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Leading Children To Christ

    Millions of children are not in Sunday schools or churches, or at least not in those which are leading them to Christ. At a younger and younger age children are being bombarded by anti-Christian influences. What a tragedy to allow tender, teachable children to be led astray when they can easily be led to Christ!

    Shared here is Frances Bennett’s method of leading children to decisions for Christ. In her lifetime she was a Child Evangelism Fellowship worker.

    In leading a child to Christ the most important factor is that he must be taught simply. It must be line upon line, here a little and there a little. You must use language he understands. And be thorough. Do not take anything for granted.

    In explaining the plan of salvation to a child, I might start out by asking him, "Have you ever sinned?" He'll probably say, "No." He doesn't know what sin is.

    I ask, "Did Mother ever tell you to do something you know is right, but you didn't do it?"

    "Yes."

    Then I quote James 4:17 – "To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." They understand right away.

    Then I'll say, "What can you do with your sin? You can't go into the presence of God with sin in you. Can you take back anything you've already done?" They know they can't. "Oh, that's too bad," I say. "You couldn't go into God's presence, but God found a way. You couldn't do it, but He did it."

    Here I quote Isaiah 53:6. I point out that we're not like cats or dogs who can find their way home, but like sheep.

    "We can't find our way," I tell them, "but God sent His Son into the world. The Bible says the wages of sin is death, but Jesus said, 'I don't want the little children to die.' So He made a way to take away your sin, my sin, all men's sin, and to lay it on Himself."

    Here I tell a story to bring home this truth. Perhaps about the little boy who asked to take the punishment of another little boy in school. When I am sure the child understands, I say,

    "That’s how God settled the sin question. But that isn't salvation. Now He says, you must settle the Son question – and I spell it out S-O-N. What will you do with Jesus, the Son of God, who died for your sin, was buried, and rose again? The Bible says He will come into your heart and give you eternal life – life like God has.

    "The Bible says God has the keys to eternal life (here I usually take out my keys). God says, 'Although Heaven is My throne and earth is My footstool, I'd rather come into a little boy's or girl's heart.'" Then I give them verse 20 of Revelation 3: "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock."

    Here is where you must not force him. You must be sure the response comes from the heart. I ask, "Do you want to repent, and forsake all sin, and open the door to Jesus? Is there a 'want to' in your heart?" If the Holy Spirit doesn't make it plain to them, I don't push.

    If there is a "want to" I say, "Why don't you ask Him? Will He come?" Usually the child knows He will. Then I give him a chance to pray and ask, "Who's in your heart now?"

    He will answer "Jesus."

    Now I ask, "What kind of life will you live?" He may answer, "A good life."

    But you say, "The Bible says eternal life is in Jesus." Then he will get it – eternal life.

    A child will come to Christ when he is ready, not when you are ready. Of course, only God knows when a person is truly converted. But I know a little child can savingly believe because the Bible says so. Read Matthew 18:1-14.

    And you will be surprised how much a child can understand about doctrine. He can understand redemption, justification. Sometimes children get it better than adults. Their will is not stubborn. They are freer of the works of the flesh.

    Isaiah 28:9 says, "Whom shall He teach knowledge? and whom shall He make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts." So children are to be taught doctrine.

    These are four things a child must believe in order to be saved. He must believe:

    • That he needs a Saviour because he has known to do good, and hasn't done it.

    • That God sent His Son who took his place, died and rose again for his salvation.

    • That Christ lives, and that he can know Him – not about Him – but know Him.

    • That when he has received Christ, he has eternal life.

    I usually give the newly converted child D. L. Moody's three rules. They will help him grow in the Lord. They are:

    Read the Bible. That's how God talks to us.

    Pray every day. Not say prayers, but pray in the morning and at night. That's how we talk to God.

    Every day tell somebody about Jesus. Talk to other people about Him.

    I believe in separation. I tell him he must remember constantly that he belongs to Jesus, and there are things other children can do but he can't do. However, I wouldn't deal with him directly about harmful practices, for he is under the authority of his parents.

    When a child is older there should be a further committal to Christ. When children reach teenage, the world is alluring, the flesh demanding. When I counsel older children, I tell them, "It's one thing for you to have the Lord Jesus, and another thing for Jesus to have you fully" (Rom. 12:1).

    "Have you given yourself as a present to Christ?" If they haven't, I try to lead them to the place where they are willing to pray, "Cleanse me, Lord. I give you my soul, my body and my spirit. Holy Spirit, come into my heart and fill me."

    It's one thing to have the Holy Spirit, and another thing to have Him fill you. I gave myself fully to the Lord when I was in my late teens and that was when I decided to go into full-time Christian work.

    I usually give the child the tract "Four Things God Wants You to Know." I usually give them the Gospel of Luke. It is a wonderful story, contains Jesus' prayers and tells the most about His childhood.

    When children have strayed, I deal with them as sinning saints. I ask them if they have ever received Jesus as Saviour.

    I say, "Jesus says He'll never leave you. But you can break your relationship. In order to be restored, confess your sin and ask forgiveness." (1 John 1:5-7, 9).

    The date and time of conversion should be impressed upon the child. If it's in a meeting; I might get the big Bible and say, "Now the Lord is writing it down in the Book of Life, 'Little Johnny Jones received Jesus Christ as his Saviour on ............'"

    Make it an event they will never forget. Probably they should sign a little card telling what they have done.

    Anyone who is born again, who knows it, and loves children can be a winner of souls.

    There was a little lady in this neighborhood living on her pension, just waiting to die. She said to me, "Oh, Miss Bennett, I wish I could do what you do!"

    "Are you born again?" I said. She said she was. "Can you tell others about it?"

    "Yes," she said.

    "Well, then go ahead." She asked me how she could start. I told her to start with the children on the street.

    Later on I heard that she had been taking children into her home, three at a time and to church. When I saw her again, she said, "Miss Bennett, I'm so happy, now I'm waiting to live."

    The time to begin to bring children to Christ is now. As soon as Andrew met Jesus he went out and won his brother. Christ has no other way to tell the Gospel but through you and me.

    You will meet children on the street. Give them a little Gospel of Luke or John. Find out if they go to church. Of course, do not take them any place until you have them ask their mothers. You may not be a great evangelist, but you can be faithful in winning children to Christ.

    It is well known that the vast majority of Christians are converted before the age of 25 – very few in later life. When you lead a child to Christ, you save an influence for time and eternity, for a child has a lifetime ahead to serve Christ.

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