Winning the souls of our tamariki
Anna Christiansen is a young Salvationist from The Salvation Army Auckland City Corps, with a story unfolding in her life through children's ministry. Read her thoughts on calling, the presence of God and the importance of winning the souls of our tamariki below.
Everyone has a story.
And everyone has heard a story that has changed their life. Some stories help others encounter Jesus, dramatically altering the way we live from then on. Well, my story isn’t one of an extraordinary encounter. But it is a story that has been written over time and through different stages of my life.
Kia ora, my name is Anna and I have been called to serve in children’s ministries in The Salvation Army.
A story of children who are seen and heard
There hasn’t been a defining moment where I heard God speak and felt a 'call' to ministry. Instead, it has been an accumulation of encounters with Him and experiences that have helped me write my story.
I have always had a strong connection with and pull towards children. I love hanging out with them and telling them about Jesus. It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I started taking this part of ministry seriously. I came to the understanding that children aren’t the future of the church, they are the now - and that they need to be seen and heard.
A love that enters the presence of God
'This is what it feels like to be in the presence of God.'
At The Salvation Army Northern Division's Intermediate Camp this year, I was leading a time of response and reflection after one of our morning sessions. We centred on thankfulness, and the space created allowed Holy Spirit to be so tangible that the whole atmosphere changed! The children were in absolute awe of what was happening. One child asked me about it, and I replied, 'This is what it feels like to be in the presence of God.'
So many children decided to be thankful every day, for everything in their lives and some asked Jesus to be their 'forever friend'.
That is the main reason that I love children's ministry - to win souls for the kingdom and see the child's life transformed.
All good stories take time
My story is one written over time. Through the guidance of my leaders and mentors, I have developed this unwavering love for children - leading and helping them to experience the love that God has for them.
Jesus said in Matthew 28:19, 'Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit'. This is a verse that I live by, as Jesus tells us to go out, get uncomfortable and change the world.
And that is what I intend to do, starting with the most valuable in the kingdom of God: our tamariki, our children.