Sarah’s Testimony, Age 5
When I was around five years old and my middle brother was nearly four, we had this incredible encounter with the Holy Spirit. All of a sudden, we knew that Jesus was in the room with us and his Spirit was burning inside us. We danced like never before and then fell to the ground in praise and prayer. In those moments we both clearly heard God say (in our hearts and thoughts), "I want you two to be dance teachers in the church. My people need to know how to dance like this and enjoy me.” We were jumping on the sofas, doing cartwheels, shouting, and celebrating!
The thing is, we’re both awful dancers, but God wanted us to dance with him with all our hearts and not be afraid of what we looked like while we were doing it. Since then. we’ve found that it’s easy for us to help draw people into God’s presence so they can play with him joyfully and be confident and alive in their worship times with him.
Sophie’s Testimony, Age 9
I saw the leader Johnny at camp, except he wasn't the age he is now, he was a young boy. I saw him waking up one morning, I could see his room and everything in his room. Bed, dresser, desk—everything you'd see in a normal room. I saw a gold straw hat sitting on the dresser, and it stood out to me. I saw him with this gold straw hat and he loved it and wore it all the time; he wouldn't go anywhere without it. I asked him if he wanted to make stuff like that. He said he used to want to be a fashion model and that was a real gold straw hat that he loved a lot. I think the Lord loved that he wanted to be a fashion model and he was bringing that up for him again.
Lucy’s Testimony, Age 9
I asked one of my leaders, Rey, if he was sick or in pain. "No, but you can give me a prophetic word," he replied. My mom reminded me of what I had learned about hearing from God, so I listened and then looked up at him and said, "I see God advancing your career soon." Rey began to laugh and explained he had been up for a promotion for several months and it kept getting delayed. He worked with one of the very big companies in town. The very next week, he told us that he got the promotion!
Will’s Story, Age 9
There was a kid at school who kept bullying me. We did everything: my parents talked to the principle and the teachers and they talked to his parents. Then one day God gave me a vision of who he was and I saw him the way God loves him. I felt like God said he loved the same kinds of books I did, so I brought one to school the next day with a note that said, "I forgive you for being mean to me and hope that you enjoy this book. I am a Christian and asked God what you liked, and I felt like he told me this book was something you liked, so I wanted to give it you. This is my favorite book series, so if you want to talk about it later, we can."
He told me the next day that he had been wanting that book forever and we ended up talking all about it. Now he is my best friend, and I know—from him telling me—that he had been going through a real hard time in life when he was being mean to me.
Burt’s Testimony, A Grown-Up
I often take the entire children's ministry out to walk the neighborhood and pray. One particularly beautiful Sunday morning, I had the kids line up, gave them instructions, and off they went. The children had been practicing hearing from God and activating their faith and spiritual gifts. As they walked through a few blocks, praying for the city and the families that lived in the homes they were passing, they adamantly began asking to stop at this one particular house. To me, this house appeared no different than the rest. The children insisted they wanted to knock on the door and pray for whomever answered. They were compelled to give a blessing to the people inside.
I knocked at the door and a woman answered. After explaining what we had been doing and why we were there, the woman asked the children if they wanted to come inside. She allowed them to walk around and pray for God's love and safety to fill the house. After hearing their prayers, she was very moved and confided the house's true purpose. It was a secret safe place for children whose own homes weren’t a safe place to be anymore. We loved that a very present and sovereign God cares for children so much that he would make sure they had a safe place to go to. It was a powerful encounter shared with that woman, the children, and our leadership team. It was incredible to see such innocent children used so easily to bring hope to a house where scared children could be safe.
Anna’s Testimony, Age 4
I saw Jesus in our kitchen. My mommy had taken me and Hudson to the pool that morning, but when we had to leave the pool, I got really mad and yelled at my mom. My mom yelled back at me. After we got home and Mommy was giving us lunch, I told Mommy I was sorry I said mean words that hurt her. I know my words have power and they hurt her heart. Then my mommy asked me why I was grinning, so I told her it was because Jesus just walked in and thanked me for saying I was sorry.
Mommy said, “Jesus is here in the kitchen?” So I said, “Yes, Mommy, He is standing right next to you. Miss Dawn said that you can have Christ-ray vision too, if you try.” Mommy said she couldn’t see Jesus, so she closed her eyes and said she felt him standing next her. We both started to cry because we were so happy.
