Why do people die? Where do I go when I die? Why did Jesus die on the cross? How can Jesus be part of my life when I can’t see Him? How did He get out of the tomb and is He really alive?
Has you child ever asked you any of these questions? If you are like most parents, your hands start to sweat, because you feel like “I don’t want to answer this wrong or scare them away from wanting to know more.” Well, you are not alone! This is the part of parenting for which we had no training. Before we even left the hospital, others showed us how to change a diaper and give a bottle. Salvation, though, is HUGE! Where is the manual for helping our kids with that?
Kids are so curious and have such tender, trusting hearts. Jesus knew this and told us to have the faith of a child. Sometimes we, as adults, make it harder than it needs to be. When a child begins to ask questions, it may only be the early stages of acquiring more information. Answer what your child asks and do not give more information than he is seeking. Do not jump to conclusions but do speak in clear terms and ask follow-up questions. Both the child and the Holy Spirit should be in the driver’s seat, setting the pace and course for the discussion. The “big event” occurs at different ages for individual children since each child is unique in his relationship with God. Here are some simple questions to consider as you talk to your children. The child must understand:
- Who is Jesus?
- Why did Jesus come?
- What did Jesus do?
- Why should I become a believer?
- How can I accept Jesus as my Savior?
These can be hard questions to answer on a child’s level, but they understand so much more than we as adults think. A complete, yet simple explanation is the ABCs:
Admit you are a sinner.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Believe Jesus died for your sins and rose from the dead.
But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Choose to trust Jesus alone.
Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
Once your child understands these concepts and is asking to pray to become a believer, allow him to pray out loud in his own words. There's really no "right" way to pray or specific prayer to follow; instead, it has to do more with the child's understanding and sincerity of heart.
After your child has prayed to ask Jesus to be part of his or her life, celebrate!!! He is now part of God’s family and will one day go to heaven. Make sure to share this with everyone at church, especially in CW Kids so we can celebrate too!
As the church we want to help you and your child by answering any further or lingering questions. A couple of times each year, we offer the "What's Next?" class for kids, 5th grade and under. This is a great time for kids who are asking questions or if they have just become a believer and are still asking questions. The class is lead by some amazing ladies who are passionate about kids understanding how awesome Jesus is and what it means to truly be a follower of Him. They will cover salvation, baptism, communion, and serving over 3 Sunday sessions--all of it presented in a child friendly way!
If you have questions, please email Courtney Reed at firstname.lastname@example.org.