There is a room in my house where you can find pretty much anything related to kids’ ministry. Craft supplies, weird props, costumes, books, games, you name it, all mixed in with various hobby materials and household files. I try to organize, but it’s overwhelming. It’s a whole lot easier to close the door and leave it for some other time.
Sometimes we do the same thing when it comes to sharing the Gospel with the kids in our lives.
We know it’s important, but it’s easy to get overwhelmed. There’s just so much; the Gospel story encompasses thousands of years! All of those big theological words! (Pneumatology?! Ecclesiology?! Eschatology?!) I just don’t have the time—close the door and leave it for someone else!
What should be our greatest privilege becomes a chore. But it doesn’t have to be.
First, remember the Holy Spirit is alive and working in you. (Check out this blog post for more on this topic!) As you pray, ask God to help you notice natural openings to talk about his love.
Then, as you go about your day, keep the K.I.S.S. principle in mind—Keep It Simple, Sam (or whatever your name may be)! There are times for deeper learning, but you don’t always need to sit down for a three-hour inductive Bible study with your kids. Instead, keep an eye out for organic ways you can bring the Gospel into conversation.
Nature provides great opportunities to point out God’s amazing artistry. You could simply say, “Wow, God must have had a good time creating the world. It’s amazing how much he loves us to give us all this beauty to enjoy!” Point out how God has made each child with special gifts and abilities. Dream together about what it will be like one day when Jesus makes everything new once again.
Kids deal with difficult issues all the time. Friends are mean, families break up, scary viruses change the world. Ultimately, these things are the effects of sin making its appearance. Don’t shy away from talking candidly with kids about the sad stuff. “I’m so sorry that you have to deal with this stuff. I wish it wasn’t like this. God never wanted it to be this way.” Be ready for deeper conversations—Jesus came to make things right and one day, death and despair will be gone for good.
Kids are going to mess up. So will we! As we model forgiveness and grace in our relationships, it’s an opportunity to talk about what Jesus did for us on the cross. “I love you and I forgive you, because I know that Jesus has done the same for me.” Together, express your thankfulness for Jesus’ work in your own life and theirs. Try it out during meal-time prayers!
If you have kids in your life, chances are there are times when things break or get dirty! As you fix that bike or clean up another mess, talk about what it feels like when things are broken and what it takes to fix the problem. It doesn’t feel good, and it feels worse when the broken, messed up thing is our relationship with God. But Jesus made a way for us to get right with God again, and that’s an awesome thing. He fixes our relationship and cleans up our mess, even when we didn’t deserve it!
When the Gospel is a regular part of your lifestyle, these moments can provide a good jumping off point as your family digs deeper into what it means to have a personal relationship with Jesus. What started off as an overwhelming “chore” becomes a life-giving joy.
Kelly Rempel is the Director of Creative Communications for One Hope Canada.