Do you want to go to Heaven? Do you want to become a Christian? Of course you do. I learned the hard way that yes or no questions in any situation are only suitable for the world of miming. Anyone with the ability to answer in a complete sentence should be required to do so.
My first summer of camp, a child approached me during the invitation after the worship service. We went into a hallway so that I could hear her better and understand what God was doing in her life. We sat down, and she was a locked box. I asked her what her name was, and after about 5 minutes finally got a really short, quiet “Emily.” I asked her why she had come down, only to receive silence.
I tried to fill the silence with questions about home and what was going on in her life, but every question I asked was yes or no, so even when she started warming up to me a little, we still didn’t get very far.
I should have just assured her that I was there for her and ready to listen whenever she was ready to talk. If she hadn’t been ready to talk, I should have walked her back to her group and told her that I’d love to talk about it whenever she wanted.
Kids don’t feel awkward silences. They don’t feel the need to fill the quiet with pointless chatter. Has God been talking to you this week? Does He want you to become a Christian? Do you want to go to Heaven? I didn’t use these exact questions, but I did try to lead Emily to make a decision with the questions I was asking. I’m glad she didn’t take that bait. Emily made a decision for Christ later that week…and I learned yes or no questions are for the birds. I have many friends who were led in a similar way to make a decision, and to this day they are still unsure if that is when they really made a decision to follow Christ, or if they just answered the questions the way they knew others wanted them to. Steer clear of “Check Yes or No” and allow kids to dictate their decisions in their own words.