Surprises are wonderful things, especially when we have no idea that somebody is preparing something special for us. We have a creative God who knows how to give the best surprises. Isaiah 55:9 says, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
We could not have imagined just a few years ago what God was preparing for the pre-teens in our church and our kids’ ministry. We are so privileged to be part of International Charismatic Mission, a family-oriented church that has always recognized the importance of preparing the best for every demographic: women, men, young people and children. However, Pastora Erika Berrios (kids’ committee coordinator), who is someone who has always been sensitive to the voice of God, recently recognized the need for the pre-teens to have their own space. We realized that we had meetings for young people, and activities for children, but our pre-teens were stuck somewhere in the middle even though they make up an important demographic in our MCI family.
‘We have all heard pre-teens say: “I’m not a child anymore.” They don’t want to be looked down on or treated like children, but they don’t want to be treated like adults either. ‘Mum, why are you asking me to do that? Don’t you know I’m just a child?’ They don’t want the responsibilities of growing up yet. Society itself has stigmatized this stage in life as adolescence – a time of transition when they will “suffer” (Spanish: ‘adolecer’) or in other words, when there will be many headaches.
We have noticed that, now more than ever, pre-teens are being attacked by the media, various social pressures, image stereotypes, relationships and misplaced morals. They are being bombarded with images, words and music that constantly try to consume their minds and dreams and try to destroy their hearts. The enemy knows full well that if he is able to take a pre-teen captive, it will affect the rest of their life because this is the age when they face numerous decisions: what kind of clothes they want to wear, how they want to have their hair, who they want their friends to be and what they’re going to believe in – to name but a few.
This is a time for us as a church to provide a place for pre-teens to find what they will not find anywhere else: the fullness of the LOVE OF GOD. We are creating a space where they feel important and they themselves are the key players. This was why our PRE Meeting was born – a place where the Word of God is presented in a fresh, useful, practical and, above all, real way. Our main goal for every meeting is to help them to meet JESUS, to know Him and to make the decision to never leave Him.
We can now seek God as a family every Sunday in MCI, in the various zones designed for each demographic. Above all, it is really exciting for the team who works every weekend to facilitate these meetings to see that this was all born in the heart of God. We feel goose bumps when we read the prophecy Reverend Randy McMillan gave us as a church many years ago because we realize that this was always part of God’s plan:
“To His children, He says: I am setting the children free, says the Lord, in the measure that parents bring their children to these meetings. During the praise and worship, My Holy Spirit is setting their hearts free from rebellion, disobedience, from the lusts of this world, even at this age, because they are being brought, they are sanctified, because they are in the presence of the Ark, the Ark of My presence, of My glory. I am sanctifying them; I am sealing them and taking them out of the world and all the things they receive in their schools. It is here that they receive sanctification, holiness, the fear of the Lord and the love of My Son Jesus Christ…”
Every weekend, an army of more than 300 people arise to achieve God’s great dream for this New Generation. We work as a team and everyone is involved – pastors, parents, kids’ leaders and, of course, the pre-teens themselves. We are one, working together for this dream, being forerunners for the next generation who will enter to conquer the land of promises.’
Pastora Erika Silva · Coordinator of G12 Kids’ Ministry