Oct 15, 2015

At What Age Can a Child Become a Christ-Follower? Solid Answers to Help You Know

How old does a child need to be before they can enter a relationship with Christ?  Is there a specific age?

While there's not a specific age that a child must be to become a Christ-follower, there are some key indicators that can help you discern if a child is ready or not.

Does the child understand abstract concepts?  Normally a child can understand abstract concepts around the age of 7.5 to 8.  In other words, the average four-year-old will think you mean a real bridge when you say Jesus is the bridge back to God.  But when a child understands abstract concepts, they will grasp this as simply an illustration and will connect it to spiritual truth.  

Does the child understand what sin is and realize they have sinned?  Some call this the "age of accountability."  The child must clearly understand that they have sinned and are need of a Savior.  Before you can be "saved" you must first understand you are "lost" without Christ.  The age of accountability is different for each child.  For some kids it could be at age 6.  For other kids it could be at age 9 or 10. 

Does the child understand what Jesus did on the cross?  The child should have a clear understanding of why Jesus came and the price He paid on the cross for our sins.  The child should move beyond just "Jesus died on the cross for me" to understanding that Jesus died on the cross to pay the price of the sin bill we owe.

Does the child understand how one enters a relationship with God?  The child should understand that we enter a relationship with God by asking Jesus to be our Lord and Savior.  They should know we are saved by grace through faith and not by works.

Is the child persistent?  A good sign that God is working in a child's life is the child initiating conversations about it.  The child will begin bringing it up without being prompted.

Want vs. Need.  Do you sense the child "wants" to make a decision or "needs" to make a decision.  There is a difference.  "Want to" can come from being coerced or by seeing other kids make a decision.  "Need to" comes from a sense of the Holy Spirit's drawing.

Instead of doing large group "salvation prayers" invite kids to a class where you have time to clearly explain the Gospel and can talk with them individually.  Have parents attend the class with their children.  It is vital to partner with parents during this process.  And the cool thing...as you do this you will see parents come to Christ as well.

We have created a class called Starting Line that we use for this.  We have seen hundreds of kids and parents go through the class and make a solid decision to follow Christ.  I am excited to announce that we will now be offering the class materials to other ministries.  It will be available for your ministry beginning November 2 at www.resources4kidmin.com.

When a child begins asking questions about following Christ, it's an exciting time.  What a privilege we have to share Jesus with children.  But we also carry a responsibility to help children understand what that means.     

12 comments:

Great stuff! I really like the points about helping a child understand how to enter into a relationship with Jesus and to partner with parents. We use the acronym BASE to explain how one enters into a relationship with Jesus. Our Connecting Point for Kids Class gives us a chance to meet parents and partner with them. These two resources are so vital to our ministry's success. I look forward to previewing your Starting Line when it posts Nov 1. =-)

FYI - Cannot get the www.resources4kidmin.com link to work as of 1:50 AZ time on 10/16/2015

Hey Matt, great to hear from you. Exciting to hear about your ministry. The website link is currently just a holding page until the site goes live on Nov. 2.

Hey Dale. When will the resource site be available? I see it's been pushed back another week.

Should be ready next Monday. Just waiting on a couple of videos to be finalized.

Will the resource site be ready next week?

Will the site be ready next week?

Yes. Meeting with the web editor today to finalize everything.

When do you expect the new resource site to be ready? I'm excited to check it out!

We should be up and running by the end of the week. Had to wait on some webdesign changes that are being finalized. Thanks for checking.

Starting Line curriculum is not available at www.resources4kidmin.com

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