Yesterday I just finished teaching a 4 week class for children who have prayed to accept Jesus into their heart. We call it “Now that I’m A Christian.” We use a curriculum that directs the teaching plans for the class. I recently spent 4 weeks with 12 kids who had recently prayed to receive Jesus.
The class covers Baptism, the Lord’s Supper, the ministry and mission of the church and of Christian believers, etc. During the class we also direct the kids to write out their testimony which includes 3 components. The 1st component of their testimony is their life before Christ and how they realized they needed Christ. The 2nd component is their salvation experience and what happened in their life when they asked Jesus into their heart. The 3rd component is how has their life changed after they accepted Christ into their heart.
I have utilized this curriculum in previous churches in leading classes and also taking kids and parents through it one on one. This has been a very beneficial curriculum as I have used it throughout my ministry in helping kids and even parents understand what it really means to be a Christian.
However, one aspect of the class we do at my church, is we offer a “Parents’ Baptism Class.” This 1 session class is provided for the parents of the kids who took the class, and is offered at a separate time for parents only. I taught this class last night to the parents of the 12 kids who went thorough the “Now That I’m A Christian” class. As I prepared to teach the “Parents’ Baptism Class” I was reminded of a valuable truth about kids receiving Christ as their Savior and Lord. When a child accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior of their life it’s not about their head knowledge but it’s about their heart’s position. In order for a child to truly receive Christ as Lord and Savior, they don’t have to know all of the answers…I mean, I don’t know all of the answers and I’ve been a Christian for almost 35 years and in full time ministry for 17 years. It’s all about the position of the heart. Children’s hearts need to be bent toward Jesus. Kind of in the shape of a funnel where Jesus can pour into their lives all of his love and forgiveness that comes with their new life.
Please hear me, children do need to understand what Jesus did for them and they need to know why Jesus died for them and be able to process the basics of “faith” and “repentance.” However, on the flip side they don’t have to attain an understanding of some of the theological perspectives which we all struggle with at times. Basically, their heart needs to be positioned or bent towards Christ and they must be open and willing to receive all of the grace made available to us by God through His Son, Jesus. When they grasp the unmerited gift of God’s grace (remember, we must frame this understanding in the context of a child) and their need for Jesus as savior and Lord, and they understand the act of forgiveness, then their heart is in a great position to receive all of the blessings that come through a personal relationship with Jesus and the power of God’s unmerited grace.
Remember it’s ultimately about a heart’s position and not a head knowledge. As adults we would be well served to abandon our baggage as we enter into the presence of God, much like children do. Then we would gain clearer picture of just how much God loves us and the full measure of his incredible grace!