As Southern Baptists, we are being called to ask ourselves a question: “Who’s Your One?” Who is the one person you can pray for, build a relationship with and have an ongoing gospel conversation with? Who is one person you can focus on who needs a saving relationship with Jesus Christ?
If you are a parent, grandparent or children’s ministry leader, your “one” may very well be a child. If this is true for you, here are some tips for sharing the gospel with the children in your life.
Growing minds think literally
Children are concrete, literal thinkers. They “see” what you say. For example, I recently had a conversation with my 7-year-old granddaughter about the meaning of infinity. She wanted to know what number infinity represented. I tried to explain the meaning of infinity as a number beyond what we could know, understand or imagine. As hard as she tried, she could not grasp the concept.
We may need to take some of the more abstract concepts of what it means to be a Christian and consider how to express them in concrete ways. For example, “asking Jesus into my heart” might be better stated to children as “asking Jesus to be in charge of my life.”
We cannot assume children have a clear understanding of church words. Words like “sin” and “repentance” may need to be explained since they might not be part of a child’s everyday conversation.
Your “one” may very well be a child.
Growing minds need to explore
Have you ever been asked by a child how something works? Children are still developing their minds and figuring out how to process the world around them. Open-ended questions allow children to express what they think they mean and, in turn, grasp the full intent of what you are sharing. These types of questions help us gauge the intent of a child’s desire to become a Christian so we know it is not simply a reaction to a group call.
The beauty of being ready to share Christ with a child means that we are prepared to share with anyone who does not have a church background. As a children’s minister, the most holy moments I’ve experienced were sharing the plan of salvation with a child. I would not have wanted to miss those times because I was not prepared. Mark your Bible with a plan for presenting the gospel or learn “The Bridge” or “3 Circles” so you can share the gospel with a child or their parents in simple terms.
Infinity could be closer to reality if all Christians embraced the Great Commission to multiply disciples through evangelism and discipleship. It can begin in earnest when we answer the question, “Who’s our one?”
For more detailed help with presenting the gospel to children, check out this resource from the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.