Recommended for ages 5+
Sharing the Gospel with Your Child
A Parent's Privilege
One of the greatest privileges you have as a parent is to help your child come to faith in Christ. Even if your child was dedicated or baptized as a baby, you will want to help your child understand the gospel and make their own faith decision when he or she is old enough to do so. Like many parents, you may not quite know how or when to approach one of the most exciting yet intimidating moments of parenthood. Some worry that they won’t explain the gospel properly. They might be tempted to just “leave it to the professionals” by relying on people at church or ministry events. That’s understandable, but God has given you the most important and influential role when it comes to leading your child to Christ. The information below is designed to help you feel more comfortable about the process when that time comes.
Raising Your Child in a God- Honoring Home
ARE YOU READY?
Let’s consider a few practical ways that you can prepare to share the gospel with your child.
STEP ONE: LAY A FOUNDATION
Your son or daughter grows in his or her understanding of God by developing a foundation—hearing stories from the Bible, learning Scriptures, singing about Jesus, and so forth. Your child also learns by experiencing life in your home—watching your example, feeling your love, and learning right from wrong. We see this in Deuteronomy 6:6-7 that says, “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
STEP TWO: DISCERN READINESS
Do your best to discern when your child is mature enough to put the pieces together. Avoid the temptation to push for a decision before he or she is ready to truly grasp the gospel. Your child may intellectually understand before being socially or spiritually ready. Young children are usually bonded to their parents in such a way that they want to please and do not have a full sense of a separate self. A child needs to understand that this is a personal decision and not just an opportunity to repeat rote answers.
STEP THREE: ASK QUESTIONS
If you feel your child might be ready, ask a few questions to help gauge his or her level of understanding. For example, read Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.” Then ask questions like, “What is sin?” “How does your sin affect your relationship to God?” How they respond can help you sense when your child is ready to understand two important concepts:
1. JESUS AS SAVIOR: The need for forgiveness and cleansing from sin which was made possible through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.
2. JESUS AS LORD: The need to submit to God as “the boss” by making Jesus Christ the Lord of one’s life.
ARE YOU PREPARED TO EXPLAIN?
Romans 10 says, “…if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” If you sense your child has a basic understanding of what sin is as well as what it means to accept God’s gift of salvation and His Lordship, then you can guide him or her to pray along those lines. Instead of quoting specific words for your child to repeat, it’s best to prompt using his or her own words.
Maybe you have never put your trust in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. We would love to help answer questions you may have and walk alongside you in your personal journey. If you have questions, please reach out to us at hcbc.com/connect.
Watch this video designed to help a child understand the big story of salvation. You may also want to download the graphic to use when you explain the gospel to your child. If you are not comfortable explaining on your own, feel free to reach out!
AN INVITATION TO PARENTS
Maybe you have never put your trust in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. We would love to help answer questions you may have and walk alongside you in your personal journey. If you have questions, please email us at [email protected].
YOUR CHILD'S NEXT STEP
As children get older, they become ready for additional steps along Milestones. Set a calendar reminder for your child’s next birthday to return to this page to select their next step. Thank you for becoming intentional about guiding your child’s faith journey!