Recently, we visited the growing KidZ at Heart team in El Salvador to conduct KidZ at Heart’s Great Trainers Summit, our training of trainers. While traveling in-country, we saw churches everywhere which helped us see why El Salvador considers itself to be a Christian country. Jesus has been proclaimed there for many years, yet we were saddened to hear the results of a recent survey.
This study revealed that 54.9% of all inmates currently in the prisons of El Salvador came from Evangelical Christian homes and an additional 17.6% from Catholic homes. Something must be changed!
El Salvador isn’t the only country needing to be transformed from the inside out…
In Kenya: Last month, we shared KidZ at Heart’s core workshop, Nurturing Great Children, with a group of Kenyan pastors and teachers. In this workshop, we define a “great child” as one who loves God with all her heart, all her soul, all her mind, and all her strength, even as she loves herself and others (the Great Commandment, Mark 12:28-31).
We explained that “greatness” can only come through the work of the Holy Spirit who transforms us into the image of Christ (Galatians 4:19). We also suggested that those wishing to work with children, whether parents or teachers, must also be “great teachers.” It’s really hard to lead a child somewhere you’ve never been yourself.
Yet, at the end of our training day in Kenya, an older pastor said, “This won’t work.” When we asked why, he told us that their adults aren’t living for Jesus and don’t live Christlike lives, so they need a way to teach kids about Jesus that doesn’t require spiritually maturing adults. Something must be changed!
In the United States: We led a webinar entitled, “Integrating Spiritual Formation Into Your Preteen Ministry.” The preteen leaders who met with us were passionate about reaching preteens for Jesus. This ministry area is growing quickly. Yet, the American church is still losing 40% of its preteens as they transition from children’s ministry to youth ministry. And another 40% as they enter young adulthood and plunge into the church at large. Again, something must be changed!
So what’s the answer? What changes must be made? We need the Holy Spirit to transform children, teachers, parents, pastors, whole churches…from the inside out…into Christlikeness in El Salvador, in Kenya, in the United States, and in any of our 40 locations globally.
And that’s what God has called into being in KidZ at Heart…a global Christian community that trains, partners with, and mobilizes networks of leaders to help children fall deeply in love with Jesus…from the inside out.
We invite you on a KidZ at Heart trip to see first-hand how God is transforming communities…from the inside out.