Gospel

Recommended at age 4+

Learn how to lead your child to Christ. Although it may be several years before your child expresses an interest in becoming a Christian, now is the time for you to prepare for those discussions.

One of the greatest privileges you have as a parent is to help your child understand what it means to follow Jesus. Some parents worry about explaining the gospel to their kids in the “right” way. They might be tempted to just “leave it to the professionals” by relying on people at church or ministry events. But God has given you the most important and influential role when it comes to modeling a life of faith and commitment to Jesus.   

Lay a foundation 

Your children grow in their understanding of God by developing a foundation; hearing the Bible’s story, memorizing scripture, worshipping through music, and so forth. Your child also learns by experiencing life in your home; watching your example, receiving your love, and seeing what following Jesus really means. In Deuteronomy 6:6-7, Moses says to the parents of Israel, “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” The best way to model faith with our kids is to make following Jesus a regular part of our everyday lives.  

Look for heart engagement 

Avoid the temptation to push for a “faith decision” before your child is ready to truly grasp the gospel. Young children are usually bonded to their parents in such a way that they want to please. A child needs to understand that following Jesus is a personal and whole-life commitment, and not just an opportunity to repeat rote answers. Take every opportunity to model what it means to love and follow Jesus, and then look for evidence in your child’s life of genuine desire for a personal commitment to faith.   

SAVIOR AND LORD  

Following Jesus for a lifetime means understanding two important aspects of his role in our lives:  

  • JESUS AS SAVIOR:  The forgiveness and cleansing from sin which was made possible through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross  
  • JESUS AS LORD:  The opportunity to submit to Jesus, and follow him as Lord—or King—for a lifetime  

The Romans Road 

These verses from Romans capture the gospel story well.  

Romans 1:20—For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. 

Romans 3:23—all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God… 

Romans 5:8—God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 

Romans 6:23—For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

Romans 10:9If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 

Pray with your child 

Romans 10:9 says, “…if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” If you sense your child has a basic understanding what it means to accept Jesus’ gift of forgiveness, and to submit to him as King, then you can guide him or her to pray along those lines. Instead of quoting specific words for your child to repeat, it’s best to encourage using their own words.    

Baptism and Communion: When you feel your child has made a faith decision, you might want to begin talking about taking the next steps of baptism and communion. Constance offers Exploring Baptism and Communion classes for parents and children throughout the year.   

Resources: 

Spiritual Parenting by Michelle Anthony
Grace for the Moment for Kids
 by Max Lucado
Jesus Calling for Little Ones 
by Sarah Young
Jesus Calling for Kids 
by Sarah Young 

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