My son has accepted Jesus as his Savior! What an incredible day! The little guy is only 5 years old but he truly understands that he is a sinner, he wants to turn from his sins to Christ, Jesus died on the cross to pay for his sins and he wants to give his life to Jesus. We are in the midst of a great celebration at our house over this happy event!
This of course begs the question, “How a five year old child can understand enough Gospel to follow Jesus with his life?” How could he understand enough theology? How is it possible that he would make such a monumental commitment? Statistics tell us that 85% of Christians accept Christ between the ages of 4-14 and that only 4% do so after the age of 30. So the importance of helping our little ones understand and receive Jesus before culture has an opportunity to harden them to the Gospel has never been more important. But how?
I don’t dare imply I am the expert at childhood evangelism. I am a pastor, love kids and have led many to Christ. I believe my five year old has a better grasp of the Gospel than many ten year old children I have baptized. I do believe the methods we have used to teach our children the Gospel and the things of God are effective. So with that in mind I would like to share some of my thoughts on how to lead your children to Jesus.
Steps to Lead Your Child to Jesus
- Pray — You knew I would start here! Kim and I have prayed since our kids were born that they would come to know Jesus as their Savior and Lord at the very earliest moment of opportunity. In fact, those are pretty much the EXACT words of our prayers for them in this matter. We have always desired them to know Jesus the day they were capable of understanding the Gospel and prayed to that end. Pray the same or your kids!
- Let Them SEE Your Faith — Let them walk in while you are reading the Word or praying during your morning quiet time. Bring them over to yourself and let them join in what you are doing. I have taught my son a great deal about prayer and God during the moments he has joined me for morning prayer.
- Start immediately — Even when they are in the newborn stage teach your kids about Jesus. You may think this a ridiculous idea but consider how quickly your kids pick up and learn the music you sing to them. Sing about Jesus, show them picture books and speak the word into their little hearts. A child is never too young to hear John 3:16; Philippians 4:5-6 or Proverbs 3:5-6 spoken to them.
- Youversion — The Youversion app for kids is FANTASTIC! This tool is one of the primary ways we have taught our kids the stories of the Bible and the theology contained in them. The first time my son saw the story of the cross he literally cried because Jesus died. Of course we quickly went to the story of the resurrection and dried our tears, replacing them with cheers! Your kids will learn to love the Bible and more importantly the God of the Bible as you use this app with them. And do just that…watch the stories with them.
- Repetition and Intentional — It is through repetition that we learn information in the deep parts of our soul. I knew my son was ready and actually understood the Gospel the morning I asked him, unprompted in any way by me, “If someone asked you how they could have a relationship with God and know Jesus what would you say?” His answer, “Believe Jesus died on the cross for your sins and ask Him into your heart.” Of course we talked a little about repentance after his answer but he understood the cross! This was the product of years of teaching, reading and praying with his mother and me. We were intentional in what we were teaching and took the time to go over the information again and again until he understood.
- Close the Deal — No one ever accepted Jesus without an invitation to do so. Some parents are afraid to ask the question, “Would you like to pray, tell Jesus you are sorry for your sin, that you want to turn from your sin, that you believe He died on the cross for your sins, and give your life to Him?” We are teaching our kids for decision not information. We are not trying to make scholars but Christians and no one ever becomes a Christian without praying to receive Jesus Christ. Lead them to do so! “Close the deal!”
Jesus loves our little ones more than we ever could. As hard as that is to comprehend we know it is true. His desire that they know Him far surpasses our own desire for them to do so. How wonderful that Jesus chose you and I to be a part of something so close to His heart. He chose us to lead out little ones to Him!
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