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Leading a Child to Christ: Questions, Tips and Pointers to Do It Right

Here are a few confusing phrases that can muddy the waters when leading a child to Christ. These tend to detract from the basic response of repentance and faith:

If you steer away from these phrases and stick to clear and biblical terminology, children will be better able to understand the Gospel message and properly respond to it. Below are a few analogies which may help you communicate the gospel message more clearly:

  • Sin: Tell the child you are cracking eggs and putting them in a bowl to scramble. Sounds delicious, huh? Tell him you cracked one bad, spoiled egg and it all goes into the bowl to be mixed around. Ask him if he would still like to eat the other eggs. He probably will not. This is like our sin. Just one sin is offensive to God and messes up our entire relationship with the Father.
  • Sin: Ask the child what happens when fruit punch is spilled on a white t-shirt in a store? It stains. The shirt cannot be sold now. Our sin stains us and keeps us from Heaven because nothing impure or unclean can enter into Heaven.
  • God’s love: Ask him how he would feel if his brother/sister/cousin took the punishment for something bad that he did. Tell him that if his relative took the punishment because they wanted to suffer in his place, he would know that the relative really loved him. God has such a great love that He is willing to sacrifice for the ones he loves through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.
  • Jesus: Ask him what someone does in a basketball game when he is too tired to play. He has a substitute come in and play for him. He gets someone to go in and do what he could not do. That is what Jesus did on the cross. He died to take the punishment we deserve and he was raised again to give us the eternal life we don’t deserve. If we had to suffer the punishment for our sin, we would be dead forever. We need a substitute to take our place so that we can have forgiveness.

Tips and Pointers for Leading a Child to Christ

  • Be sure to pray for and with your child. Ask for the Holy Spirit to work in his heart and to give you wisdom of speech.
  • Remember that simply knowing all the right answers does not mean he is born again, you need to discern the work of the Holy Spirit in the process.
  • Do not push or set a goal for your child to be saved.
  • Keep a journal of your child’s questions or conversations to see how the Lord is working over time.
  • Do not coerce your child to a decision or put words in his mouth. Let your conversations be conversational, not lectures.
  • Let him pray his own prayer of response rather than repeating after you. This helps you to grasp his understanding of repentance and faith.
  • Baptism, jealousy, recognition or peer pressure could be the source of his questions rather than a sorrow for sin and desire for forgiveness. Try to discern the spirit of his questions and comments.
  • Steer away from yes or no questions when talking with him. Seek to get him to provide longer answers.
  • Have him tell you about the plan of salvation and respond like you were a friend who did not know. Kids enjoy role playing.

Questions to Consider for Leading a Child to Christ

  1. What has been the extent of spiritual conversations with your child?
  2. Try to imagine how your child might answer the following questions based on your previous conversations.
    • Who is God?
    • Who is Jesus?
    • What is sin?
    • How does God feel about sin?
    • How did God make the way to forgive us of our sin?
  3. Based on your answers to the previous question, how would you rate the child’s readiness to repent and believe?
    • My child does not seem quite capable of understanding those concepts yet.
    • There is some understanding, but they need more information or is not quite mature enough.
    • My child knows the basics, but has not yet expressed repentance and faith.
    • My child knows the basics, but is resistant to becoming a Christian at this point.
    • My child has had a defining moment of repentance and faith.
  4. If your child has expressed genuine repentance and faith, can you pinpoint several areas of fruit in his or her life since that moment?
  5. After working through the above questions, you should be able to accurately discern what next steps your child needs to take. Is it:
      • More time
      • More information and conversation
      • Prayer that God will communicate in ways you have not been able to in order to bring better understanding
      • Gentle encouragement to repent and believe
      • Move forward with believer’s baptism

     

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ajohnson@churchleaders.com'
Dr. Johnson holds a Master of Divinity and a Doctor of Education from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Andy has helped lead for various camps and trainings across the Southeast and is a popular presenter at CPC each year.