How can you lead a child to Christ – namely your child? As both a parent and Kids Pastor, I’ve been pondering this- should Kids Ministry leaders leave the role of leading a child to Christ up to the parents or should they accept opportunity to lead a child to Christ at church? Should we bring back faith at home or continue with the drop-off discipleship that began in North America for the past 50 years or so?
How children were led to Christ in my childhood
When I was in highschool and college, I worked at kids camps and kids clubs and we often led a child to Christ. We did our best to do follow up with them to disciple them but we never had the resources available nor the man power and I remember running into a child years later who certainly was not living for Christ. I remember asking myself, “what happened?” Obviously for one, there wasn’t enough follow up or discipleship because it got missed when they went back home.
How my first born child was led to Christ
A few years ago while reading the Bible with my 4 year old at home before bed, we came across the story of Jesus eating the last supper with his friends before going to heaven. That same month earlier, our Worship Pastor had been killed in a car accident. My son asked me about heaven and why Jesus said he’s preparing a place for us. I asked him, “Do you remember Mr. Nate who you played Soccer with at the picnic?” My son answered, “Yes, and now he’s gone.” “That’s right. He’s gone from us but he’s in heaven with Jesus because Jesus promised he’d prepare a place for us so that we can be close friends with him like God intended long ago.”
“There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?” – John 14:2 (New Living Translation)
I said to my son, “One day we can choose to be in heaven with Jesus just like Nate had. Nate loved Jesus and so he is now close friends with Him just like Adam and Eve once walked and talked with God.” My son’s reply, “I want to be friends with Jesus too!” I was surprised that a 4 year old could get it and overjoyed, but I asked him a few more questions to discern if he really understood what this meant. He sure did and we prayed together. Now, two years later he remembers that moment and I am overjoyed that I got to be a part of it.
For the past two years, I have found the best times to talk to him about God and prompt his thinking with questions is when we start the day together, end the day together, travel together, etc. It’s interesting that God tells parents to do this Deut 6:5-7…
“Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.” – Deut 6:5-7 (New Living Translation)
Doing-life-together-discipleship happens for us at the end of supper when mom and dad are done eating and the boys are still not finished. You parents with toddlers know what I’m talking about. A whole lifetime goes by when they eat their meals! For us, it’s the perfect time to bring out a Toddler Bible and devotional. We’ve had some fun discussions that have brought tears to our eyes when we see our boys getting it in the questions they ask and the responses they give. Then, later at bedtime, the boys insist we read from the Bible again. They often remind us to read it! So for us, I think it’s worked out best for all of us to have led our son to Christ at home. What about you?
As a parent, do you prefer to lead your child to Christ or do you prefer someone at church to lead your child to Christ? Why or why not?
Please post your reply below or send me an email. I’d love to hear how you as parents want to partner with us kids ministers in this milestone in your child’s life.
What are your thoughts?
If your child has made a commitment to Christ, share the story!