Jun 21, 2017

4 Keys to Following Up with Kids Who Make a Salvation Decision at VBS or Camp

Lots of churches present the Gospel to kids at VBS and Camp.  It's normally one of the key times in the year when you will see kids respond to the Gospel.  It is always exciting to see the reports from churches during the summer of kids who have invited Jesus into their life.

But the big questions is this?  How will we follow up with these kids?  How will affirm that they understand the decision they made?  How will we help them get off to a good start in their walk with Christ?  What next steps will we have for them?

I believe there are 4 keys to following up with kids who make a salvation decision at VBS or camp.  Let's take a look at them.  

Key #1 - Involve the child's parents.  Since parents are the primary spiritual influence in a child's life, it is obviously crucial that we involve them.  Think about how you are going to communicate the child's decision to the parents.  A letter?  Phone call?  Text?  Email?  In some cases, the child's parents may not attend your church or not attend any church.  This presents a great opportunity to share the Gospel with the parents as well.  Which takes us to the next key.

Key #2 - Invite the child and his/her parents to a new believer's class.  I can't emphasize this enough.  Here's why.  It helps the child reinforce the decision he or she has made.  It also gives you an opportunity to see the parents come to Christ.

Several years ago, I stopped doing large group salvation prayers for kids and went to the approach of inviting kids who expressed an interest in accepting Christ to a class with their parents.  You can read more about that in this post.  This is not to say this is the only approach, but I have found that you are able to reach entire families if you do this.  Last year, the ministry I led used this approach and we saw 450 kids go through the new believer's class.  On top of that, every single child was accompanied by his or her parents.  This enabled us to also see many, many parents accept Christ with their child as well.

The class curriculum I wrote for this is called Starting Point and is being used in dozens of churches. The format works in any size church.  You can get more information about getting it at this link. 

Key #3 - Help the child take their next step.  We know the next step after beginning a relationship with Jesus is baptism.  It is important to help kids understand what baptism is and how they can the step.  The parents should definitely be involved in this.  Never baptize a child under 18 without his or her parent's approval.

Coming out of the Starting Point class, I take kids through a baptism class.  Parents attend this class with their child as well.  We explain what baptism is and isn't and why you should be baptized.  Having parents attend the class with their child again enables you to see many parents follow Jesus in baptism as well.  Here is more information about the baptism class I wrote for this.  I have personally seen hundreds of parents baptized with their child after going through this class.

Key #4 - Provide them with tools to grow in their faith.  What can you place in their hands that will help them grow in their faith?  A new Bible?  A devotion book?  Follow up questions for parents to ask at home?  Key verses to read?

What an awesome privilege we have to share the Gospel with kids and families.  With it comes the responsibility to make sure we present it clearly and thoroughly.  Recent stats show that 78% people who claim no religion actually grew up in church.  I wonder how many of these people went forward to "join the church" when they were kids, but no one took the time to make sure they knew they were doing?  Or how many of them prayed a quick prayer without understanding what it meant? 

Let's make sure the kids God entrusts us with are followed up with so they can get off to a great start in their walk with Jesus.  We want to see kids follow Jesus for a lifetime.

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