Leading Your Child To Christ
There is no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in Truth. 3 John 1:4. Certainly, there is no greater joy than to lead our children to Christ. This is one of our greatest responsibilities as parents. It is a decision we pray our children will make early in life! Below are some tips to assist you as you talk with your child about salvation, baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
Ask open-ended questions; avoid questions with a yes or no answer.
- Who is Jesus?
- What did Jesus do?
- Why did Jesus come to earth?
What is sin?
- Children need to understand that Jesus died for the sins of all….He died for their sins too…..not just the people from Jesus day who we read about in the Bible.
- Why should I become a Christian?
- How can I accept Jesus as my Savior?
Avoid giving more information than a child asks for or needs.
- Listen carefully to their question and answer their specific question.
Don’t jump to conclusions
- A child may be asking to be baptized, but does not fully understand the difference between salvation and baptism. Ask the child why he would like to be baptized and listen carefully. As your child answers this question you will be able to discern his understanding and make any adjustments necessary in his response to clarify. He may just want to “swim on stage.” He may want to be baptized because his friend was baptized last Sunday….or he may understand that baptism is an act of obedience to Jesus. He may know that we are baptized after we become a Christian. Listening carefully and not jumping to conclusions will help you understand your child’s heart.
- Talking about the Gospel is a conversation that you will have with your children. This is an ongoing dialogue that may take place in bits and pieces as your children ask questions. Allow time for your child to process and ask questions as they come to his/her mind and heart.
Never assume that a child understands your “church talk” about becoming a Christian
- Avid using words with symbolic terminology such as “asking Jesus into your heart,” “being washed in the blood of the Lamb,” “being saved,” “Word of God”
- Instead, use concrete terms children will understand best like becoming a Christian….or making a decision to ask Jesus to be your Savior….the Boss of your Life. Refer to the Word of God as the Bible.
Make the distinction between becoming a Christian, baptism, and taking the Lord’s Supper.
- Sometimes children think that their sins are forgiven when they are baptized. They may think the water “washes away their sins.” Explain that when we are baptized, we just get wet. There is nothing special about the water…..however, baptism is very special. We are baptized for two reasons: Out of obedience to Jesus’ command. We are baptized because Jesus was baptized. We are also baptized in order to share with others the decision we have made to become a Christian.
- Make sure children understand that salvation comes first. We pray and ask Jesus to forgive us of our sins and to be our Lord and Savior….the Boss of our Life.
- The Lord's Supper is a special time when we remember what Jesus did on the cross for us. It is a time to thank Him for dying on the cross for our sins.
- The Lord's Supper is something we take after we have made a decision to become a Christian.
- Encourage your child to express his own ideas.
- Give time for him to reflect and answer without giving the answers.
- Rephrase your question as necessary to help clarify.
- Rephrase questions to make sure they understand and are not just repeating something they have heard.
- Remember the Holy Spirit is leading. Pray for the LORD to guide you as you talk with your child about this most important decision.
Request a copy of the LifeWay resource, "The Gospel: God's Plan for Me" by emailing Gwillis@firstdallas.org
Register for our next Sunday School Class, "I'm A Christian Now!" here
If you would like to purchase a copy of Dr. Jeffress' book, "The Gift," please visit the Media Resource Center on Sundays located in the Criswell Center Lobby by the St. Paul Cafe.
For questions or more information, contact the First Dallas Children's Ministry at firstname.lastname@example.org