Summary: Do not equate the immaturity of children with irresponsibility. Many children are capable of developing deep impressions about the Lord that remain with them for the rest of their life. Ask God for His wisdom
How Jesus Taught Lessons on Evangelism With Children
85% of people who place their faith in Christ for salvation do so before the age of 18. Jesus took advantage of the receptiveness of children to reach them with His love. When parents brought their children to Jesus for His blessings, healing and prayers, the disciples rebuked them for bothering such an important man as the Lord. However, Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Perhaps, we do not realize that some of us are guilty of the sin of omission when it comes to the evangelism of children. The following are eighteen principles that have helped navigate through the pathways of child evangelism:
1. Give all the opportunities possible for children to be introduced to faith in Jesus Christ. Normally children will respond to the love of Jesus even though they may not understand all the implications of their faith. A - Admit that you are a sinner. B - Believe in Christ Jesus alone as the substitutionary payment for the forgiveness of your sins. C - Confess your sins and call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved from hell, judgment and the penalties of sin.
2. Be patient in your instruction of children realizing that seeds of the word of God will have great affects in their fertile minds. Unlike proud adults, children realize how dependent they on their authorities. I often ask children, "Do you want to go to heaven when you die?" Then a simple explanation of God’s free gift of salvation from Eph. 2:8,9 is enough for most children to receive Christ Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. (John 1:12,13) "But as many as received Him. To those He gave the right to become children of God. Born not of the will of the flesh or of man, but born of God." Help children to learn what is involved in becoming a child of the heavenly Father.
3. Children need the special shepherding care of Jesus that is not intimidating or threatening. Children listen to gentle tone of voice of their teachers to interpret non-verbal messages that are often more compelling than the words that are spoken. When Jesus welcomed the little children He told them they were important
4. The point at which children are able to make responsible decisions for themselves depends on each individual. Ask the Lord for wisdom in navigating every child through the processes of placing their faith, commitment and love for Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Do not become frustrated or discouraged if certain children respond faster than others.
5. All children need a thoughtful shepherd to lead, feed and nurture them to maturity. Do not think that your job is done when you have led them to faith in Christ. 5% is deciding for Christ, 95% is following that decision while helping people grow up in all aspects into Christ- socially, emotionally,mentally,spiritually
6. God uses the faith of parents to catalyze the planting and growing of faith in their children. Ask the Lord for help in reaching concerned parents - especially new and young parents who are often most responsive.
7. Children shape their early opinions about Jesus by their initial experiences with Him and His people. Children normally do not think abstractly. They need a person that they can see Jesus through. Allow the children to experience your love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control.
I. E. I grew up in a liberal church where we were not taught how to personally receive Christ as our Savior and Lord. However, when the gospel was presented to me at 18 I readily received Christ and it quickly transformed my entire life. The gospel’s seed became like a mustard seed that quickly encompassed all aspects of my field of endeavor. My soil was ripe for harvesting because of my childhood spiritual preparation.
8. Try not to force children into making a decision based on emotions that are not based on sound facts about Jesus Christ. Occasionally, adults will try to demand that children believe in Jesus. All believing must be done through a decision of each child’s mind, will and heart felt emotions. Coercion is unacceptable.
9. Balance your love and correction for children who are growing in Christ. Remember it was said of Jesus in contrast to harshness of the Old Testament teachers of the law, "The law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ." (John 1:17)
10. Do not equate the immaturity of children with irresponsibility. Many children are capable of developing deep impressions about the Lord that remain with them for the rest of their life. Ask God for His wisdom