1. Back up what you say with Scripture
Kids need to know that you are telling them what the Bible says and not just what you think about the gospel. For every key point that you share with kids, back it up with Scripture. When you tell kids that God is holy, read from the Bible that God is holy. When you tell kids that we are sinners, read from the Bible where it says that all have sinned.
2. Use a Bible and have kids use their Bibles
This tip goes hand in hand with tip #1. Use a Bible when you share the gospel with kids. Hold it, open it, and read from it. The Bible is God’s Word and therefore wholly trustworthy and true. So use it! Encourage kids to use their own Bibles as well. It’s okay if different translations are used. Get the kids into their Bibles, checking that what you are saying is what the Bible says. Have Bibles available to give away to children who don’t have one.
3. Don’t get caught up in the numbers game
It can be too easy to get caught up in how many kids are being saved. Don’t let this distract you. Remember, God is the one who saves. God will do his work. Each child is special and there is cause for rejoicing for each one who chooses to follow Jesus. Celebrate each child saved and give God the glory!
4. Highlight the key points
There are some heavy theological truths in the gospel message. It can become too easy to get bogged down in explanations. Highlight the key point you want the kids to learn. This will help you not to get distracted. Teach one thing; even when sharing the gospel!
5. Kids, especially young ones, are literal
Be careful with the words and phrases you use when sharing the gospel with kids. Kids, especially young ones will take what you say literally. If you tell kids they can ask Jesus into their heart, the young ones will literally think Jesus is somehow entering their actual hearts. I remember a parent once telling me about her daughter who was about 3 or 4. She came in the room crying and very upset. Her mom asked her what happened and the daughter replied that she fell down on her chest. It didn’t seem that she was hurt too badly, so her Mom asked her why she was so upset. The girl replied, “I think I may have hurt Jesus!”
Older kids may not think so literally anymore, but such phrasing can distract them. They may lose focus and start thinking about how it might actually work to have Jesus come into their hearts.
Use words and phrases that make sense to kids. Teach them Biblical words and theological words, but explain them well.
6. Give them time
Kids may need to hear the truth of the gospel many times before they are ready to give their lives to Jesus. That’s okay. As they grow they can better understand the truths of the gospel. Also, kids need time to realize that the gospel message is personal. Kids are in a stage of constant learning. The truth of the gospel is information for them to learn and absorb. It may take them some time to realize that our holy Creator-King loves them; that they have sinned and are in desperate need of saving; that Jesus came to save them; that by dying on the cross, He took the punishment for their sins.
Don’t rush kids. Give them time.
Pray before you present the gospel to kids. Pray that God would soften their hearts and prepare them to accept the truth of the gospel. Pray as you present the gospel. Pray that you would speak only truth and pray that the kids listening will accept it. Pray after you present the gospel. Pray that the truth of God’s Word would sink deep into the hearts of the children who heard it. Pray for true repentance. Pray for transformation. Pray for lives to be saved.
It’s a great privilege to share the gospel with kids. Don’t dumb it down for them. Give them the whole truth, explaining new or difficult concepts in ways that kids will understand.
I love this quote of Tedd & Margy Tripp from their book Instructing a Child’s Heart,
“We give our children big truths they will grow into rather than light explanations they will grow out of.”
Check out the other blogposts in this series!
- Sharing the Gospel with Kids – Introduction
- Sharing the Gospel with Kids – Talking about God
- Sharing the Gospel with Kids – Talking about Sin
- Sharing the Gospel with Kids – Talking about Jesus Part 1
- Sharing the Gospel with Kids – Talking about Jesus Part 2
- Sharing the Gospel with Kids – Talking about Salvation Part 1
- Sharing the Gospel with Kids – Talking about Salvation Part 2
- Sharing the Gospel with Kids – Talking about Following Jesus Part 1
- Sharing the Gospel with Kids – Talking about Following Jesus Part 2
- 7 Tips for Sharing the Gospel with Kids
- Recommended Resources for Helping Kids Understand the Gospel