Pastor James Tester
Children are the next generation of leaders. They are the next Pastors, Bus Directors, Deacons, Junior Church Preachers, Bus Captains, Bus Workers, Sunday School Teachers, etc. If we do not reach and teach them, who will take our place? Our Fundamental Baptist Churches will eventually die with no one to take our place unless we reach the next generation of children in our area.
I also am a bit concerned that those of us who are reaching children in our ministries are not thorough enough. Sometimes, I think we rush when leading children to Christ. We need to slow down and realize that we are dealing with someone’s eternity. If we have a child pray to be saved and they do not understand, we have caused them to have a false sense of security. That false sense of security may cause them to go to hell. Don’t misunderstand me - I am a personal soul winner. I have personally averaged leading 400 people to Christ a year and have averaged 125 people baptized a year for the last 25 years. I am for reaching everyone we can while we still can! All I am saying is that we need to be careful and bring the Gospel down to their level, slowing down a bit when dealing with children.
Let me give you a few reasons why it is so important to win children to Christ.
First of all, children can be saved. The Bible tells us in Matt. 18:6; “One of these little ones which believe in me”. In Matt. 18:3&4 “Except ye be converted and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of Heaven”. Then in Romans 10:13 God reminds us that, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the LORD shall be saved”. We understand that a child is “SAFE” until they reach the age of accountability. This is the age that they know right from wrong; when they know good from bad. We also understand that some never reach this age. I’m referring to those who have mental handicaps or those who are mentally challenged. It is our job in our bus ministries and van routes to see that we win every child we can to Christ.
Secondly, the Bible tells us that it is important to win children to Christ. II Chron. 36:9 tells us that an eight-year-old king named Jehoiachin did evil in the sight of the LORD. The Bible teaches us that even children can do evil and sin. Then, on the other hand, we see that children can do right in God’s sight. In II Chron. 34:1&2, we see that another eight-year-old king began to reign, and he did that which is right in the sight of the LORD. So children can do right and live for God.
Unfortunately, unsaved children do die and go to hell. In Rev 21:8 the Bible lists those who go to hell and says: ”and all liars.” I have been working in the Bus Ministry for 30 years now. I have learned that children lie more quickly than adults. (“Johnny, stop pushing her!” Johnny says, “I didn’t push anybody”, and you watched him do it the whole time.)
Thirdly, the older a person is when he gets saved, the less time he will have to live for God. Children will have more time to go soul winning, run bus routes, start churches, be on the mission field, be Sunday school teachers, etc. All of this comes to pass because they got an early start by getting saved and being taught truth as a child. Children often make the best workers. They get excited about serving God. They are quick learners. They are easily influenced.
Lastly, you must use Scripture when leading children to Christ. I am for using the dirty heart, clean heart drawings as illustrations to reach kids, but you must use the Bible. No one ever gets saved without the Word of God. In I Peter 1:23 the Bible says, “Being born again……by the word of God.” In Rom. 10:17, we learn that the Word of God produces faith. “Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” The Word of God brings conviction. In Acts 7:54, the Bible tells us that, “when they heard these things they were cut to the heart….” Never substitute illustrations for Scripture. Illustrations simply aid you in keeping the child’s attention while using Scripture as you lead them to Christ. If the child does not understand, do not pray with them. There will be another sermon, another invitation when you can deal with them again. Never forget, no conviction - no conversion. Please take your time in dealing with children. Remember they are our next generation of Fundamentalists. If we do not reach and train them, who will take our place?
“Give me 100 preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God; such alone will shake the gates of hell.” -John Wesley