When I was a child, I can remember children being utilized in my church only on ‘special days’ like Children’s day, Mother’s, or Father’s days, etc. Today it is evident that children have so much to offer our church and country that they now play significant roles throughout the year. The Bible speaks highly of children and of the talents that they can offer the school, church, and home.

Once again, the call goes out from the Children and Adolescent Ministries Department of the Seventh-day Adventist Church to utilize our children, and this time the emphasis is on letting them know God can use them at their tender age, and that He wants them to be themselves… because God Calls them to Be Different!

God is so committed to our individuality that no two people have the same fingerprint, and no two people are exactly alike. Even identical twins are uniquely different. One of the mistakes we often make as parents is wanting our children to be like us, or somebody that we admire. That is a noble quest, but that is not God’s desire. He wants our children to be themselves as they mature into His disciples.

So, what is our responsibility as parents, leaders, and adults in challenging our children to be different? Children should be allowed to share the gospel in their way.

1. At school. We should encourage children to strive for excellence in all that they do. They should be assured of the support of teachers and parents every step of the way. We ought to guard well the mental health of our children and do not take their emotional health for granted as we chart these unprecedented times.

2. At Church. We should be committed to investing in our children. Empower and mobilize our churches to help children grow in their faith. One way of doing this is involving them regularly in the services of the church and enrolling them in Bible study.

 3. At Home. Parents should enable children to grow in their awareness, knowledge, and experience of Jesus. Where better for children to develop a relationship with God than at home, the place they spend most of their time. Parents should be aware of the activities that is taking up their child’s time. Influence can be made from a video game, television show, a friend, or a book. Parents are admonished to lead their children into a meaningful prayer life and provide the fundamentals to a relationship with Jesus Christ.

I am hoping to see this level of individuality and uniqueness during this Children’s Sabbath throughout the churches in our Conference, and as we continue to teach the children and adolescents the word of God, let us trust God to shine through them in a special and personal way.

--Article written by Mrs. Lavern A. Sturrup, Children & Adolescent Ministries Director, South Bahamas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.