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Great Words and Ideas for Sharing the Gospel with Kids

In our prior tip on child evangelism, we focused on things to avoid in witness to children. This week we turn to the other side of the equation: some great words and ideas to focus on when we share our faith with kids. As with last time, we present below three tips to make your witness to children more effective.

  1. Emphasize the verb. It might seem academic to call for such verbal precision, but words—especially verbs—really do matter when it comes to sharing our faith with kids. At the core of our evangelistic encounter is one simple question: “What must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30). Note that Paul had a simple answer to this question: “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.” We suggest that trust may be the best English equivalent of the Greek word believe (pisteuō) in evangelistic contexts, as our word trust conveys personal conviction that something is true.
  2. Emphasize Jesus and His finished work as the object of trust. Put yourself in the shoes of a child for a moment. When an adult asks you to trust her, what is she really saying? She is indicating that it is safe to rely on her. In our witness we invite children to rely on Jesus to make them “safe.” We implore them to trust that Jesus alone—and specifically His sacrificial death and resurrection—makes them right with God. If you struggle to articulate just what a child should trust, we suggest using Evantell’s ten-word presentation of the Gospel: “Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead” (see 1 Corinthians 15:3–8).
  3. Emphasize the family metaphor. At a certain point in his understanding of the Gospel, one of my children so linked trusting Jesus and Heaven that he thought that if he trusted Jesus, he might immediately die as a result! While it is common to emphasize entrance into Heaven and deliverance from Hell as the result of salvation, we may be better off emphasizing our eternal location as a part of the salvation package (see the prior tip for more on this). Remember, John wrote his Gospel not so that people would go to Heaven, but rather that they would “have life in [Jesus’] name” (John 20:31). We never want to minimize the eternal benefits of trusting in Jesus, but we can include them along with its present benefits by indicating that trusting in Jesus grants the child a place in God’s family (Romans 8:15; 1 John 3:1). This family metaphor is instinctive for children.

These three tips will help you move in the right direction in your witness to kids, but there are many more great words and ideas to explore. What are some elements that you’ve used successfully in Gospel presentation to kids? Leave us a comment!

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