How To Do "Child Evangelism" Effectively
Over the past 14 years, I have been privileged to be involved in the task of "Child Evangelism". During that time, I have ministered to over 100,000 children and their families, through Sidewalk Sunday School programs, After school Bible Clubs, the Community Lighthouse Achievement Club and special events, such as Health Fairs, Back to School Programs, Easter and Christmas Outreach Events and more.
Children were precious to Jesus when He was physically here on Earth. "Let the little children come to me, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven made." Matthew 19:14
I have been asked the question,"Can children really understand the message of
?" I can answer with complete confidence that they can. Not only can children understand the message, but they can also be skilled at sharing the message.
Child Evangelism Ministry is important to the entire family.
Many times over the years, I have seen children share the Gospel with their parents, leading them to a relationship with the Lord. Statistics show that those who are reached with the message of Jesus before the age of twelve are much more likely to remain involved in the church throughout their entire lifetime, following God's Word.
So How Can I Reach Children For Jesus Through Child Evangelism Programs?
Opportunities for reaching children in your community are all around you. Here are a few examples:
Sidewalk Sunday School
(Bible Clubs) in apartment complexes or backyard*
*An after school Bible Club at your church or at the school (Yes, this is possible. I have done them for several years.)*
*Saturday morning programs, including puppets, hot dogs and more at your church*
*Special Back to School Events*
*Take advantage of the holidays - Easter, Christmas, even Halloween*
*Start a neighborhood bus ministry to pick children up for church on Sunday*
*Schedule a Kid's Crusade or Family Crusade Event*
*Organize others from your church to conduct a Vacation Bible School during the summer*
These are just a few of the many child evangelism ministry ideas that you can easily implement in your church or community, in order to open the door for opportunities to share the Gospel with children.
Count The Cost
Some people are completely intimidated by the prospect of ministering to children. What if I can't answer their questions? What about liability? How do I maintain a disciplined atmosphere? Where do I start?
All legitimate questions!
I am sure there are probably many more questions going through your head right now. When I first began to minister to children, I felt totally inadequate. I had been successfully ministering to adults for years, but now I was faced with a different challenge. I needed a different "skill set" to communicate effectively.
Although, we cannot cover all of the contingencies in this format, let's consider some of the questions from above.
"What if I can't answer their questions?"
I can assure you that you will come to a point where someone will ask you a question that you do not have the answer for. Just be honest. The children will be honest and open with you if they know that you are being honest with them. "I don't know" is the appropriate answer. Look it up, find the answer. Show them how to find the answer. This can be a great opportunity for you to learn something new about the Scriptures and at the same time, teach a child one of the most important lessons of their lives - how to find out what God says about every day issues.
There are great resources available through Christian bookstores, publishers and this website that will help you to increase your understanding of God's Word and help to equip you to do effective child evangelism projects.
Click Here to check out more evangelism resources
"What About Liability?"
This has become a growing area of concern for many individuals and churches over the past few years. How do you protect both the children and yourself from false accusations or predatory behavior?
A very wise and experienced minister was sitting in a meeting one day. One after another, other ministers began to talk about their fear of being sued over issues related to ministry. After about 30 minutes of listening to this conversation, which had now almost escalated to unreasonable panic, the wise old minister rose and said, "Brothers, this is a dangerous world that we live in. God has given us brains for a reason. But, if you are going to allow your fear of what might happen to you, keep you from ministering to those who are in need, then you need to get out of ministry." You could have heard a pin drop from 50 yards away.
Don't let this question stop you from carrying out ministry to children. Are their risks? Yes, there are risks involved in everything you do. Take reasonable precautions, then leave the rest in God's hands. He will take care of you and protect you. Trust Him!!
With that said, let's take a look at some of the things that you might want to do to "TAKE REASONABLE PRECAUTIONS."
Begin by covering the basics. Be sure to have each worker or volunteer that is involved in your ministry effort fill out an application and run a background check. This is the minimum level of protection that should be in place. This basic screening process will help to "weed out" many potential problems and pitfalls. Consult with an attorney, just to make sure that your process will accomplish what you intend.
Beyond this, you should call your insurance agent and inquire about personal liability or general liability coverage for yourself or your ministry.
Put in place a set of guidelines for behavior and discipline that all of the members of your ministry team will be expected to follow. For example:
*Always counsel with children with another adult present*
*Never take a child into a room alone*
*Do not put your hands on a child in an aggressive manner*
*Always look out for the best interest of each child that you encounter*
These are common sense issues, but need to be formally addressed in a worker or volunteer manual that each person must agree to adhere to.
"How Do I Maintain Discipline With A Group Of Children?"
As we begin this discussion, remember that if you gain the respect of the children, then your discipline issues will be minimal. You will earn their respect by building relationships with them. Spend time getting to know them. What do they like? What do they dislike? Treat them with respect. You can definitely learn things from them as well.
Because of the large number of requests related to this topic, I am in the process of building a page specifically dedicated to this issue. Many people have asked for advice in this area.
Here are some general tips in the meantime.
*Let the children know that you really care about them. It builds trust and respect, which allows you to correct bad behavior. Once they know that you care and want the best for them, they will be more likely to pay attention to what you are trying to present.
*Keep it interesting.
*Use different methods to get your point across. (i.e. - puppets, video, drama, discussion, etc. There are a lot of great books and websites out there with ideas for lesson presentation.)
*Use incentive programs - rewards for good behavior.
*Build relationships with their parents. Once the children know that they will be held accountable for their behavior, you won't have to deal with too many serious issues in the future.
"So, Where Do I Start?"
PRAY, PRAY, PRAY!!
That is the starting point of every successful endeavor. Beyond that, begin to research different avenues of child evangelism ministry.
Ask yourself a few questions:
"Why do I want to minister to children?"
"Do I see child evangelism ministry as a 'stepping stone' to something else, like youth ministry or pastoring?" - If the answer to this question is "YES", then child evangelism is probably not for you. You will eventually do a great disservice to those that you are trying to minister to. I'm sorry, but I am just being honest. I have observed some appalling examples of this attitude over the years and would rather not have to witness it ever again!
"Are there existing child evangelism ministry groups in my community that I can become involved in?"
"Does my church have an existing ministry opportunity?"
Consider some of the different ministry methods that are currently successful at reaching children for Jesus - After School Bible Clubs,
Sidewalk Sunday School,
Always feel free to contact me personally if you need help in designing a program, training or just to share new ideas or resources.
Click here to contact me through my personal contact form. Your information is always secure, never shared.
Child Evangelism Ministry Is Very Rewarding
There is nothing more rewarding than knowing that you have had an eternal impact on the life of a child. Their interaction with you may transform entire families into productive citizens in the Kingdom of God.
Pray, seek God's direction, then act on what you know. Children need the Lord! You are the one who can build the bridge through child evangelism ministry.