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LifeWay Christian Stores
Let’s begin our session today by listening to a very familiar hymn to many of you. Please do these three things while you listen: Pretend this is your first time to hear this hymn. What major truths does God remind you about through the words of this hymn? Ask yourself, “So what?” How does this hymn help me prepare for today’s topic of children and salvation?
Have you heard of the “ABCs of Becoming a Christian”? These ABCs appear in many resources and remind us: A —“Admit” to God that you are a sinner and that you need His forgiveness; B —“Believe” in Jesus and that what He did on the cross was enough to provide for your forgiveness of sin; C —“Confess” Jesus as your Savior and Lord.
Let’s overview what we hope to accomplish during these brief moments together using the ABC approach: A —Acknowledge what the Bible teaches about children and becoming a Christian. B —Be sure that “you know that you know” Jesus as your personal Savior. C —Commit to being prepared to share the gospel with children in age-appropriate ways.
A Acknowledge what the Bible teaches about children and becoming a Christian.
What does the Bible teach about children? Where in the Bible is a specific story about a child becoming a Christian?
How can these verses help us understand the foundational truths about children and salvation? 2 Samuel 12: Samuel 3:7 Matthew 18:14 Romans 14:12
Trying to understand accountability is far more important than trying to determine a specific age at which a child may be judged as lost. The age at which any one child reaches accountability may vary greatly from the age at which another child reaches accountability.
Watering down Bible teaching about conversion so that any child can respond affirmatively to an invitation to accept Christ is a dangerous practice. Respect for the work of the Holy Spirit in the conversion of the individual requires one to abandon mechanical approaches to helping children become Christians.
B Be sure that “you know that you know” Jesus as your personal Savior.
Describe your spiritual journey: How old were you when you trusted Christ as your Savior? Where were you at that time? Who was instrumental in leading you to Christ? What do you remember most vividly about your conversion experience?
C Commit to becoming prepared to share the gospel with children in age-appropriate ways.
God’s design for a child’s spiritual growth begins at birth: Deuteronomy 6:4-7 From birth, children can begin to learn about Jesus as their friend. As they grow in understanding, they learn about Jesus as Savior and Lord. The process is “bits and pieces” and a “big event.” To help children reach a point of accountability, they should learn and be able to talk about…
Who is Jesus? What did Jesus do? Why did Jesus come to earth? What is sin? Why should I become a Christian? How can I accept Jesus as my Savior?
Tips on talking with children about becoming a Christian…
Ask open-ended questions when talking with children about salvation.
Avoid giving more information than a child asks for or needs.
Remain conversational, not confrontational.
Don’t jump to conclusions.
Never assume that a child understands your “church talk” about becoming a Christian.
Avoid symbolic language.
Make the distinction between becoming a Christian, baptism, and taking the Lord’s Supper.
Encourage the child to express his own ideas. Give time for the child to reflect and answer without giving him the answer. If the child can’t answer within a reasonable time, consider rephrasing the question.
Every child deserves personal counseling.
Involve parents with follow-up.
Use a Bible translation that children are familiar with and that uses language that they will understand.
Help anchor the memory in the child’s mind about where and when he became a Christian: 1.Create a memory box. 2.Prepare a “diary” page. 3.Record the event in the child’s Bible.
Have a time of prayer. Talk to God about your commitment to develop skills in sharing the gospel with children.
LifeWay Christian Stores Additional thoughts for teachers
When presenting the gospel in group settings…
Determine the ages to be involved.
Keep it brief.
Consider using a response card to lower peer pressure.
Have a follow-up plan, one that allows immediate and on the spot assurance as well as a long range follow-up.
Train counselors: 1. Make sure they have a plan to follow: Leading a Child/Friend to Christ (Use the tear-off section from booklet) Or the tract, ABCs of Becoming a Christian 2. Make sure they talk about assurance.