“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise” (Deut. 6:4-7).
While the church does a good job of biblical training for kids, it is limited to 2-3 hours a week. Parents and guardians are with their kids at least 44 hours together, possibly much more.
You don’t need a pastor or children’s volunteer to lead your child to Christ. You can do it.
“But, what if I don’t have all the answers? What if I do it wrong? I just became a Christian myself, how can I lead someone else?”
Have you ever said or thought something like that? Everyone has. Whether it was about their kids or simply sharing the Gospel with a neighbor or friend.
There are many great tools available to use, such as the flip book, “What Everyone Should Know” written by Glenn Barber, or “The Gospel, God’s Plan for Me” from LifeWay. Or you can watch “VBS Gospel Presentation Video,” which you can find in this LifeWay VBS website menu.
But how do you know if your child is ready, that their faith is “real”? Here are a few tips to help you evaluate what is going on in your child’s mind and soul about the Gospel.
Pray. Pray for your kids to understand the Gospel and believe. Pray for clear understanding and discernment.
Listen to the Holy Spirit. If you are a Christian, the Holy Spirit lives in you to guide you. Listen. If you don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus, then you should seek help to lead your kids to Christ.
Talk with your kids individually. It’s great to have family conversations about the Gospel. But when it gets serious for one of your children, talk with them without the other kids around.
Have a conversation. Don’t ask yes or no questions. Ask open-ended questions that require your child to answer with a sentence or two.
Be careful what words you use. Sometimes kids know all the church words and what they mean; sometimes they don’t. Ask them if they understand a word that seems “churchy.” For example, wages. Rom. 6:23 says, “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Wages aren’t bad; they are something you get for what you do.
Don’t Rush! If your child doesn’t understand that their sin is what has separated them from God and that they deserve to be punished because of it, they may not be ready. Talk again in a day, or a week or a month. Your child may understand more than they can articulate. It is OK to wait until they can.
Kids have short attention spans. We may start a Gospel conversation that lasts longer than they are willing or able to participate. Take a break and talk later. You can count on about one minute of attention for every year old they are.
The Bible is Key. Don’t forget to use your Bible when talking through the Gospel. Kids need to know that what you are saying is backed up by God’s Word.
Know the Difference. There is a difference between becoming a Christian, being baptized and joining the church. Sometimes the Gospel conversation will start because a child sees a friend or relative baptized. They may think that the act of baptism is what is necessary. This opens up the opportunity to talk about faith and what Jesus did for us on the cross. Baptism is a picture of what God did through Jesus on the Cross. It also pictures that when we become a Christian that we become a new creation. Buried with Him in baptism, raised to walk a new life.
I am praying for you as these opportunities present themselves. You can do it!