Breaking New Ground Conference (Part I)

Breaking New Ground Conference
Part I

What can we say? These awesome conferences keep rolling over us like waves of glory, bringing fresher and fresher insight into the things of God, particularly for this exciting season. Thursday night started off with Pastor Rodney Arias laughing uncontrollably at the beginning, middle, and end of the worship time. Actually, he, and many others were laughing throughout the time. It was infectious, the presence of God, so thick. The Breaking New Ground, Parent and Children Conference was starting off with a bang.

Pastors Deanna Warner and Laura Griffiths carried the whole package. They were positive, passionate, packed with personality, powerful, and purposeful in what they presented. They have about 37 years of children’s ministry experience between them, but what stood out were the joy, freedom, and wisdom that flowed from their mouths and lives, especially the frequent, spasmodic jerks that punctuated the anointing of God on Deanna’s life. It was all-good. It all flowed together into one unified whole. I was even jerking as I took notes under the heavy anointing that filled the room. “Come on!!!!”

Pastor Deanna started off by getting whacked by the Holy Spirit, laughing about it, finding her bearings, and then sharing her testimony and teachings. From an open vision in a Catholic church to being prophesied over at a Friday night Bethel service about children ministry, it was evident that her ministry this week was a fulfillment of those past messages from God. She shared this over arching philosophy about children’s ministry: if it is good enough for me, it is good enough for them. Kids are lethal weapons in the hands of God. They are weapons of worship when they use their hands, feet, eyes, ears, mouths and hearts for the purposes of God.

We all felt like children again as we did exercises with our hands, feet, and hearts. The smiles on our faces transformed us from serious adults to giddy children. We relearned how to be simple and powerful again. We learned how to pass these things onto our children. We learned about encountering God first before we empower our children.

God is no respecter of persons. He does not determine their effectiveness according to their size. God has and will empower babies, toddlers, pre-schoolers, kindergartners, and youth to extend his kingdom and unleash the manifest glory of God. A baby’s hands carry the same amount of anointing as an adult’s, maybe even more. These out-of-the-box teachings were standard fare at this night’s conference buffet line.

She ended her talk with a testimony about a three-year-old girl who drew two swirling circles, one small and the other big, during children’s church. The children’s worker asked her what she was drawing and the little one responded with three year old candidness, “earthquake”. She, the worker, discerned that this was a message from God, and prayed with the children against any potential earthquake disaster. The next morning a 2.0 earthquake hit the Baja, California area, confirming the prophetic drawing. What was more amazing was this: The prayer averted a bigger earthquake from happening, symbolized by the bigger circle. Only the smaller circle earthquake happened that day. This story further illustrates the importance of our children when it comes to ministering in the church and in this world. They truly are lethal weapons, and in this specific case, prophetic watchmen for the Lord.

Pastor Laura Griffiths was up next and shared her passion to empower and release children to do the ‘stuff’ on the streets and in the church. They are not just appendages of their mommies and daddies, but actual power packed ministers of the Gospel, capable of doing anything and everything for the Kingdom of God.

She backed up this point by showing an inspiring, U-Tube video clip of children ministers from the past. She also rattled off a litany of mighty kids and teenagers from the Bible who made a difference for the Kingdom of God (Jeremiah, Timothy, Josiah, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego).

The thing that stood out in both pastors from Bethel was their over-the-top positivity about the seeming brokenness of this generation of children and teens. Negatives were turned into positives. Body piercings showed us this generation is willing to suffer. Tattooing revealed their passion to proclaim their message. Addictions and even promiscuity were presented as opportunities for God to redeem and to show off his glory. God can cause all things to work together for good. It was so refreshing to hear about possibilities, rather than impossibilities. God is definitely in a good mood. We need to put to death our doomsday perspectives on life.

Pastor Laura ended her talk with a radical testimony about a commando assault on DC with her eleven year old, prayer paratroopers. These kids taped their mouth shut with white masking tape and prayed in front of the United States Supreme Court against the evils of abortion. They even logged in a total of ten miles as they prayed and prophesied over our nations capital. This blew my mind. They even weathered a hair lice attack and turned it around by doing a worship service in back of the white House, complete with prophetic art and radical prayer declarations. This was nothing less than a bayonet charge into enemy lines when the bullets are all gone. This was going the extra mile. These kids blew our minds!

On Friday night, both ministers weathered their own attacks from a demonic horde of flying cockroaches; and despite this onslaught, delivered stimulating and practical messages to us all. The marauding ‘B-52 bomber’ sized bugs were an outward sign of what was happening in the spiritual realm. Yes, there was some warfare, a different level of anointing, less spasmodic jerks, but it only served to toughen or temper us all for the up coming Saturday. Thursday night inspired us; Friday night tempered us; Saturday activated us all!