heights Church of God of Prophecy
in Brooklyn, New York. I said, “The
presence of the Lord is mighty in the
house,” and I asked for all who were
sick to stand and lift their hands in faith.
Then, I went into the congregation and
prayed for several individuals.
Two days after the concert, I received
a telephone call of a healing testimony.
I was informed that a woman who was
at the concert had been the victim of a
motor vehicle accident several months
earlier and had suffered spinal cord injuries.
In His Presence
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Charles Edward Collins;
Alvin, Texas; October 18, 2009; licensed
minister for 59 years.
Belton, South Carolina; January 22, 2010;
licensed minister for 65 years.
Mary M. Goin;
Bucyrus, Ohio; January 31, 2010;
licensed minister for 57 years.
Velma Joyce Moore;
Austinville, Virginia; January 9, 2010;
licensed minister for 21 years.
At the concert, this woman had said to
her friend, “There are too many people
here, and she [myself] will not touch
me,” so she stood and lifted her hands.
This woman testified that immediately
she felt a tingling in her fingers, which
ran down her arm to her back, and there
was a loud, cracking sound. The people
standing closest to her heard the
cracking sound and asked, “What is that
sound?” The woman responded, “That’s
my spine, and the pain is gone.” This dear
lady was healed by the power of God!
This same woman and her husband
were having marital problems and
were in the process of going through
a divorce. The husband of this woman
Curtis Lee Music;
Alma, Georgia; January 8, 2010;
licensed minister for six years.
Juan de Jesus Sanchez;
Dominican Republic; January 29, 2010;
licensed minister for 29 years.
Michael C. Metaxas;
January 23, 2010.
Newark, Delaware; October 12, 2009;
widow of Reverend Frank Ortiz.
December 25, 2009; she was a member
of the Church for more than 70 years.
called his wife’s friend and thanked
her for taking his wife into Brooklyn.
He affirmed that the “woman who left
here yesterday evening was not the
same woman who came back home in
the night.” He mentioned that the next
morning, he would visit the attorney
and cancel the divorce papers because
he had got his wife back. Monday
morning came, and the husband went
and did just as he had promised.
Not only was this woman healed
from her spinal cord injuries and pain,
but her marriage was restored by the
powerful hand of God! We serve a
—Dawn McDowell, Brooklyn, New York
Green Acres, Florida;
organized on November 7, 2009;
Pastor José de los Santos.
organized on November 8, 2009;
Pastor Luis Rodriguez Luna.
Brigham City, Utah;
organized on January 17, 2010;
Pastor Jesus Sandoval.
West Palm Beach, Florida;
organized on January 17, 2010; Pastor
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WWM APRIL 2010 31