Evangelizing Children

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darinhouston
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Re: Evangelizing Children

Post by darinhouston » Thu Apr 03, 2014 1:22 pm

Specifically, anyone know of a good book for children along the lines of "OK, now you belong to Jesus -- so now what?!"

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steve
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Re: Evangelizing Children

Post by steve » Thu Apr 03, 2014 10:53 pm

Though they were written for young adults, some younger children enjoy our Growthbook comic, which is intended to orient the new convert and teach basic discipleship truths. Some of the concepts may be a bit over his head—but maybe not.

http://www.thenarrowpath.com/comic_books.php

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psimmond
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Re: Evangelizing Children

Post by psimmond » Wed May 14, 2014 8:35 pm

I went through William Lane Craig's 10-book set for young children. It deals with the various attributes of God. Although it is not a primer for how to live now that you are saved, it explains how amazing God is, how much he loves us, and how he wants us to love others.

My 5-year-old has attended church with us since she was born, We pray with her every night and at the table. We regularly talk in our home about how amazing God is when we discuss how blessed we are or when we are admiring his creation. We've answered questions she has asked about God and she has overheard many discussions about God.

I asked her last week if she believed in God, and she said, "Yes." Last Sunday at church she took her first communion as I explained to her how we remember how much God loves us by sending his son to die so that we could be his children forever. I explained how the juice helped us remember Jesus' blood and the cracker helped us remember his body that was on the cross.

When our church has a baptism service, I will explain that to her and ask if she's ready to be baptized.

So is she a Christian? Does the Holy Spirit live in her? I can't say for certain, but I know that she believes with the understanding of a kindergartener and I know that God loves her much more than I do. So if she were to die tomorrow, I would have no doubts about seeing her again in the presence of God.
Let me boldly state the obvious. If you are not sure whether you heard directly from God, you didn’t.
~Garry Friesen

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mattrose
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Re: Evangelizing Children

Post by mattrose » Thu May 15, 2014 1:04 am

I taught a children's baptism class tonight, so I thought I'd join the discussion

As the discipleship pastor of my church... I have some concerns about baptizing very young children. My general 'plan' has been to not take the initiative, but to wait for children desiring baptism to emerge and then help them, their parents, and the church come to a decision about whether or not they are truly ready.

The class came about because requests were made in the following 3 ways:
1. Some kids from our AWANA program and other children's ministries kept asking about baptism
2. Some kids filled out 'connection cards' that are included in our Sunday morning bulletin's and checked 'interested in baptism'
3. Some parents informed me that their children have been asking about and/or wanting to be baptized

This list grew to around 10 kids, so I scheduled a class.

10 kids attended. The ages ranged from 6 to 12. Parents were encouraged to attend (some did, some didn't)

I taught on baptism for about 35 minutes (comparing baptism to 5 things I thought might be understandable to children)
1. Baptism is sorta like a bath
2. Baptism is sorta like Noah's flood
3. Baptism is sorta like death
4. Baptism is sorta like a 2nd chance
5. Baptism is sorta like joining a 2nd family

Then I asked each child 3 questions
1. Why do you want to get baptized?
2. When did you become a Christian?
3. How do you want to serve Jesus AFTER your baptism?

Then I asked if they had any questions. They asked questions like?
1. Should I close my eyes?
2. Why did Jesus get mad at the temple?
3. What's the difference between child dedication and baptism?
4. Why did the soldiers want to kill Jesus?
5. Who made God?
(As you can see, the questions didn't all relate to baptism!)

Then I told them that I wanted them to think about everything we talked about, talk with their parents, and get back to me with their decision within 2 weeks.

From my perspective:
4 of the kids were clearly ready to be baptized (each of these were 8 or 9 years old)
1 was probably ready (she was 12)
3 I had a hard time analyzing b/c they were so quiet (these were like 9, 10, 11)
2 pretty much admitted they'd like to wait till they're a little older (these were 6)

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psimmond
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Re: Evangelizing Children

Post by psimmond » Thu May 15, 2014 1:42 pm

Matt,
I appreciate you sharing your experience and advise, especially since we are thinking about baptism for my daughter.

Your question "When did you become a Christian?" would be impossible for someone like me to answer. I can't remember a time when I ever didn't believe in God. I grew up in a home with Christian parents and siblings and regularly attended church since I was a baby. My dad asked me if I wanted to "ask Jesus into my heart" so I did, but I believed the gospel before this day (as well as a 5 yr-old can). I was later baptised, maybe around the age of 6 or 7. There was a period of rebellion during my college years where I told God I didn't care about his commands right then because I wanted to experience the pleasures of sin. I later repented and, with the exception of those 5-6 years, my life has been one of growing in the knowledge of God and loving him more and more.

So when did I become a Christian? I don't know...but I'm ok with that :)
Let me boldly state the obvious. If you are not sure whether you heard directly from God, you didn’t.
~Garry Friesen

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mattrose
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Re: Evangelizing Children

Post by mattrose » Thu May 15, 2014 2:52 pm

Yep... I was not insisting that they know a particular day. Quite a few of them didn't. And I affirmed that it was alright if there wasn't a specific day. I just used the question to get their feedback one way or the other. It was pretty neat hearing their answers. One boy had a particularly interesting answer. He said he couldn't sleep one night and he heard mom and dad in the next room talking about Jesus and He said decided to start talking TO Jesus :)

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