Training Children in Evangelism
But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:14 (NASB)
What is Child Evangelism? Child evangelism is sharing with a child the good news of how to receive the full forgiveness of God by entering into a personal relationship with Christ Jesus.
“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.” Psalm 127:3
Clearly evangelism begins at home. What could be more important than sharing the Good News – the greatest story ever told to our own children and grandchildren.
Evangelism begins with the very smallest of things – teaching our child or grandchildren about God. Knowing that God is the Creator of the universe. He made all things. The sunsets and mountains, clouds, flowers, birds of the air, sea creatures and puppies; showing them the awesomeness of His creation (Psalm 19:1-4). Then His word, the Bible through song, reading and telling stories. Sharing testimonies of His faithfulness in our own family. If they first learn who God is then they can appreciate why we want to tell others about Him.
Some of my favorite scriptures encourage us in teaching our children the commandments, statutes and judgements of God.
"You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 20 And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, 21 that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land of which the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, like the days of the heavens above the earth.” Deuteronomy 11:19-21
These verses inspire me to tell of the ways of God all the time. It is our gratification and responsibility.
Children make up nearly one-third of the world’s population, with approximately half of them living in places where they may never have heard the gospel.
This makes fertile ground for evangelism!! Their hearts are hungry for truth and we know the answer.
Some statistics show that as many as 75% of those who receive Christ do so before they are 14 years old. Knowing this gives us great reason to share our faith – what an opportunity!!
True evangelism affects a destiny, it doesn’t just change a current circumstance. Social causes are very popular, providing needed tangible resources such as food, water, and clothing, are good and necessary, but evangelism provides the relevant Gospel message. Relief efforts only provide temporary aid while God’s Word has the power to bring eternal life changes that can affect a child’s destiny, also affecting their daily life – knowing they were created by a loving God who cares about them.
God wants all generations to hear about Him – the Good News of Jesus Christ. We must pass the torch of faith to future generations.
“We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, His power, and the wonders He has done. He decreed statutes and established the law, which He commanded our ancestors to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.” Psalm 78:3–7
“For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations.” Psalm 100:5
This scripture would include children – God wants ALL people to come to Him and fellowship with Him.
“And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15
Children are full of questions and very curious – there will always be opportunities available to point them to their Creator and teach them about His love for them. Be mindful in conversations as to how to help mold their faith. They need to know that they were made for a purpose and that their life matters to God.
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect..” 1 Peter 3:15
There are so many tools and ways to share evangelism with your children and teach them to share with others:
When my children were little, we would invite a ministry called CEF to do what they called “backyard Bible clubs”. They would be taught by young leaders and they always shared the Gospel. We would invite all the neighborhood children and serve them a snack. Who wouldn’t want to come over to hear great stories and have treats in the backyard! It all seemed natural and my children wanted to be involved in telling stories about Jesus.
We took our children on mission trips when they were young; they were an integral part of each journey. As we traveled to Mexico, we did not speak the language. We found that the “wordless” book was the easiest way to share our faith. These are actually booklets with the colors: Yellow, Black, Red, Green, and White. Yellow represents Heaven and God’s home, but something prevents us from being with God. Black represents sin in our lives and how we are separated from a Holy God, Red represents the blood of Jesus shed for our sins, White represents our hearts being made clean from our sins, Green reminds us of things that grow like grass and trees and a new life in Christ. Scriptures would be shared to go along with each color represented. Even adults wanted to hear about the “wordless” book. All the little ones were given a booklet and they would run off and share them with their friends. Our children would be so excited to watch people learn the truth and be part of new life.
We would also highlight scriptures in a bi-lingual Bible to show the passages that told of the love of Jesus Christ and how they could know Him.
It was the Good News – telling people that God loved them so much that He died for their sins.
In the teenage years, we had an opportunity to invite girls into our home through a homestay program in Japan. Our daughters saw this as an opportunity to share Christ with people from another culture.
As they grew older, they would invite people they would meet throughout the week to worship with us on Sunday morning – we would be picking up people who my daughters had befriended, and they would spend time with us – hearing about God.
Scripture and Bible reading is the key to evangelism. When children learn about the love of Christ, it is automatic that they want to share the exciting news with others.
Music is also a way to share the love of Christ – In Christian or Gospel music, the words speak life and teach the way. Christian radio, concerts and festivals are a great tool of sharing God’s Word through music. How encouraging to have little ones learning about the love of Jesus through words in a song.
Children can be involved in evangelism through a variety of ways:
Inviting friends to church
“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6
Watching my grandchildren now growing in the Lord and hearing them share about Jesus, is my greatest reward. They love to recite scriptures, sing, perform skits and share and learn the Bible. They enjoy inviting others to hear about Jesus—for example, at Christmas, they’ve hosted a birthday party for Jesus in their home for the neighbor kids with a Happy Birthday Jesus cookie. My heart is happy.
“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” 3 John 1:4