Warnings and Guidelines for Evangelizing Children

Evangelism of Kids

John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church has a well thought out statement about evangelizing children.  It breaks into two sections:

Warnings about Evangelizing Children

We should be careful not to:

  • Oversimplify the Gospel by excluding relevant portions such as evil, sin, punishment and the wrath of God or minimizing its demands for repentance, faith and obedience to Jesus.  Truth that saves must be truth that’s understood thoroughly
  • Coerce a profession by asking them to raise their hand or repeat a model prayer
    Assuming regeneration because of an outward indication of faith which can be a result of peep pressure or wanting to please parents rather than a true conviction of sin and repentance because of it
  • Falsely assure children of salvation because of an outward indication (e.g., “asking Jesus into their heart”).  Assurance is a work of the Spirit and parents should commend the Spirits work when they see fruit such as devotion, obedience and love of God
  • Rush baptism rather than waiting until they have displayed a listing commitment to Christ

Guidelines for Evangelizing Kids

We should:

  • Set a consistent example of godliness by living out the Gospel before children
  • Teach the complete Gospel clearly and thoroughly including the law of God, the Gospel of grace and the need for a Savior.  This can often be communicated during discipline by helping children understand their inability to obey and need for forgiveness
  • Understand the evidence of salvation, which is spiritual transformation consisting of confession for sin, love for brothers, obeying God’s commandments, doing the will of God, abiding in God’s Word, keeping God’s Word and doing good works.
  • Encourage children when they show signs of conversion through interest in Jesus by affirming their response and continuing to teach them from the Bible
  • Trust in the sovereignty of God for regeneration since it is the work of the Spirit alone
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