- 649,328 Likes!
Reformed. Christianity. Evangelism. Modern Culture.
[This article was first posted in March 2012] It is true that for many believers, fulfilling Christ’s command to make disciples of all nations has no greater joy than seeing their loved ones come to faith in Christ. Few experiences bring greater joy to Christian parents than seeing their children come to faith in Christ. But how does one evangelize one’s children?
The process of evangelizing one’s children, however, can be a daunting task. For many parents, the questions are as practical as they are disconcerting: How should I present the gospel to my children? What’s the best approach to take? How do I know if I’m doing it right? Pitfalls, both real and imagined, intimidate virtually every parent who contemplates this responsibility. On one hand, there’s the danger of leading children to think they are saved when they are not. On the other, there’s the risk of discouraging children who express a genuine desire to follow Christ.
How, then, should we evangelize our children? The answer to this question is not an easy one, but it begins with recognizing and avoiding some of the common pitfalls in child evangelism.
Evangelizing children and training them in godly precepts is indeed tough. Truth be told, discipleship (whether at home or church) like any apprenticeship can actually be dull, tedious, and hard. In fact the results of mastering the doctrines taught may not necessarily be immediate. But this does not mean we ought to take short cuts nor does it mean we should slacken up by bringing in these bells and whistles to create a “fun environment” or cushioning the seats in church (though there is nothing necessarily wrong with that). Starr Meade makes a good point …
When it comes to evangelizing our children, I suggest that the best thing we can do is to provide diligent, systematic teaching, both of redemption history (Bible stories) and doctrinal truth (what God meant to communicate through those stories). It will take years to evangelize children through such involved teaching-but then, God entrusts them to us for years, doesn’t he? Great trees require years to grow, but they stand strong, resistant, and fruitful through decades.