Why Many Kids Make a Salvation Decision When They Are Young and Again Later When They Become a Teenager

You often see children who accept Jesus as their Savior at a young age, make another salvation decision when they are teenagers.

What causes children to do this?  Were they not saved the first time they prayed to enter a relationship with Jesus?

Here are some things to keep in mind.

1. Kids get saved just like adults do.  There is no "Jr. Holy Spirit."  Kids enter a relationship with Jesus just like everyone else does.

The key is making sure they understand the decision they are making.

I often tell parents and children's ministry leaders, that our job is not to be behind children, pushing them to make a decision.  Nor is it to be in front of them, holding them back from making a decision, when God is clearly dealing with them.

What we are called to do is this - walk alongside them.  As we walk alongside them and share the Gospel with them, the Holy Spirit will draw them. 

2. Make sure you are clearly sharing the Gospel with all ages.  It is crucial that we clearly present the Gospel to children.  I wrote "Starting Point" for this very reason.  It gives children a clear picture of what it means to follow Jesus.  You can see it and obtain it at this link.  It is designed for children in grades one to five.

3. When kids get into their teen years, they are questioning a lot of things.  Be okay with that. It's in these years, they often begin owning the faith for themselves. 

4. Take them back to God's Word.  Remind them that feelings come and go.  If they sincerely entered a relationship with Jesus at an early age, God is still with them.  Our relationship with Jesus isn't dependent upon how we feel, but rather on the promises of God. 

5. When they reach their teenage years, often God is dealing with them about surrendering to His Lordship at a new level.  As they are becoming more aware of their thoughts and feelings, the Holy Spirit begins dealing with them about areas of their life they need to surrender to Jesus.  Thus it becomes a matter of surrendering those areas of their life to Jesus.

6.  If a teenager is having a hard time remembering the decision they made as a child, it's okay to pray a salvation prayer with them again, just to be sure.

7.  I personally believe that once you are saved, you are saved forever.  God will never turn His back on you.  If you made a decision to follow Jesus at an early age, He is still with you. But He is constantly dealing with us and conforming us to His image.  Again, this is where the Lordship factor must be emphasized.  It means you are totally committing your life to His will and guidance.

8. How do you know when a child is ready to accept Jesus into their life? What should you look for?
  • They keep bringing it up to you.  If a child is consistently asking about salvation, it's a good sign that the Holy Spirit is dealing with them. 
  • You sense they know they must make this decision rather than just making a decision because of their friends, parents, pastor, etc. 
What are your thoughts?  What do you do when a teenager, who was baptized as a child, asks you to baptize him or her again?