|Meet the Author: Jennifer Toledo|
|Written by Christine D. Johnson|
|Friday, 29 June 2012 02:20 PM America/New_York|
In Children and the Supernatural: True Accounts of Kids Unlocking the Power of God Through Visions, Healing, and Miracles (Charisma House, May 2012), author Jennifer Toledo shows how God is working today through children, not just adults. She demonstrates through supernatural accounts that youngsters have experienced miracles, prophetic evangelism, powerful intercession and more. Toledo and husband Jonatán are founders and directors of the Global Children’s Movement and pastors at Expression58 in Los Angeles.
What drove you to get involved with children and then write this book?
Ten years ago, I had an experience while sitting in the dirt with some street kids in Africa, where I heard the Lord say, “Will you teach the next generation the undiluted gospel?” I could hear such desperation in His voice for a generation to truly know Him—on his terms, without unbelief, without religion, without “church culture.” Just undiluted gospel. That encounter rocked my world and set me on a course of helping to connect children with God. The stories in this book are some of the incredible fruit I’ve witnessed on the way.
How do you believe that Christians must adjust their lives to the concept that children don't get a "junior Holy Ghost"?
First of all, it’s sad to think that Christians have to make any type of “adjustment” to adhere to this concept. The reality is we are all bought with the same blood and given access to all the same things in the kingdom. It’s tragic that for so long, we haven’t invited our children into the fullness of the kingdom and equipped them with the skills to live and lead from that place. When we truly believe this, not just with our words, everything about how we do ministry will change.
How do you see God's work in the young in the U.S. as well as overseas?
God is in a great mood, He is still very much alive and on His throne, and He is radically interacting with children all over the earth! Kids all over are having encounters with God. They are dreaming, having visions, prophesying, healing and carrying revival and transformation. God interacting with the young isn’t specific to one region or people group. He is passionately in love with all of His creation and raising up an awesome company of friends.
You indicate that we in America are need of a paradigm shift. In what way?
I think there are a few major paradigm shifts that we could certainly benefit from. One of them being [that] we in North America only make up 5% of the global population … only 5%. The rest of the world is significantly young and poor. Research has proven that about 85% of Christians today gave their life to Jesus before the age of 14. Children—poor children at that—are the largest, ripest harvest field on the planet. Oddly enough, so much of our ministry—our churches, evangelism, projects, etc.—are adult-focused. If we are truly going to answer Jesus’ prayer, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on Earth as it is in heaven,” we have to have a serious overhaul of our values and methods to be most effective in bringing the kingdom in our generation.
Jesus clearly had a special place in His heart for children. Why do you think that is?
When Jesus came to the world as a baby in a manger, He came to demonstrate a message to us that love in its most powerful form is meant to be simple and pure. God never intended for things to be so complicated. Children emanate that simplicity, that purity that makes the gospel so powerful—and because of that, they draw heaven to themselves. Children don’t have an agenda—they’re not trying to build something for themselves. They just believe and love. It’s beautiful! Jesus declared that unless we become like them, we’ll never be able to enter in to who He is. We have much to learn from children.
What is your vision for this book?
I want to see Jesus glorified, I want people to give children a chance, [and] I hope to provoke people to greater hunger and faith in their own lives.
How can Christian retailers best share this book with their customers?
The great thing about this book is that it carries the power of people’s stories. The kids I share about weren’t born under some special star or anything—they are just normal kids who have learned to partner with God. The supernatural is accessible for all of us, and this book truly empowers people to believe that. This book is for children, parents, grandparents, pastors, leaders and those who don’t have kids of their own, but are hungry for more of God.
At the end of the book, you use the term "the 4/14 window." What is that?
The 4/14 Window is a term coined by mission strategist Luis Bush that reflects that vast and ripe harvest field between the ages of 4 and 14. Mission movements across the world have adjusted their focus to target this window, as this age bracket carries potential for the greatest impact for revival on the planet!