Mordekai’s Testimony, Age 8
One Friday night we went on a treasure hunt, and before we went out, we asked God who was on his heart and where he wanted us to go. I heard God tell me that we should go to Wal-Mart, and I saw a map of where in Wal-Mart we need to go, which was by the fish tanks.
We found a woman in that exact spot, and when we told her why we were there, she starting crying because her kid was going to go live with his dad instead of her, and that she felt like God didn’t care about how bad that felt. We told her how God did care a lot—he showed us exactly where she would be standing and what she would be wearing, and we were able to tell her about Jesus and about how much God loved her. She felt a lot happier after we prayed with her. The whole church was excited about what happened.
D’Shawn’s Testimony, Age 8
I was praying in my room and heard God tell me that my daddy would be home for Christmas. He was away with the army in another country called Afghanistan. My mom didn’t know if she could believe me, and she told me Daddy wasn't supposed to come back until the next summer. Then, after Thanksgiving, my daddy surprised us by coming home early, and he got us good! His whole troop got to come home for Christmas and he doesn’t have to go away from us again. I was able to tell my daddy that Jesus told me he was coming home for a Christmas present.
Basha’s Testimony, Age 8
God spoke to me in a dream to not be afraid. In the dream there were dinosaurs chasing me and my family. We got chased into sinking sand (quicksand), and that's when Jesus showed up and turned the sand into water so we could swim out. God showed me that no matter what happens, he will always be there to protect me.
Hailey’s Testimony, Age 10
When I first started hearing from God, me and my parents were learning together. Kind of a funny story: I have a fish in a small tank on my desk. It died and my mom and dad replaced it with one that looks just like it but did not tell me. One night I had a dream that my fish had died and been replaced without me knowing. I got up and told my mom my dream, and she looked at me weird and asked, "God gave you that dream?" Then she said, "Hailey, we did replace your fish with one that looks just like your old one, but we did not tell you because we did not what you to be sad." I felt sad about my fish, but my parents explained that God was teaching them that God speaks to kids just like he speaks to adults. I think God is teaching my parents more about my gift than me.
Kristi Gagnon (Family Life Pastor at Desert Outpouring Church)
Our kids have experienced an acceleration and increase in their awareness of their interaction with the Lord. They are more confident in practicing hearing from the Lord and giving words to other people, and are partnering with the Lord in physical healings.
When I pray I heard God’s voice! He tells me how to love others…he told me I am destined to be a pastor and love people well!
Just last week, Noah's sister was sick with a bad cough, he offered her prayer and went to school. She was completely healed! Not even one cough after he prayed! When he came home I told him about it and he said... Mom, I know. God told me to pray for her and I felt tingling in my body so I just knew.
We've seen a drastic difference in her behavior at school. In her class she a behavior chart that the teacher utilizes. Before she would range all over the place, but since reading this book she has made the choice herself to be the best she can. Now she comes home with top marks. Our conversations now a day are about hearing God, praying for miracles of healing, and sharing testimonies.
At the beginning of service we have a soaking and prophetic art session with the kids before we join the adults in worship. For the past couple of weeks I have been reading Growing with God to the kids as a conversation starter and we have done prophetic activations along with Lucas and the children at camp. The kids really are enjoying this time and we are seeing God move through the children as we carry the glory of God into the adult service.
Several children have shared their prophetic art while others have released prophetic words in adult service which acted as a catalyst to powerful moves of the spirit.
Jen Dickenson Newell
Really and truly, I cannot recommend this curriculum highly enough. This is the perfect thing for your kiddos in elementary school. Need something for your Sunday School or children's church? Look no further. It's NOT pablum. This book and the accompanying lessons/workbook were designed to address children at a developmentally appropriate level. It can be scaffolded up or down to accommodate ages 6-12, and it does so in an engaging manner.
CB grabbed this for herself tonight, with no provocation, and she began to answer questions in the journal section. We were so proud of her.
Thank you, Shawn Bolz. There is no junior Holy Spirit, and CB will learn that for herself now.
When my 13 year old likes "Growing up with God" so much, she finishes it in 5 days❤ Thank you for writing this awesome book Shawn! 👍🏼