Sharing the gospel with kids is why we do what we do. Since we believe the gospel is so important, we spend a large amount of time making sure that we are stewarding the truth of the gospel responsibly. Here are a few tips that we have learned over the years in sharing the gospel with kids.
- TELL YOUR STORY One of the most effective ways to share the gospel with kids is to simply tell your salvation story. Make sure that you thoughtfully plan out which pieces to include or exclude, and be sure to explain difficult words or concepts that kids do not understand. In addition, incorporate and use Scripture in your story. (Ex. “When I was six years old, I learned that I am a sinner and that I break God’s laws. I knew this because Romans 3:23 says ‘All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.’”) Most kids trust the validity of your testimony, but when you incorporate Scripture, you are also appealing to the authority and the validity of God’s word.
- ASK A LOT OF QUESTIONS When sharing or counseling with a kid, always begin by asking a lot of open-ended questions. This step is very important because it allows kids to articulate their thoughts, and it allows you to gauge the level of understanding. Everyone laughs and jokes about the “raise your hand if you want to go to heaven” faux pas, but we think that saying, “Sin is when we break God’s laws. You understand that, right?” can be equally detrimental. Instead, ask questions such as “What do you understand about sin?” If it becomes clear that a kid doesn’t understand some of the gospel essential concepts, don’t push him or her. Some kids are simply not ready to make a decision to follow Christ, and that’s okay.
- SHARE THE WHOLE TRUTH I’ve often been frustrated by hearing watered down or incomplete gospel presentations, and many times I hear the excuse, “Kids simply aren’t ready for that deeper stuff.” I believe that Paul is very clear when he says, “As we have said before, I now say again: If anyone preaches to you a gospel contrary to what you received, a curse be on him!” (Galatians 1:6). At the end of the day, I believe there are very few biblical concepts that kids are unready to hear. The challenge comes in sharing these concepts on their level. We have to work very hard explain deep biblical truth in language and on a level that kids can understand. More often than not, the real excuse is not that kids are unready but that we are unwilling to do the hard work. Spend time preparing well so that you can rightly divide the word of truth.
- TRUST THE HOLY SPIRIT We have a responsibility to faithfully proclaim the message, but praise God that we are not required to change lives! Always remember that when you share God’s truth, the Holy Spirit is at work to help give understanding, to convict of sin, and to draw others to Himself. Spend time in prayer and be sensitive to the Spirit’s leading.
- USE AVAILABLE TOOLS There are many tools available that help make your job of explaining truth easier. One tool that we use at camp is The Gospel: God’s Plan for Me booklet. At the end of the day, though, remember that the only tool you really need is the word of God. Make sure that you always have your Bible handy and use it when you share truth with kids.
I hope you’ll find these tips useful in your ministry, and I’m looking forward to another amazing summer of sharing the gospel with kids at camp! It’s not too late to join us for this summer. I hope to see you at camp!