Faith of a CHILD

Faith of a CHILD

As you share the gospel with your child, there are many things to consider.

One way to help you think through “the faith of a child” is by using the acrostic “CHILD.”

These five steps are beneficial in evangelizing the children in your life.

  1. Chronologically Teach the Bible
  2. Highlight Teachable Moments
  3. Initiate Open-Ended Questions
  4. Live an Authentic Example
  5. Decipher a Child’s Readiness

Chronologically Teach the Bible

Why is this important?  Most Christians do not understand the overarching story of the Bible.  Teaching children stories removed from their context does not provide them with an understanding of the one big story.  Isolated stories can teach moral lessons and not God’s truth.  Find a way to teach your children the big picture of the Bible.

Highlight Teachable Moments

Statistics teach that by the time a child becomes fifteen years old, that one child has asked approximately half a million questions.  Wise parents will use those questions as opportunities to steer the conversations towards God.  Plan for scheduled teachable moments like family devotions, but also prepare for the spontaneous moments.  When those moments arise on the calendar and on the spot, the prepared parent will use that moment to point to Christ.

Initiate Open-Ended Questions

A child’s ability to retain information allows them to regurgitate truths without actually being changed by them.  In an attempt to gain approval, some children may appear desirous of conversion.  Parents must refrain from using leading or closed questions (“Do you believe Jesus died for you?”  “Don’t you want to go heaven with all your family?”).  When a child has to answer with more than a simple word or repeat a common phrase, a parent will be able to grasp that child’s real comprehension of spiritual matters.

If a child prompts a conversation, that parent should respond with motivation and excitement.  A parent could heighten a child’s anticipation by scheduling a special meeting time and place.  During the conversation, a parent should ask open-ended questions to gauge the child’s spiritual awareness.

Live an Authentic Example

A parent’s authentic example of obedience is better than the greatest teaching available.  Children are able to ascertain the difference between a parent’s desire and a parent’s obligation.  It is unreasonable for a parent to believe that a child would possess a type of faith not witnessed at home.  By modeling a godly example, a parent is able to show a child that faith is genuine and tangible.  Parents should do a checkup on the status of their example.  Would you want your children to repeat your example regarding your quiet time, prayer life, speech, family, habits?

Decipher a Child’s Readiness

Beware that a parent’s over-eagerness could manipulate a child into a forced conversion.  A child’s motivation could be due to a friend’s recent baptism.  A child must see this decision as isolate from peer or parental pressure.  Even if a child indicates reception of the gospel, a parent should evaluate the claims.  Never forget that a “tree is known but its fruit” (Matt 7:16).

Once a parent is confident of a decision, reflect the celebration of heaven (Luke 15:10).  The family can help cement the reality of the experience by an initial and annual celebration.  Parents should continue to monitor development over years to reaffirm decision.

I hope these 5 steps will help you encourage the faith of a CHILD.

  1. Chronologically Teach the Bible
  2. Highlight Teachable Moments
  3. Initiate Open-Ended Questions
  4. Live an Authentic Example
  5. Decipher a Child’s Readiness