We are on the last four months of the year and having a blog theme about children is quite a challenge. Now we will focus on another aspect of this theme which is sharing the gospel to children. So I asked Sarah Bowler of Evantell to tell us something about child evangelism.
Delighting Grace: How important is child evangelism?
Sarah Bowler: Studies indicate that as many as 85% of all Christians came to faith between the ages of four and fourteen. That’s a powerful testimony to the importance of children’s evangelism and shows that to be a children’s worker is a high calling.
Additionally, those who come to Christ as children have the blessing of living their whole lives with the joy and peace that come from knowing Christ, as well as the opportunity to influence many others through the course of a lifetime.
Delighting Grace: Is there an appropriate age that we can say this is the right time we can share the gospel?
Sarah Bowler: All children vary and may come to an understanding of the gospel at different ages, so there is not a particular age that is the so called “right time.” Some will understand the gospel at a much younger age than others.
Try to ascertain where a child is spiritually and begin from where they already are in their understanding. For instance, with young children or children who have not heard any of the gospel before, I often begin by telling them how much God loves them. I might start by giving specific examples such as how God created the world we live in or gives us food to eat. As their understanding grows, you can then take it to the next level by talking about the way God showed he loved us most—by dying for us.
Delighting Grace: Is it hard to evangelize a child?
Sarah Bowler: On one hand, it is encouraging to know that the gospel message by which we are saved is simple enough that we can explain it to a child. However, children’s evangelism should be approached cautiously, because children can easily be confused by unclear gospel presentations, not understand what they are doing, and thus not actually trust Christ as Savior.
Delighting Grace: What if this kid is the only member in his family that received Jesus. Do you think the kid will have issues to his family because of what he did?
Sarah Bowler: Yes, it is possible that there will be some hard issues to face with a child’s family, particularly in countries that may be more harsh toward the gospel. I will say, though, that I’ve heard manymore positive stories in which a child who trusted Christ then went on to lead his or her whole family to Christ.
Recently, one of our EvanTell employees visited his home country of Vietnam on a missions trip to work with children and equip believers in evangelism. On a previous trip, he had helped lead some children to Christ. This time many adults in that same village came to listen to the gospelon his return trip because they had witnessed the testimony of Christ at work in the lives of those children.
Delighting Grace: What are the different ways to share the gospel to children?
Sarah Bowler: One of my favorite tools is the Good News Wristband (http://bit.ly/Z7kj2k), which is a gospel bracelet with 5 colors that each correspond to a Bible verse and specific part of the gospel message. Talking about what each color means is an easy way to share the gospel. I also love that it is easily adaptable. If I don’t have the bracelet, I could use construction paper, crayons, or colored beads to tell the same story.
Another fun tool is our CrossTalk tract (http://bit.ly/1rMRSUm), which unfolds in the shape of a cross as you read through the gospel message.
There are several good methods out there, but the key thing to any gospel message is that it contains three things: (1) Our sin separates us from God; (2) Jesus died for our sins and rose from the dead; and (3) We must trust Christ alone for salvation.
Delighting Grace: If a kid comes up to you and say “I want to share Jesus to my friends. Can you help me?” what will you tell a child if he wants to share the gospel?
Sarah Bowler: First, I would offer encouragement and let them know what a great thing it is to share Christ with their friends. Then, I’d probably go over a simple way they could share Christ, perhaps using one of the techniques above.</em>
As you talk with the kid, ask questions while you share your method to make sure that he or she is understanding what you are saying and also has a clear understanding of the gospel message him or herself.
Delighting Grace: If a Christian wants to reach out to kids for Christ, how do they start?
Sarah Bowler: I’d suggest taking EvanTell’s free online Seedlings Training for children’s evangelism(http://bit.ly/1tu2CGX). Seedlings is great for anyone who is a children’s worker in a church, or simply knows children (grandparents, parents, caregivers, etc.)
Delighting Grace: Thank you for your time Sarah. Last question: How can we learn more about your ministry or receive evangelism materials?
Sarah Bowler: You can find out more about our ministry by visiting evantell.org or following one of our social media outlets: twitter.com/EvanTell, facebook.com/evantell, pinterest.com/evantell.mTo purchase materials, visit our evangelism warehouse—http://act111.christianbook.com/.