Leading a Child to Christ

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Jesus said, “Let the little children come unto me,” — and he meant it! God is not impressed by our ages and doesn’t require His followers to reach a certain height before they enter His kingdom. As children’s ministry leaders, we need to be comfortable and skillful at leading a child to Jesus. We aren’t to manipulate or put words in our kids’ mouths. Instead, we need to be sensitive to the Spirit and recognize a child that is reaching upwards. Many people love to teach a class but miss the opportunity to bring a child to Jesus. If it’s been a while, buff up on your skills by reviewing these steps. Make leading a child to Jesus a priority and enjoy the harvest God brings you.
The moment: Children will respond quickly to the Word of God. Be prepared to move when the moment arrives! Children have tender hearts but short attention spans. Say, “Let’s pray right now.”
Focus the prayer: Before beginning the prayer, ask the child why he wants to pray. It’s important the child be aware of his need for Jesus. If he isn’t sure, don’t send him away. Pray for him according to his awareness level.
The big circle: We sometimes stand together in a circle during our prayer time for salvation. I instruct children to close their eyes and hold hands. (I say something like, “There’s no magic in closing your eyes but it helps us think about God.”) Here I say a general prayer and ask kids to repeat after me. A salvation prayer should cover a few points: confessing sins, recognizing Jesus’ sonship and sacrifice and inviting him into their hearts. Don’t get too wordy or kids will lose focus. For example a good salvation prayer is: “Dear Lord, I know I am a sinner. I am sorry for all this sin. Please wash my sins away Jesus, I know you are God’s son and that you died for me. Come live in my heart forever.”
The individual prayer: Sometimes it’s better to make a general invitation and pray individually with kids. I might say, “If you want to ask Jesus in your heart privately, come see me. Please come one at a time.” This allows kids to make their own choice without unnecessary peer pressure.
Take your time: Don’t be in a hurry to get through the prayer. Allow kids to ask questions and go with them to God for the answers. If kids begin to cry or feel warm, explain to them that this is the Holy Spirit’s work. He makes our heart tender and sometimes that makes us cry or feel warm.
I live for leading children to Christ. It is the heart and soul of my ministry. When I do this, I know that I please God and make a real difference in the lives of the kids I love!
Read more from Mimi by visiting her blog at Encouragement for Christians or read her latest book The Prophet’s Code.

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