When a child sincerely makes the decision to follow Christ, they have a hunger inside of them to grow deeper in their relationship with the Lord. Often times, however, they struggle to know exactly how to do that. That is where we come in as mentors, teachers, parents, and ministers. It is our role as believers to guide and direct those that have been placed in our charge, as stated in 1 Peter 5:1-5. This is a big task, but it doesn’t have to be as difficult as it may seem. We must simply be obedient to what the Lord has called us to. Here are just a few ways that I have learned how to disciple young children through looking in scripture:
1. Live life with one another. At CentriKid, you often hear us say that ministry happens best in the context of relationships. Jesus understood that full well. He lived life with the people he poured in to. Whether you’re a coach, mentor, or parent, spending time with kids is essential when it comes to discipleship. Children don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.
2. Get into the Word together. God’s Word is alive and active. It has the ability to cut deep into our hearts and change us to become more like Him; and this does not exclude children. Helping kids understand the importance of Scripture is crucial in discipleship. Teaching them how to read and understand Scripture gives them the jump-start they need to develop a deep hunger for God’s Word on their own.
3. Be readily available. It’s understandable that we can’t always be with the children that we minister to. However, we can always be available to encourage them at any given time. When we are sensitive to the Holy Spirit in our own lives, we can develop the wisdom needed to encourage the people that are around us.
4. Correct, guide, and redirect. Part of being a shepherd means that sometimes you may need to do some guiding and sometimes be a little authoritative. This doesn’t mean that you don’t show love, it simply means that out of your love, you may need to help a child correct some problematic behavior or actions. Jesus did this often in His ministry. He helped people see where they needed Him most. It’s okay to let a child know where they messed up, but don’t ever miss the opportunity to direct them back to the Gospel.
Daniel Teague is a long time CentriKid staffer and is about to begin his third summer serving as a camp pastor for CK7. Daniel is from Alabama but teaches high school and coaches soccer and track in Byram, Mississippi. Daniel loves spending time with students at his church, is an avid coffee drinker.