So you’ve completed the gospel presentation and children begin to respond. WHAT DO YOU DO NOW???
This is when a lot of adults back away and give the kids over to the pastor for counseling. THERE IS NO NEED TO DO THAT! You just need to know what to do.
It’s easy! And it will take about 4-6 minutes of your time to help lead a child to Christ. (For a group of children, it might take a little longer.) This is important for us adults to know how to do. Jesus told the disciples to not turn away the children, but to let them come to Him. We must be the same way.
I love Child Evangelism Fellowship! They have some great resources and I want to share this one with you. This is how I counsel my Awana kids when they respond to the gospel. All you have to do is ask questions, listen to the child’s answers, and read some scripture. The Holy Spirit will take care of the rest.
**Obviously, before you do this, you want to say a prayer yourself for the Holy Spirit to be guiding you.**
1) Discover WHY the child responded: Ask the child, Why did you come to talk to me? Children will come to you for any number of reasons including needing to got to the bathroom, wanting candy, or a prayer request. But if the child says, I want a clean heart, or I want Jesus, you can be pretty sure they’ve come for the right reason.
2) Does the child understand the NEED: Ask, Why do you need the Lord Jesus as your Savior? or What is sin? Some children may not be able to answer this. If they can’t, don’t push! They may not be ready. You can tell them how excited you are that they are growing and learning about Jesus and that maybe on another day they might want to come to talk to you again. But if the child is able to communicate something that describes sin and needing Jesus to have a “fixed” relationship with God, then they are beginning to understand the need for a Savior. Read Romans 3:23 to the child.
3) Does the child understand the WAY of salvation: Ask, What did Jesus do for you? A child should be able to communicate a simple version of the gospel to you. Something like, Jesus was sent by God to the earth, He died on the cross for my sins, He rose from the grave after 3 days. Read 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 to the child.
4) Is the child ready to RECEIVE Christ: Read and explain one of the following verses – John 3:16, John 1:12 or Acts 16:31. Then ask, Would you like to receive Jesus now? If no, that’s ok. Tell him to come back to talk with you when he is ready. If yes, then have the child pray aloud. Give him some tips on what to pray, such as tell God why you need Jesus, what Jesus did for him, and that he believes in Jesus.
5) Assurance of SALVATION: Ask, What has Jesus just done? [saved me] How do you know? [Because God says Jesus will in His scripture.] Read Hebrews 13: 5b,6a. Help her to understand that God will never leave her and that He is her helper in all things.
6) Encourage spiritual growth: Explain that it is good to confess sin (1 John 1:9), pray, read and obey the Bible, tell others about Jesus, and go to church and Sunday School.
7) Give thanks: Have the child pray a thank you prayer. Then pray aloud for the child. Afterwards, have the child go and tell another children’s worker what she just did. Rejoice! Rejoice! Rejoice! Follow up with the parents.
Mark these scriptures in your Bible ahead of time. Use tabs or sticky notes and highlight the verses. Have the kids read the verses themselves if they can. And like anything, this takes practice.
I still get nervous each time I present the gospel and have kids come forward. But the more you practice, the more confidence you will have, and God will grow a desire in you to spread the gospel like you’ve never had before!
**Thank you Child Evangelism Fellowship for such a fantastic resource!!
Anne Marie is a Bible Teacher and Bible curriculum writer with more than 25 years of experience. She has created Bible lessons and taught children about Jesus at churches, camps, Christian Schools, and conferences. She is the owner of FutureFlyingSaucers Resources where she helps busy parents and church leaders teach fun, flexible, multi-age, budget-friendly bible object lessons that enhance the spiritual growth of children. She lives with her husband and three children in South Carolina.