It's vitally important that you have a strategy for what you are teaching. You only have a short amount of time to write God's way of salvation on the hearts of children.
The average family may come to your church twice a month or even less.
Let's do the math. If they come twice a month, that means from 1st through 5th grade, you only have 130 weekend opportunities to share the gospel with them at weekend services.
We know that the vast majority of people who come to Christ do so when they are children. We also know that children are very open and receptive to the gospel. Nothing new. God tells us this in Matthew 18:3:
"Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like little children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven."
God never told children to act like adults to be saved. Rather, He told adults to become like children to be saved.
With these things in mind, it is crucial that we share the gospel with kids on a regular basis. Take a look at your curriculum. Is it helping you to effectively share the gospel with kids? Are you having to re-write it to make sure it includes a regular gospel presentation?
The most important thing you will ever teach children is the gospel. It is the power of God to salvation. You can teach kids about the story of David and Goliath. The story of Jonah and the whale. The story of God creating the earth. The stories of Jesus healing the sick. But if you are not regularly sharing the gospel, then you are not fulfilling God's teaching plan. Look what it says about this in Mark 16:15:
"He said to them, 'Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.'"
We are commissioned by Jesus to share the gospel with children and parents. With that in mind, think about these questions:
- Is our curriculum helping us to regularly share the gospel?
- Are we seeing children step across the line of faith?
- Are we seeing parents step across the line of faith?
What a great opportunity you have to share the gospel with children and parents. Here are a couple of resources that can help you effectively and regularly do this.
Connect 12 is a one-year curriculum that I wrote that shares the gospel on a consistent basis. In fact, the first month is entirely devoted to sharing the gospel. Here is an example: The Road Trip series shows kids that Jesus is the only way to eternal life. Click here to check it out.
And then each month, the gospel is written into the curriculum. Each series has a specific goal to help kids enter a relationship with Jesus and then grow in their faith in 11 key areas that will guide them to spiritual maturity and leadership.
Another part of the strategy is to invite children and their parents who want to know more about what it means to follow Jesus to a class called "Starting Point." "Starting Point" is a stand-alone class that helps kids and parents understand what it means to enter a relationship with Jesus. Check it out here.
And it works. In one year, in a local church where I was the children's pastor, we saw over 430 kids and dozens of parents attend the class and then step across the line of faith to enter a relationship with Jesus. And all 430 of them followed Jesus in baptism as a testimony of the decision they had made.
Dozens of churches are using this resource to share the gospel with kids and parents and they are seeing many of those children and parents come to faith in Jesus.
The gospel still works. It is the power of God for salvation. It has the power to change the lives of kids and their parents.
But we must do our part. And here is our part found in Matthew 28:16-20:
"Then the eleven disciples went away to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw Him, they worshipped Him. But some doubted. Then Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, 'All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.' Amen."
First and foremost, we are to share the gospel with kids and parents and then help them grow in their relationship with Him.
You can teach kids and families a lot of things. But you will never teach them anything more important than the gospel. It is our primary calling. Is it time for a change or adjustment that will help you more effectively share the gospel? Is it time to become more strategic in how and when you share the gospel?
For the original article, visit relevantchildrensministry.com.
Dale Hudson is a ministry builder. As a children's pastor, he has helped build some of the largest and fastest-growing children's ministries in the country. At Cross Church, he led the children's ministry to double in size. At Central Christian Church in Las Vegas, he helped the church grow from 8,000 to 16,000 in four years with the majority of the growth coming from reaching unchurched families.
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