Summer offers opportunities for intentional evangelism with children and their families. A well-designed summer camp, Vacation Bible School or recreation ministry offers intentional outreach opportunities. Bringing families into the church is one of the impactful evangelistic opportunities the local church can have, but while we may do a good job at evangelizing and baptizing, how well do we follow up with teaching and discipleship?
Jim Wideman, a nationally recognized children’s ministry leader, cautions us, “It’s more than getting children saved. It’s time we all move past just getting children saved and help them to live saved.” What intentional steps do you have in place to help children learn to “lived saved” after their baptism?
Helping children learn how to live life day-to-day as a disciple of Christ is crucial to a growing faith. As a church, we need to do more than bring children in. We must grow their faith by providing ministry opportunities, helping families grow in faith together, and offering training opportunities.
Provide opportunities for children and families to minister to others
Create a list of ideas for local service projects that families can do at home. Celebrate and tell the stories of your children and families on mission to encourage others to follow their examples.
Help families grow together
Offer a study Bible to new Christians and their families to commemorate their baptism and provide opportunities to use the Bible at home and at church. Help families incorporate verses in their everyday life by having a church “verse of the month” that is practiced and reinforced during service times. Create a refrigerator card with the verse and follow-up application questions to reinforce memorization and application at home.
Offer ongoing training for children and parents
There are many types of training opportunities for families. Perhaps offer trainings over the given study Bible and ways to use it at home. If families are hesitant to come to the training, create a short video introduction to the new Bible that can be downloaded and viewed at home.
Offering classes on faith development in children is a wonderful gift to families. A suggested foundational piece is Lifeway’s “Growing in God’s Word.” This resource lays out faith-concept development through the years, as well as equipping parents with age-appropriate vocabulary. Lifeway Christian Resources also offers a discipleship series called, “I’m a Christian Now” which provides several resources that equips parents with how to disciple new Christians at home. In the event that the parents are not Christians, the resource can also be used by children on their own.
Another great training opportunity for new Christians is in evangelism. Some great starting points for evangelistic training opportunities are “The Bridge” or the “3 Circles.” Both of these trainings will help families learn how to present the gospel in clear, understandable ways.
A new life as a disciple of Christ is all about spiritual fruit. Without the care and nourishment of discipleship, spiritual fruit will not flourish the way it was intended. Nourish your new Christians with resources, training and opportunities to develop and grow. Strengthen your new disciples so they are ready to make new disciples!