Using the Pebbles and Stones Ministry Model in a Church Setting
Jessica Stokes says, “I have only been familiar with Pebbles and Stones for about six months, but I love it! We are using it for our Children’s Ministry. One of the best things about it is that it teaches and equips kids to get quiet before the Lord and listen for Him to speak. From there, the kids get hands on experience each week by sharing what God spoke to them and praying for each other. What a gift this program is -- teaching our children at such a young age how to listen for God’s voice and then giving them an opportunity to act on it is priceless! Not only do I recommend the Pebbles and Stones program, but I also was extremely blessed during the training Kathleen led. Her heart for children is so contagious! The training really helped me grasp onto the values of the program. It not only teaches you how to implement a Pebbles and Stones meeting, but it also encourages you as you hear the testimonies of lives being changed by simply listening for God’s voice. I highly recommend both the curriculum and the training.”
Jessica is a mother of three and has a degree in Elementary Education. She is the head of Children’s Ministry at Downtown Christian Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Building Relationship through Pebbles and Stones
Lin Johnson hosts and leads a group for high-school aged girls in her Hudsonville, Michigan home. She began with a core group when the girls were in middle school and has continued building relationship over the years through both weekly meetings and special events. “The main idea I've gleaned from Kathleen is that I can go with my gut: kids don't need to be entertained, they need to be fed a portion of the Word and they need to meet together with Papa God for transformation,” Lin says.
This past winter, Lin organized a fancy dinner for the girls in her group complete with a limo ride, salon-worthy hairstyles and donated formal dresses. The verse for the evening was from The Message’s translation of 2 Corinthians 5:5, "The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what's ahead; He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we'll never settle for less."
Lin Johnson (right) with her Pebbles & Stones group for girls.
Pebbles and Stones in Nairobi, Kenya
“I could not believe the impact! They did not want to stop writing or listening for God's words. One 5-year-old girl drew a picture of two people. 'They are trying to find Jesus. They are building a mountain to try to find Jesus. But an angel is coming to tell them about who Jesus really is. We need to pray for them.' Another older boy drew a picture of rain saying that God wanted it to rain on Africa but also wanted to rain His Holy Spirit on Africa. My own son drew a beautiful picture of multitudes all over the world lifting up their hands in praise to Jesus. (He'd had a dream about this when he was 5 years old - at that time he said it made him so happy that he cried; he’d not mentioned this since, but brought it up during our sharing time). Joseph also drew a map of the entire African continent and wrote, "People in Africa will be saved and healed of sickness."
~ Dr. Terry Andrew, Founder of "Children In Christ" Nairobi, Kenya
Pebbles and Stones in a Christian School
“God has been working through Pebbles and Stones at Byron Center Christian this year. The kids have come to realize that God will meet them when they quiet themselves and listen to His voice. God has shown the kids that He is to be praised during our singing time while we incorporate Psalms. Our lessons focused on the Psalms this year and the children took the verses that we studied into quiet time so they could reflect and listen for God to speak more to them about that verse."
"On a prayer walk [with the students] God revealed that everything is part of His keeping and care - even the boiler room and kitchen! We walked and stopped by each door and prayed over what happened there during a school day. The kids knew more what to pray for than I did, so our prayers were led by them. Teachers working after school came out and joined us in prayer, and this touched the kids to see God using them. We left each spot with a note saying that we had been there praying. God was blessed and so were we!”
~ Byron Center Christian School Byron Center, Michigan
Creating a Bonding Time for Mothers and Children
“Children and their mothers living at our rescue mission have been involved with Pebbles and Stones during the past year. They have met weekly and have enjoyed the activities so much! I believe this group has helped to improve relationships between mothers and their children. They have loved the attention and have grown from the focus on the Lord and His Word. Pebbles and Stones has given our children and moms a much-needed outlet to express their thoughts, fears, and dreams. It's wonderful to see this fit into the Christian perspective."
~ Mel Trotter Ministries Grand Rapids, MI
Pebbles and Stones at an Inner-City Youth Center
“Pebbles and Stones has brought positive changes to the lives of SVYC kids and contributed to an increased sense of family in our community."
~ Sun Valley Youth Center Denver, CO.
Rejuvenating Sunday School Programs
“Pebbles and Stones has influenced the children at Sunshine in a variety of ways. For the past two years we have prayed weekly for our church's Mexico Mission Trip; both the children and the mission team members have been blessed in incredible ways. This year we also focused on a missionary family, and they are amazed at all that God is doing on their mission field, certainly influenced by the prayers of the children. Many children have written their own songs or poems, painted beautiful pictures and journaled about God's actions in their lives. They are learning that God speaks to His people and to listen to Him. They are learning that their prayers make a difference. They are learning to worship Him in all that that do. One mom shared that her child had an argument with her one day. When mom wouldn't listen to her side of the story, this little girl went to her bedroom to tell God all about it in a loud voice, because He would always listen to her. Mom said that her child's response came from what she had learned at Pebbles and Stones."
"Pebbles and Stones has also influenced my own life and the lives of our family. I continue to grow in my walk with my Lord as I share His work in my life with the children. My children are quick to bring their needs to their Heavenly Father. We use a family prayer journal to track our requests and His answers, and they even sing their prayers sometimes. My oldest child has been called to be an intercessor for leaders, while my youngest has a heart for those who don't know Jesus yet. My husband has learned that he can be a teacher to children and have compassion for them (even those who aren't his own). Teaching, guiding, encouraging the Pebbles and Stones approach at Sunshine has not been easy. There are certainly many obstacles often in the way, sometimes from unexpected directions. I have been tempted more than once to quit and give up. I don't foresee it becoming easier in the future, and yet I believe it really embraces the active work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of our children and it really encourages them to listen to God at work and then to follow. That is the kind of "program" that I want for my own kids as well as all the others who need a personal relationship with Him.”
~ Sunshine Community Church Grand Rapids, MI