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Simply Leading a Child to Christ

by Cindy Sanders

How many articles have you read about leading a child to Christ? We are all searching for a way we can feel totally at ease while trusting they will “get it” in their heart and mind. Why do we make this so hard? What if we tried the simple approach of learning and discovery? Would it make a difference if we took the time to explain the Who, What, When, Where, and Why of becoming a child of God?

We constantly hear how children are in the technology age and have knowledge beyond their years. They have information at their fingertips at all hours of the day. Are we providing that type of environment in church? If your church is like most, you don’t have the resources-leaders or supplies-to give them the kind of experience they can get other places. Try relying on relationships, and open communication. The kids have a natural desire to hear about God and His grace, so give it your best shot!

WHO
Who is God?
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1 Open your Bible to Genesis and talk to the children about creation. God created all living things for a purpose. He wants us to enjoy fellowship with Him and have a personal relationship with Him. There are so many names for God and each have a unique meaning. Look for a list and help the kids choose a name that has a special significance for them.

Who is Jesus?
Most boys and girls have heard the story of baby Jesus in the manger or know that Jesus died on the cross. Discuss the following Bible verses which are simple, yet state the obvious facts. Jesus is the Christ and He is the only way to the Father!

“Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these were written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” John 20: 30-31

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

WHAT
What did Jesus do for me?

Jesus made a way for us to get to heaven! Boys and girls need to know that Jesus came to earth and lived a life without sin. He was nailed to a cross and died for their sin and the sins of the entire world. He was put in a tomb, but rose from the grave and He is in heaven preparing a place for all those who believe in Him and ask Him for eternal life. Relating the story to their life and future can make a difference.

“In my Father’s house are many rooms; if were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2

WHEN
When do I need to make a decision to become a Christian-to follow Jesus?

If you asked your students, many have never heard their parents talk about a salvation experience. Share your story with them. Let them feel safe and ask questions. Discuss confession of sin and making the right choices. Remind the boys and girls that they must truly believe Jesus is God’s Son and be ready to make Him the Lord or “boss” of their life.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23

“That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10: 9-10

*Spiritual Birthday – When a child in your ministry becomes a Christian, write down the date, and encourage the parents to celebrate the spiritual birthday every year by having a special meal and giving the child a new devotional book or small gift. It is also a good idea to discuss any spiritual growth that has taken place. The yearly reminder is good accountability and keeps them focused on their walk with Christ. Another reason-How cool is that to have two birthdays each year?

*Baptism – It is important that a child understands the difference in their salvation experience and being baptized. Baptism is a wonderful outward picture of their new life in Christ.

WHERE
Where do I need to make a decision for Jesus?

This may seem like a silly question, but it is often misunderstood. Walking down the aisle of a church or to an altar does not make you a Christian. You can ask Jesus to be your forever friend anywhere. It would be great to make it a special place to remember. Encourage the kids to include their family and make it a celebration! They can go to a quiet place at home, church, or even outside. They can kneel, stand, or sit. It doesn’t matter about the place or the posture, the heart is the important part.

WHY?
Why should I make this decision?

God created each of us for a purpose.

Psalm 139:13-14 “You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my Mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” 

“For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

God also gave each of us spiritual gifts to be used for Him. Taking a spiritual gift survey is an interesting way to see if the boys and girls are using those talents in an appropriate way or if there is something they are not aware of. Another idea is to research the biblical meaning of their name. All kids love to hear and learn more about themselves so they will definitely peak their interest. After they uncover those special gifts and talents, make sure they have some service projects to carry out. There are unlimited needs in churches and communities right now, so get busy. It will be exciting to see what God can accomplish through the lives of your kids!

As you can see, this is not a quick process. Relationships are the key and relationships take time. Parents can use this guide with their children or leaders can spend several sessions with the kids. When boys and girls see the importance and real knowledge that they are receiving, you won’t have to encourage them to participate-they will be eager to learn!

So let’s review:
Who is God?
God is creator. He loves you and has a plan for your life.

Who is Jesus?
Jesus is God’s Son and He is the only way to have eternal life.

What did Jesus do for me?
Jesus died for my sin and made a way for me to get to heaven.

When do I need to make a decision to follow Jesus?
When I believe that Jesus is God’s Son and I am ready to confess my sins and ask forgiveness.

Where do I need to make a decision for Jesus?
It doesn’t matter about the place or the posture, the heart is the important part.

Why should I make a decision to follow Jesus? 
God created me for a purpose and He wants me to be in heaven with Him. Once I become a Christian, I also have the responsibility to use the gifts and talents I have to share Jesus’ love with others.

Children’s ministry is vital for several reasons but our main goal is to fill that hunger and thirst for God in the hearts of our kids. Of course, the boys and girls don’t know what they are hungry for so they are trying to fill that need with things of the world. To make things worse, their parents may be experiencing the same need. While leading a child to Christ, often the whole family learns more! Through this plan, we can share the love of Christ and give children insight to the knowledge and incredible gift of God’s Word. There is no greater resource for learning than the Bible.

Helpful tools:
– Website suggestion for spiritual gift information and testing: www.mintools.com
– Names of God: www.ldolphin.org
– The Name Book by Bethany House Publishers
– Books for service projects: Hands-On Service Ideas by Group Publishing The Big Book of Service Projects by Gospel Light www.gospellight.com

Cindy Sanders has served in children’s ministry for over 22 years. She was a Children’s Minister for 19 years and now serves as Children’s Consultant for churches all over the U.S. through Life Catalyst Consulting. www.lifecatalystconsulting.com

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