Leading a Child to Christ in Children’s Church
How important is it to have an invitation during your children’s church?
You can shape concrete by pouring it into a form while it is soft. It is can be busted up but you cannot do very much to shape concrete once it is set. You must be ready to shape concrete when it arrives, not when it is convenient. Childhood is the opportunity to influence an eternal being for Christ. It is most pliable time in their lives. It is vital that children’s ministers seize the opportunity to lead a child to Christ. Christian leaders must respond to opportunity while it is still opportunity.
How important is it to give children and opportunity to accept Jesus as their savior?
Very important! Billy Graham encourages workers to always “pull in the net.invite them then to accept Christ as their Savior.
There are too many variables that could hinder a child from being ready or receptive to receive the message of the gospel. When people hear again and again without resp” There are no guarantees that the child will return the next week so you can onding their hearts are hardened. It is so important that a children accept Christ before their hearts are hardened by sin. The older a child gets, the less chance there will be that they will accept Christ.
One of the main reasons we do not see more children born again is because we do not give them opportunity to become believers. Often children’s leaders are not comfortable leading children to Christ. Sometimes children’s ministry volunteers aren’t sure how to lead children to Christ.
The Altering Lives at the Altar can be purchased on CD in the complete Skill Set.
God’s Gift for You
(Show the gift box closed.) Gifts are wonderful. They are fun to select. They are fun to give and they are a delight to receive. They come in all sizes, shapes and prices. We receive gifts from parents, grandparents and cousins. It is so much fun to look at a package and try to guess what is inside. Is it candy? Is it money? Is it that toy you’ve been wanting?
Do you know that God has a wonderful gift for you? Well, He does and it’s just as easy as ABC to receive this gift (Wiggle a mouse as you mention each letter and description.) All have sinned. Believe on Jesus and Confess your sins and you can have God’s gift of salvation.
Driving back roads this Spring to put on Parenting Conferences in North Carolina took me through rich farmland. It was too early to plant, but already the fields were plowed awaiting warmer weather. I remember the sweet smell of plowed fields that filled the air as I drove through Lancaster, PA. I thank God for farmers, because I love to eat all kinds of produce. As I looked at those fields and thought about how much work it must be to produce a harvest, I realized children’s leaders are farmers. Look at the comparison with me.
1. Farmers observe the seasons.
It would be a waste of time and energy for a farmer to dig through the snow to plant beans. Beans just don’t grow in the snow. Peas need the warm sunshine for growth.
Children don’t learn or mature spiritually on our time table. We must learn to reach them at their level where they are spiritually. There will be seasons for you to win their confidence; seasons to break down barriers through fun events and getting to know the child, there will also be tender teachable moments. Teaching is not following a curriculum step by step. Teaching is building a bridge of understanding from where there are to spiritual truths they can apply in their life.
Recognize the seasons. Do you have students ripe to accept Christ? Do you have children going through turmoil that leaves them tender to accept the love of Christ? Be careful that you teach more than a lesson, that you teach students. Answer their questions even if it is off the lesson subject. Teach where they are, not where you want them to be spiritually. Be sure the subject is relevant to them and meets a perceived need. Create a greenhouse environment where the child feels loved, significant and accepted.
2. Plow the soil.
Plowing prepares the ground for the seed. Plowing loosens the soil so the tender roots can penetrate the ground to retrieve the water and nutrients it needs to grow healthy and strong. As children’s leaders we need to prepare hearts to receive the seed, but how? I have given this considerable thought because I have observed in the last few years a new hardness in children’s hearts. This hardness prevents the seed from germinating and taking root in their lives. I believe the spiritual plowing that must take place is prayer.
Hosea 10:12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.
Psalm 126:5 They who sow in tears shall reap in joy and singing.
6He who goes forth bearing seed and weeping [at needing his precious supply of grain for sowing] shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
Prayer is an essential part of seeing children become Christ like. Prayer prepares you and the hearts of your students. Always make prayer a part of your lesson preparation. Pray that God will lead you. Ask God to prepare the hearts of your students to receive the Word of God. Ask Him to guide your words. Invite Him to be your guest. Children need to experience the presence of God. Pray in your class before you start the lesson. Be careful that the prayer is more than a mindless gesture, but it is a sincere declaration of your dependence on God.
3. Understand the power in a seed.
God’s Word is powerful. It has not lost its power to change lives. Isaiah 55:10, 11 For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater. So shall my word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
Nothing looks deader than a shriveled seed. But looks are deceiving. Locked inside that seed is life. The Bible looks like an ordinary book, black ink, letters forming words that fill the pages. But locked in the sentences are truths that unlock all heaven’s resources. It is a map to heaven. It is God’s plan of success for people, families, businesses and nations.
A farmer can have truck loads of seed, but he will never have a harvest unless he plants the seed. What are you planting in hearts of children? What kind of fruit do you see them bearing? That is a good indication of what is being planted in their lives. It isn’t enough that a farmer have vast acreage as his disposal. He must plant the seed. It’s not enough for you to have a class full of students, you must plant the Word of God in children’s hearts. That doesn’t mean stand up in your class and read verse after verse to your children. It is far more effective to take one key principle and communicate the message of that principle than to read numerous verses. Always teach for understanding. Brain research has proven the brain dumps most of what it does not understand. Tell Bible stories dramatically. Use puppets to illustrate memory verses. The harvest begins by planting a seed.
Observe Paul’s stern warning to the young preacher Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:1 “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom.” We are going to give an account before God for what we did in the classrooms with the opportunity God gave us to impact their lives. Your not just working for a superintendent or pastor, you are God’s representative in that class. You may get away with laziness with your pastor, but you won’t escape giving an honest report to God.
He instructs in verse 2 “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.”
4. Watches over the seed.
The farmer still has back breaking labor before he can enjoy the harvest. He must see that the plants have the proper fertilizer and water. Often that means providing irrigation or hand watering if the rains do not come. He must remove the weeds that would rob the plants of water and nutrients. Again, responsibilities of a children’s leader. Once you have taught a principle, look for ways to reinforce that principle. If you’ve taught on kindness, look for examples of kindness on display in your class. Comment when you see them put a principle in practice. In the weeks following that teaching ,ask the children to share examples where someone was kind to them. Is there a way that as a group you can put the principle into practice? Look for attitudes and habits that will hinder them from putting the principle into practice–selfishness, always wanting to be first etc.
5. Reap the harvest.
A few years ago I spoke at a conference held at a private university. All over the campus were orange and grapefruit trees loaded with fruit. All around the tree was rotting fruit. No one seemed interested in the bounty of the harvest. As you pray for the children and precious truths in children’s hearts you will impact them deeply. Children need to respond to that touch of God on their lives through prayer. Always give children an opportunity to respond to God in your services. Children need to know Jesus as their friend, not just know about Him. Have a time in your class where children can really talk to God from their heart.
The next time you drive down a country road and see a lush garden, remember that is what God has called you to do-produce fruit for the kingdom.
Ministering the Salvation Message
If you are doing outreach this summer it is always a good idea to have lots of resources to help you effectively communicate the Salvation Message.
- Use good illustrations.
- Use visuals that help you communicate more effectively.
- Communicate for understanding.
- Be sure your vocabulary, illustrations and examples are age level appropriate.