Not too long ago we made a change in how we lead our elementary kids to Christ. It’s been working great, and we wanted to fill you in on some of the details. Here we go!
First off, we give an invitation for salvation every weekend. This typically follows our illustrated message. After we have children bow their heads and close their eyes we ask if anyone wants to ask Jesus into their heart for the first time.
As children raise their hands, we direct them to stand and meet a couple ladies at the side of the room. After giving them brief instruction from the stage, the ladies then lead the children to a quiet room behind the stage.
Whoever preached the message and gave the invitation quickly wraps it up on stage and then heads to the back room. When the pastor arrives in the back room the children are already seated in a semi-circle. It’s a really big deal to us that whoever preached be the person to lead those kids to Christ. For the last 10 minutes those kids connected to that pastor and responded to his invitation so it just makes sense for him to finish it out.
The pastor will then give some information before leading the children in the prayer of salvation. We have large coroplast prints to assist the pastor. Below is an overview of the cards and what we typically say:
I’m so proud of you for raising your hand and coming back here with me. You’re back here because you said, “I want to ask Jesus in my heart.”
When you ask Jesus into your heart what you’re really doing is asking Jesus for a new spirit. Right now you already have a spirit. You can’t touch it, you can’t see it, but you have a spirit. In fact, the Bible says the spirit is the most important part of you. We call the spirit the real you. But there was a problem: you and I didn’t start out with a good, new spirit...
We all started out with an old, sinful spirit. That’s why we’ve done wrong things. Have you ever done something that you knew you weren’t supposed to do? Me too - we all have. That’s called sin. Sin is when we disobey God. And what makes sin so bad is it keeps us from being with God. The Bible says that God is good and He can’t be around sin. So because of our sin, we couldn’t be with God...
But God didn’t want it to be this way. In fact, He had a plan. He knew the only way to get rid of our sin was to send His Son Jesus into the world. And that’s exactly what He did. God gave us Jesus to get rid of sin.
When Jesus grew up He did many wonderful things for many people. He showed people what God was really like.
He healed people with eyes that didn’t work - making them see for the first time ever.
He healed people with legs that didn’t work - making them walk for the first time ever.
Everywhere Jesus went He did good for people, helping them, healing everyone who came to them. Jesus did amazing things all day everyday, day after day...
Until one day, Jesus let Himself be taken away by mean people. They took Jesus up on a hill and nailed Him to a cross. On that cross Jesus died. You see, Jesus died on the cross to take away our sin.
But this is a happy story... Three days after Jesus died, His friends came to visit the place where He was buried. But Jesus’ body wasn’t there. The Bible says that God brought Jesus back to life. And Jesus is still alive right now! The coolest part is, because Jesus died on the cross and was brought back to life, now you and I can get rid of that old, sinful spirit and we can get a brand new spirit from Jesus!
This new spirit from Jesus means several things: I am a child of God. This spirit makes you part of God’s family. You become God’s child, and God becomes your Dad in Heaven. I have God’s Spirit. This new spirit isn’t just your spirit - it’s God’s Spirit. God puts a part of Himself in you. I am going to Heaven. You get to be with God forever. One day you will get to go to Heaven and be with Jesus.
Now to get this new spirit there are two things you need to do: 1) BELIEVE that God brought Jesus back to life. Raise your hand if you believe that? 2) SAY that Jesus is the boss, the Lord of your life. I’m going to help you say a prayer to do that. Bow your head and close your eyes. Say this prayer out loud after me. Make sure you say it loud enough to where you can hear it with your own ears...
Dear God, I believe Jesus is Your Son Jesus died on the cross And You brought Jesus back to life Jesus, Come in my heart Take away the bad things I’ve done And give me a brand new spirit Thank you Jesus for my new spirit! I am a child of God! Amen
After we pray with the kids, we’ll congratulate them on receiving their new spirit. We make a point to tell the kids that they do not need to come back and pray this prayer again. Like you we still have repeat salvationers each week.
Lastly, we encourage the kids to find out more about their new spirit. To help them start out in discipleship we give each kid a DVD set of our 2012 Dry Gulch camp services. These services were designed to be the fundamentals of what a new Christ follower needs to know. Plus, what kid doesn’t want their own DVD?
After that, we high-five them and send them back into service! The whole process takes around 6 minutes.
If you’re interested in giving your kids that same DVD set you can find the full 2012 Dry Gulch services at kidsonthemove.com. Use the “share” link to take you to Vimeo and there you will find the download icon.
As for the card artwork, due to copywriting we cannot give those files out. However, you can take the idea and make your own!
If you have any questions, please comment below.