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Evangelizing Children: The Dangers and Keys to Success

As a parent, pastor, or children’s leader, evangelism should be one of our top priorities. However, there are potential dangers we should take into account. On one side, there’s the danger of leading children to think they are saved when they are not. On the other side, there’s the risk of discouraging children who express a genuine desire to follow Christ. With that said, we must approach the idea of child evangelism with our “eyes wide open” and our focus on Christ!

So let’s take a look at what I believe are some of the possible “dangers” of child evangelism:

The Danger of Oversimplifying the Gospel of Christ

Because of a child’s limited comprehension, the temptation for many leaders is to oversimplify the message of the Gospel when they attempt to evangelize children. Sometimes, this comes from programmed approaches to child evangelism, which may abbreviate the Gospel, downplay the demands of the Gospel, or leave out important points of the Gospel completely.

The Danger of Coercing a Profession of Faith

Regardless of whether the Gospel is presented in an oversimplified or thorough manner, many request some type of immediate response to that message. It could be a show of hands in a group setting, a rote repetition of “the sinner’s prayer,” or almost anything that may be counted as a positive response. Children will almost always respond in whatever way adults ask—not at all guaranteeing real acts of faith in Christ.

The Danger of Assuming the Reality of Regeneration

This next danger is assuming that a child’s positive response to the Gospel is full-fledged saving faith. Children often respond positively to the Gospel for many reasons that are unrelated to any awareness of sin or real understanding of spiritual truths. Many children, for example, profess faith because of peer pressure at church or a desire to please their parents.