We have recently wrapped up a wonderful week of Vacation Bible School and are excited about the fruit the Lord is harvesting for His kingdom. Families, we want to encourage you that your mission, as primary disciple makers in your home, is just beginning for many of you! In Matthew 28:18-20, we have all been commanded to go and make disciples of all nations--families this includes the children in your homes and in your lives.
18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
As you think about what it means to follow up with children after wrapping up a great week of Vacation Bible School, you may be asking yourself, “What do we do now?”.
Here are a few helpful tips to help you engage with the children around you and keep those conversations going as the primary disciple makers in your home. There is no greater joy or blessing, as a parent, than hearing your child pray to ask Christ to become Lord of their life and to turn away from their sins.
Look below for a few practical steps and resources you can use when engaging your child in conversations and following up with him or her after hearing the gospel presented clearly. First, this is a resource I like to use when sharing the gospel or helping others understand clearly: Helping Children to Understand the Gospel. More disciple-making at home resources are included throughout this post and in our Resource Library.
- Don’t be afraid to ask children to talk about what they are hearing and be ready to answer any questions they may have.
Be careful not to pressure children into thinking they have to make a decision to please you. Following Christ is a decision that each person has to make individually. That decision can’t be made by anyone else -- Mom or Dad, teacher, pastor, or friends can’t make the decision for you, so be sensitive to that when engaging kids in conversation.
- Have the child talk more than you talk so, ask open-ended questions that allow them to tell you what they understand.
As an example, I often walk through the AWANA gospel wheel presentation having children look up the verses in the Bible and have them explain to me what they read and what it means to them.
Once a Child has recognized that they are sinful, as we all are, and Christ died in their place on the cross, we ask if they have prayed (or would like to pray) and asked Jesus into their life and to be in control of all things in their life. Parents, don’t miss the opportunity to pray with them. It is such a sweet moment of joy when you are there to experience this with your child. Of course, we are always here for you should you or your child have questions.
Once you notify us of their decision to follow Christ, we would follow up with a baptism conversation where we make sure the child understands that baptism is not what saves you, but is a symbol to the rest of the body of Christ that you have accepted Christ and are sharing that with the world. It is much like the symbol of the wedding ring that married couples wear to show a symbol to the rest of the world of the commitment they have made to be married to each other. Baptism is a symbolic act of obedience which identifies us with Christ, showing what God commands us to do in His Word and showing the church and the rest of the world that he or she has followed Christ.
- We also discuss with the children that his or her decision and their baptism are just the beginning of their journey following Christ. This is an opportunity to emphasize that our faith journey is a lifelong relational commitment of following Christ and allowing the Lord to reveal Himself as we read the Word of God daily, spend time with other Christ followers to walk alongside you, and being immersed as part of the body of Christ learning to serve as the Lord uses you.
Parents, grandparents, teachers, friends, we want to encourage you -- Christ wants to use each of us to make an impact in your child's faith journey. Take the time and opportunities the Lord gives you to engage in conversation with the children around you and see where they are spiritually and if they are ready for the next step in following Christ. Be bold and loving in sharing your story and your faith too. If you have questions feel free to reach out us at Green Street and let us help you walk this journey together! Praying you’re blessed abundantly as you follow up with those in your household in the coming weeks!
Other resources you may find help towards disciple-making at home:
Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp
Glorious God, Glorious Gospel by Sally Michael and Jill Nelson
A Great Way to Disciple Your Kids at Home
5 Tips for Sharing the Gospel with Children
Disciple-Making at Home
Praying for Your Family
Sharing the Plan of Salvation with Your Children
These are not the only resources in our resource library. Go to www.greenstreet.org/resources and check it out. We are here to partner with you!