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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

Connections: Benji Allen

Worshipping God Through Serving Others

Benji Allen has been the children’s pastor at Trinity Church of Cedar Hill in Cedar Hill, Texas, since 2004. Allen recently spoke with Editorial Assistant Emily Tharp. Today is National Children’s Day in the Assemblies of God.

evangel: When did you first feel called to children’s ministry?
I grew up at Trinity Church of Cedar Hill. Back then, there was no children’s ministry during the Sunday night service, and the service was very long. So I thought, What can I do to get out of going to big church? Once a month I started helping out in the nursery and really started to enjoy that.

It also had a lot to do with the relationship with my children’s pastor, Dwayne Methvin. He truly took an interest in me and gave me responsibilities and opportunities to grow. It was then that I really began to cultivate my desire to worship God through serving others. A few years ago I felt that God was telling me I was free to expand from just children’s ministry, and now I feel that I’m called to people in general. Whatever venue will help me represent Christ to others, that’s what I want to operate in.

evangel: How do you use your calling to minister to all people in your role as children’s pastor?
The reality is that while we can serve these children, we’ve only got a couple of hours with them. The question becomes, “How can we affect the environment in which the child is raised?” By broadening our ministry goals, I’ve taken a more intentional approach in serving the families. We try to come alongside the parents and help teach them how to minister to their children.

evangel: How do you minister to the different ages at your church?
ALLEN: We’re very intentional about providing all our age groups with large group and small group ministries. But we believe the essence of Christianity is in the smaller group setting where you can come alongside a child and play with them, ask them what’s going on in their lives, or just tell them you love them as Jesus does.

Even with our nursery and preschool kids and up to our fifth-graders, we feel it’s appropriate for us to begin to influence them in this way. They may not understand exactly what’s going on, but they know that there is something that happens when they sing the songs and hold hands in prayer with the person next to them.

We actually have prayer partners starting with our preschoolers, and when it’s time for prayer, they automatically come to the altar and pray for their friends. The peers become the influencers to motivate each other in spiritual growth and development.

evangel: Are there any testimonies you could share?
There are the kids you see who are crying at the altar because their father told them he didn’t like them, or the parent who tells you they’re going to break the news about a divorce when the child comes back from camp. But on the flip side of that, you get to see the kids be loved and know in their heart of hearts the Creator of the universe loves and chooses them. They come with broken hearts and shattered dreams, but even when you see them go home to a less healthy environment, you know they’re going home with spiritual deposits that cannot be taken away from them.


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