How do you explain the gospel in a way children can understand?
Although discipleship and sharing the gospel never happen the same way twice, having a base of truth that you can easily reference in your mind and pull from when you’re sharing can be very helpful. In our next few blog posts, we’ll walk through a sample “gospel framework.” This is not in any way meant to be a script. It is simply an example in case it’s helpful to reference as you continue growing in communicating the gospel.
In the context of children’s discipleship, there is usually an entry point to begin walking a child through the gospel. Maybe it’s a question, or a recognition of need, or a wrong behavior. Be aware of these entry point opportunities and be sensitive to how the Spirit is leading you to use them.
Nature and Character of God
If a child, for instance, is misbehaving, ask them if that behavior is like Jesus. Talk about the nature of God. Who is He? What is He like? Here’s an example:
“You’re being loud and distracting right now. Is that like Jesus? What is He like? Is He selfish and thinking about Himself and what He wants, or is He thinking about how He can bring people to His Father? God is the one we should be thinking about and pointing others to because He’s so good and worthy. Are you helping bring others to Him or taking attention for yourself?”
Give the child a context and understanding of sin and the flesh:
“If it’s not like Jesus, that’s the flesh. And those things that you do with the flesh in charge are sin. Why is the flesh in charge of all of us?”
Creation, Life, and the Purpose of Man
Take the child through the story of life before sin, and explain what it was like in the Garden of Eden:
“Well, let’s go way back to when God created the world. It was good, it was perfect, it was beautiful. There was no death. Everything was full of life. God made and gave life. And He did that in a special way with people. Genesis says that God made man (people) in His image. That means they were made like Him, to especially show what He was like. They could show what He is like because they had His life, His Spirit, in them.”
Sin and Its Consequences
Lead through the story of the fall and its effects:
“God told Adam and Eve not to eat from a certain tree in the garden or they would die. But Satan tempted them, and they chose to disobey God. That was sin and God cannot be with sin. Because of that, His life, His Spirit, couldn’t stay with them and in them. And if you don’t have life, you die. So inside, they didn’t have life anymore. They had started going their own way instead of following God. They were living as if they were king instead of God. They became His enemies. And the punishment for sin is always death. If you sin, you die (because when you sin you can’t have His life in you). And when your body dies, you would be separated from (not with) God forever in a place of punishment and horrible pain and suffering called Hell. And that’s the way we’re all born now too.”
Reveal man’s insufficiency and need for God’s life once again:
“People were made to know God and show what He is like. This is called glorifying Him. But can they glorify Him now with sin in our lives? Who’s the only one that can be like God and show what’s He is like? Only Him! And can we know someone without being with them? Can we know God if He’s not with us? No! So in order to do what He made us to do (know Him and glorify Him), we need His life in us. And when we know Him and glorify Him, that’s when we’re full of joy, which is something He wants for His people. However, our sin has stopped us from knowing and glorifying Him and living with this joy. Is there any hope? Can we ever have God’s life again to be able to know and glorify Him?”
Visit our blog on Wednesday to read Part Two of The Gospel Framework.