One of the most exciting and anxious things we do in ministry is to lead a child to faith in Jesus Christ.
Exciting, because how wonderful is it that a child now has their entire lives to live for Jesus? How awesome is it that a soul born in sin has now been born again to spend eternity in heaven.
Also, anxious. Why anxious? Because if you have ever led a child to faith in Christ you struggle with knowing if they understood the decision. Although we experience that anxiety, it should not detour us from sharing the gospel with kids.
Obviously, a child can be saved – Jesus said so.
Matthew 18:3 “I assure you,” He said, “unless you are converted and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 19:14 Then Jesus said, “Leave the children alone, and don’t try to keep them from coming to Me, because the kingdom of heaven is made up of people like this.”
Because of the trepidation we experience with leading a child to faith in Christ many people shy away from child evangelism – that is definitely not the course of action we should take. Studies routinely show that if we do not reach them when they are young we may never reach them at all. Consider this 2004 study by Barna:
Most Christians Were Young When Saved
For years, church leaders have heard the claim that nearly nine out of ten Christians accept Jesus as their savior before the age of 18. If that statistic was accurate in the past, it no longer depicts U.S. society. The current Barna study indicates that nearly half of all Americans who accept Jesus Christ as their savior do so before reaching the age of 13 (43%), and that two out of three born again Christians (64%) made that commitment to Christ before their 18th birthday. One out of eight born again people (13%) made their profession of faith while 18 to 21 years old. Less than one out of every four born again Christians (23%) embraced Christ after their twenty-first birthday.
In 2012, in Georgia, we had 76 fewer Vacation Bible Schools than we had in 2011 which resulted in over thirteen thousand fewer children attending which resulted in over 700 fewer child baptisms. I hope this is not a trend and that every GBC church will aggressively pursue an evangelistic VBS by:
- training decision counselors for VBS
- sharing the gospel corporately and in every classroom
- bringing in an evangelist for an evangelistic evening and let him give a 20 minute gospel presentation and invitation
- making sure every teacher is trained in how to share the gospel
We need to be diligent in child evangelism and also provide the tools necessary to help them grow in Christ and understand their decision.
Let me introduce you to one such resource – “Welcome to God’s Family” by Kim Harris. This booklet is a short, concise and entertaining workbook that will help kids understand their decision and the next steps to grow in Christ. It is a 20 page study that can be a valuable resource in child evangelism.
While we do not have copies here at the GBC you can email Kim at DaKimmer @aol.com to order copies for your church, decision counselors, SS teachers, and VBS.