Andy Hynes, at SBC Voices, has an interesting approach to passing on the faith to our children. He advocates focusing on repentance and faith (those Baptists often skip baptism for some reason).
What do you think? What about Jesus’ teachings here? the apostles’? What do you think of the current state of evangelizing children? Advice?
I see parents today leading young children, who do not have a proper biblical understanding of essential concepts, into a “moment or decision,” that has more ownership by the parent than the child. Something like this happens…
Child: I want to ask Jesus in my heart.
Parent: Great, why do you want to do that?
Child: I want to be a Christian and go to heaven.
Parent: Okay, let’s pray to ask Jesus to come into your heart.
Parent: Repeat after me…
At that moment absolute RELIEF fills the parent, with the “assurance” that their child is now saved! They come down front, talk for a brief moment with a staff member, and then, to a standing ovation, they are presented as having been saved. We run them through the baptismal waters to symbolize death and new birth…something a young child can comprehend?…
There was indescribable relief that came over my heart when I grasped the depths of the above truths. My focus was turned toward pointing my sons to biblical ideas and not traditional concepts. God removed from my hands the burden of convincing my oldest son who is now 6 to “get saved.” I cannot make my sons pursue repentance and faith. What I can do is confuse them, and after all it is not about me. Pointing my sons to Christ comes through spending time teaching them what the Bible actually says, and not what has traditionally been thought. I am no less a “witness” for Christ to my sons than I am the tribal chief in the bush of Africa!
Instead of asking our kids, “Do you want to be saved, or do you want to ask Jesus into your heart,” let’s not ask them anything, but rather teach them all the truths of the scripture, and specifically those relating to repentance and faith.