There I was, just a young girl sitting in the back seat of a 1970 Plymouth Duster, leaning forward to eavesdrop on my older sister's conversation in the front seat.
I strained to hear every word as my sister's friend, Janet, described missionary life. Tales of smuggling Bibles in suitcases behind the Iron Curtain and being arrested by the KGB sounded more like an espionage movie than missionary work. Sign me up! I thought. But then another thought followed: I'm just a kid. I can't do anything now. I'll have to wait. I was wrong.
We tend to underestimate the spiritual abilities of children. And who can blame us? In an age where kids go from watching Barney to piercing their bellybuttons, we wonder how God can possibly use children to spread the Good News.
It's even harder to imagine our own children as "called" or "anointed" to do God's work when we can't even get them to sit still for nightly prayers. Yet God has not limited his calling to the educated and mature. Instead, he calls the honest, obedient and pure in heart. I don't think it's a coincidence that these are often characteristics of children.
They might not be ready to smuggle Bibles into closed countries, but our children are more than ready to act as missionaries in their own communities. I know because I've seen my own children reach out to their friends and neighbors with a confidence and purity not often seen in even the most spiritually mature adults. And they've done it by acting as God's very own secret servants.1