National Geographic has a new documentary titled ‘Pint-Sized Preacher?’ It examines three child preachers ages 12, 12 and 4. The four year old started preaching in his father’s church at 21 months of age.
There are two different takes on these kids. One group believes that they have been anointed by God and He is speaking mightily through them. The other camp believes these children are being exploited by their parents.
I watched video clips of all three and based upon what I’ve seen, I have formed my own preliminary opinion. I realize that no matter which side I take, I am sure to raise the ire of the other side, but then my name does mean ‘to cut’ in Italian. For the sake of argument, I am going to focus on the 4 year old.
When I watched the videos below of the four year old now and when he was not even 2, I didn’t hear any preaching. All I heard was ranting and shouting, most of which was completely unintelligible. Considering that the boy’s father is a Pentecostal preacher, it appears to me that the lad is merely imitating his father’s preaching style. Watch the videos for yourself. Watch as he wipes off sweat that isn’t there, most likely the way his father does.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe that God is capable of anything that is not out of His character, but I don’t believe these kids have been anointed as preachers. The very term preacher indicates someone who espouses and teaches the Word of God. This lad never went to Scripture. All he did was repeat the same phrases over and over which only had the purpose of exciting the emotions of the parishioners rather than extolling the principles of the Bible. Adolf Hitler used much of the same emotional tactics in Nazi Germany to help him rise to power.
Additionally, let’s look at 1Timothy 3:1-7 for the qualifications of an overseer of the church. Many define overseer as elder but a preacher is also an overseer of the flock and is responsible for the spiritual well being of his sheep. This 4 year old child has not had the chance to meet any of the criteria the Timothy lists. That’s not to say that these kids cannot effectively witness for the Gospel, but they do not meet any of the Biblical qualifications to preach to a congregation. There’s a big difference between witnessing and preaching from Scripture and having the spiritual oversight of a church.
Lastly, let’s look at the example of Christ who didn’t start His ministry until He turned 30, which was the legal age for adult males in Jewish society. I’m not saying preachers today have to be 30 but they do need to reach an age of adult maturity before they should stand in front of a congregation and take the role of preacher/teacher.
My personal opinion is that these kids, especially the 4 year old is a pint-sized parrot and not a pint-sized preacher.