Can a child grasp the reality of an unseen God? Can a child understand salvation and the meaning of Christ’s death on the cross?
Some people say you should wait to talk with children about faith, salvation and other spiritual issues until they can think abstractly. Later in the teenage years you can reason with them . . . mind to mind, intellect to intellect. Yet parents who wait are often dismayed as their children grow up with no spiritual roots . . . only because of failure to plant seeds of truth in the earlier years.
“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)
What is Child Evangelism?Child evangelism is sharing with a child the good news of how to receive the full forgiveness of God by entering into a personal relationship with Christ Jesus.
Myths vs. Truth
- Myth: “Young children are intellectually incapable of responding to salvation.”
- Truth: Young children are morecapable of responding to the message of salvation than adults.
“The disciples came to Jesus and asked, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: ‘I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven’” (Matthew 18:1-4).
75% of those who receive Christ do so before they are 14 years old.2
All growth is a process, and each child will mature differently. Only God knows the true disposition of a young heart, that time when a child has reached an age of accountability—the age at which a child is capable of accepting or rejecting the Savior. As you nurture young children from birth in things of the Lord, rely on your own spiritual sensitivity to determine when they are ready to move from “spiritual baby food” to the meat of the gospel.
Spiritual Baby Food
- Sharing love through physical touch
- Seeing and meeting their emotional needs
- Speaking with a loving tone of voice
- Smiling each time you see them
- Soothing their hurts and disappointments
- Spending time reading to them
- Saying no and enforcing it
- Sharing ways to be thoughtful of others, saying please and thank you
- Setting an example by your response to others, forgiving and meeting the needs of others
- Saying bedtime prayers in the secure love of the Lord
Children Are READY to Hear the Gospel When They Are . . .
R – Reaping consequences from their own negative behavior
(feelings of guilt and shame)
E – Expressing worry about the future
(fear of darkness, separation, storms, death)
A – Asking a lot of questions
(“What happens when people die?”)
D – Drastically changing their behavior
(withdrawal or sensitivity)
Y – Yielding to positive authority
(release of a rebellious spirit)
“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” (1Peter 3:15)
From God’s Word
“Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” (Luke 18:16)