The week after my kids had attended Vacation Bible school, I was finishing up dinner while my kids played across the street with a godly neighbor and friend. I picked up the phone to call my neighbor to send the kids home. During the brief call, my neighbor explained to me that my daughter, had just shared the gospel with her and asked her if she wanted to invite Jesus to be her Savior. My face quickly grew red; I was glad she couldn’t see my embarrassment. “Oh, forgive her,” I said. Only my neighbor thanked me for allowing her the opportunity to hear the gospel through the eyes of a child. She said she felt that we all need to hear the gospel daily. This was a significant conversation that has been etched in my memory because I was impressed with how gracious my neighbor had been and also for her advanced wisdom in realizing we all need to hear the gospel often.
Jerry Bridges wrote about the daily practice on preaching the gospel to yourself in The Disciplines of Grace and Respectable Sins. Bridges believed that we need to remind ourselves that we need not rely on rule-keeping, but can rest in the finished work of Christ’s sacrifice and also to remind ourselves that we are drowning in His grace. It also reminds us to continue to pursue a life that looks more like Jesus as a response to the enormity of the grace that has been shown us.
I see numerous Scriptures that can be interpreted as admonition to preach the gospel daily. The most compelling to me are:
1 Peter 3:15, “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to the everyone who asks you to give reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”
Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes; first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.”
Mark 16:15, “He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”
Matthew 28:19, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations….”
I believe it is important to also take every opportunity to talk about the significance with the gospel with your children. However, I don’t think you need to sit your children down for a long gospel presentation, but incorporate it into your normal, everyday activities. And, sharing the gospel with your children is not something that you just delegate to your church staff - It is YOUR primary job as a parent.
Five Best Ways to Share the Gospel as Part of Everyday Life
Briefly explain the gospel when my children sin. I would not shame them for their sin (although there were often consequences) but would graciously explain that our sin is why we need Jesus - He took the punishment for us. Continue to explain that because Jesus took the punishment, we can be forgiven and live in eternity with God. Reinforce how appreciative we are that Jesus died so that we can be forgiven. If you are like me, just raising normal kids will give you the opportunity to talk briefly about sin each day. Here are some other ways you can talk about the gospel with your kids on a regular basis.
Use colors to talk about the gospel. You may have seen one of these wordless gospel booklets before that are sometimes used to explain the gospel to kids. But, you can use any of these colors around your house to talk about the gospel. For example, grab crayons in each of these colors and talk about what they represent. Or, grab M&Ms and talk about what the colors are symbolic for. You could do an art project with paint or markers in these colors. You could also make a bead bracelet using these colors and talk about them. Or, grab Lego bricks in each of these colors and talk about the significance of the colors. Or, even paint fingernails the different colors below. Here are the colors and their meaning:
Yellow - God is perfect and lives in heaven
Black - represents our sin
White - Jesus never sinned. He washes us clean
Green - We growing in Christ after we accept Him as our Savior.
Most kids admire super heroes. Ask your kids which super hero is their favorite? Discuss the goo thing that super hero do. Explain that although super heroes are brave, they are nothing compared to the ultimate super hero - Jesus. Explain that movie and comic super heroes are fictional (not real) but that Jesus is real. But, He didn’t just save a town or city, He saved the whole entire world. Explain to your children about how Jesus saved us from the penalty of our sin, if we place our trust in Him and recognize Him as Lord.
Whenever you read the Bible, talk about how each story points to the salvation found in Jesus. Did you know that all of the Old Testament characters were pointing to fulfillment in Jesus. For example, did you know that the story of David and Goliath pointed to Jesus? The big giant that everyone was afraid of and could not conquer was Sin. The power that enabled David to defeat the Giant pointed to Jesus. For more examples of how the Old Testament pointed to Jesus, I suggest the Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones.
Talk about salvation as you go about your day. Talk about spiritual things with your kids. Pray to go whenever you encounter difficulties in your day. Some examples - Pray for patience as you sit in traffic. Pray before you begin your car trips. When you are delayed in traffic or due to circumstances beyond your control, pray aloud and thank God that you know that He is in control. As you encounter different road signs, talk about how they point to the Lord. A stop sign reminds us of our sin and things that God wants us to stop doing. A do not enter sign reminds us that God doesn’t want us to enter heaven because of our sin. A one-way sign reminds us that Jesus is the ONLY way to heaven (John 14:6). A yield sign reminds us we have to yield our lives to Jesus - this means we believe in Him and receive Him as our person Savior. By believing in Him, we are forgiven of our sins.