I recently stumbled across this training from Jill Nelson and think it’s quite good. A summary of the training is below but feel free to click on the previous link to hear the audio.
Ms. Nelson started off her presentation with a refreshingly direct challenge to those of us who work with kids. She explains that:
“Our children are plunging towards hell.”
And, instead of giving them the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ, all too often they are presented with false gospels. Gospels which:
- Put man at the center instead of God.
- Present a plan instead of a person.
- Comfort instead of convict.
- Encourage submission to true facts rather than submitting to God.
- Enslaves them to works instead of freeing them to do good works.
- Calls for acceptance instead of repentance.
- Is brought about by man’s decisive choice instead of God’s sovereign grace.
- Promises affirmation rather than radical transformation.
- Exalts man instead of God’s love displayed in Jesus.
Her assessment is both sobering and dead on. In children’s ministries [sports ministries too] around this country and around the world, kids hear a watered down gospel which in the end is devoid of the saving power of Jesus Christ.
Ms. Nelson goes on to explain that , before we can present a God-centered Gospel to kids, we have to understand three themes regarding the gospel message:
- God is the starting point of the gospel.
- God is the vehicle of the the gospel.
- God is the goal of the gospel.
In short, the Gospel is all about God and what he has done – not about us and what we have done.
We must also keep four additional things in mind related to our role in presenting the gospel to kids:
- When it comes to sharing the gospel with kids, our role is to plant and water the seed. We must pray to God that he would bring the growth.
- Sharing the gospel is a long-term prospect. We must be patient when it comes to sharing the Gospel. It is much more of a process than an individual event.
- We must remember that the hope is in the message not the method. We must go hard after the message because it is the message that has the power to save.
- We must present the gospel to kids within its proper context. The proper context for the gospel is within the whole counsel of God. For example, the purpose of the Old Testament is to demonstrate to us why the gospel is such good news.
Below is a graphic of a summary of the Gospel that she went through. Click here to listen to the audio of this.