Features | parenting

Let the children lead…

By Christian Womanmag

Children are our next generation and JANE MACKIE is making sure they are included and recognized as part of the Body of Christ. They are being trained to pray and worship their God

 Jane is passionate about children and their role in the Body of Christ. She is ministering to them and teaching them about prayer and worship and taking their rightful place in the church. She leads a ministry called the Children’s Prayer Network. The vision of the Children’s Prayer Network is to mobilise and network praying Christian children; to support and encourage the nurturing, discipling, training and equipping of these children, to enable them to take their place in God’s family as part of the family He is raising up to reach this generation.

I asked Jane how she started. “I started an after school club with children, training them in puppets, drama and dance,” she explains. “After a couple of years doing that I felt God was really wanting to do a new thing. I remember undertaking my first fast to hear what He wanted and it was clear He wanted to convert that after school group into a children’s prayer group – so we began this prayer group in 1995.” Meantime Jane had heard about a world conference happening in Seoul Korea – 5,000 world church leaders were coming together and they were looking for 50 children from the world to attend the conference as praying delegates. “I happened to receive the fax about that and I had one child who, whenever he prayed, he prayed for the world so I nominated him. He was going with his father and then another boy with his father and my son was going with me.”

They ended up going to this conference – Jane was asked to lead the team working with the children and that was where she saw children encounter God in prayer for the first time – this changed her life. On the way back she was asked by Mal Garvin, who was heading up the Australian delegation, if she would start a children’s prayer network. So, that’s how it all started.

“We began to visit churches with groups of children, sharing about allowing children to pray,” she says. “We then started travelling overseas. We had invitations to take children and for many years we took children on mission trips overseas, to many nations where the children would actually be doing the ministry. We ran our first camp, then our first conference, then prayer and worship events, then training events, whilst at the same time taking teams overseas. We have now been to 36 different nations in those 17 years. Our prayer groups grew to three or four a week and so over the years we have trained, equipped and released many children – we have trained many thousands overseas as well. Other countries have picked up the children’s prayer movement more so than in Australia. God has used our Australian model to impact the nations. So we have made strong connections in around 50 nations.”

It’s time for another conference for the ministry – which is called ‘Like No Other’ where they will have continuous prayer and worship led by the next generation. That could look like a child with a guitar, leading for an hour or two, with a prayer focus. Or it could be a young team of musicians leading the people.

So what is Jane hoping to achieve in this ministry? “We are training and equipping the next generation to be able to hear God’s voice, to have a relationship with Him, to be released in their gifts and anointing, to be an active part in the Body of Christ today. My thought is we are one body and children are part of that and if they’re not playing their part we’re going to lose them. There is a sense we are losing the next generation from the church. If we can engage them, train and equip them and get them excited about serving God, and all He has put within them, then the church will grow. They are laying a foundation for a very healthy next generation church.

The conference ‘Like No Other’ will be held from 24th to 28th September 2012, led by different teams of young people, but at the same time workshops and ‘breakout’ sessions will be offered to provide training with various guest speakers from all over the world.  This is an intergenerational conference, for ALL of God’s family –