Kids need Jesus just as much as adults do.
The same way, Jesus loves and welcomes adults, he also welcomes kids into his kingdom. In fact, Jesus specifically instructed some of his disciples not to hinder the little children, “for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these”. Not only that, but Jesus also took the little children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them (Mark 10:14-16).
Taking the cue from Jesus, just as it is important for us to share the gospel with adults, we must also not neglect the children. Nonetheless, since children do not possess the same level of maturity and understanding as adults, we cannot share the gospel with them in the exact same way as we do with adults.
Here are some helpful pointers.
Before rushing to share the gospel with a child, it is important that you not only have a clear understanding of the gospel message, but you also know how to communicate it simply and clearly to a child. If you are planning to refer to the Bible during the presentation, it is a good practice to mark out relevant passages with bookmarks or post-it tabs. Having said that, avoid overloading your listener with too many verses. Pray for God to use you for the furtherance of His kingdom, and for the child’s salvation.
Show Genuine Love and Respect
Apart from being genuinely interested in the child’s salvation, one of the most important things we can do when sharing the gospel with children is to show love and respect.
Small gestures that mirror God’s loving nature can make a huge difference in how a child responds to the message of salvation. For example, address the child by name, maintain eye contact, smile as much as possible and take time to listen and to get to know the child.
Keep it Interactive and Engaging
Children, in general, have shorter attention spans than adults, so it is important to keep your presentation interactive and engaging. You can do this by using an age-appropriate gospel tract. For instance, during Christmas, you may like to tell the biblical story of Jesus’ birth using The True Story of Christmas Animated Tract. It has captivating animations to keep the attention of your audience as you explain that God sent his Son, Jesus, to be born on earth because he loves us very much and wants to be with us forever!
You can also do an activity together with the child. For example, demonstrate the cleansing power of Jesus using bleach and food coloring. Click here for more creative gospel presentations for kids. Remember that God’s plan of salvation is for kids as well!
Share the Complete Gospel
While children may have shorter attention spans than adults, we must not shortchange them by sharing only parts of the gospel message. Rather, make every effort to stay focused and present the full gospel as succinctly as possible.
Avoid Confusing Jargon
Most of us probably don’t realize the amount of spiritual or church jargon that has crept into our language. When we ask children to “open their hearts to Jesus” or tell them that “Jesus paid the price for your sins”, we often leave them victims of confusion. When sharing the gospel with kids, special care must be made to avoid the barriers and distractions that jargon often create.
NEVER Use Hell to Frighten Children Into Accepting The Gospel
In general, there is no need to mention hell when sharing the gospel, especially with children. There are people who talk about hell in the hope that the listener is frightened into accepting the gospel. This is plainly wrong. Apart from being unethical, this approach gives listeners the wrong impression about God and the gospel.
While it is true that God is holy, just and righteous, we must always remember that God is a God of grace. God is love. He loves us and wants to be with us. Using scare tactics simply runs contrary to God’s nature.
Don’t Rush the Child into Accepting Jesus
Pray for the child’s salvation and share the gospel with the child. Never rush or pressure the child into accepting Jesus, especially if the child is too young to grasp the key points concerning our salvation, such as the concept of sin and that sin separates us from God.
Your Job is NOT Over Regardless of Whether the Child Accepts Christ
If the child accepts Jesus, rejoice and praise the Lord! But realize that accepting Jesus is only the first step in the child’s relationship with God. Do not leave the child high and dry. Rather, continue to follow-up with the child. If you can’t do this personally, connect the child with a local church.
If the child does not accept Jesus, do not be discouraged. Give thanks for the
opportunity to sow the seed and continue to pray for the child. Share the gospel in love and obedience, and leave the results to God.
Written by Alvin Gan
Alvin Gan is the father of three noisy (but lovely) teenagers and founder of 2 websites that provide creative evangelism and discipleship resources.
www.LetTheLittleChildrenCome.com specializes in unique child evangelism tools and resources to help convey the plan of salvation for kids effectively.
www.BibleGamesCentral.com develops Bible games for youths, kids and even adults to teach spiritual truths.