Sharing & Teaching the Gospel to Kids Using 4 Small Words
At the church where I serve, lately we’ve been looking at how we present the gospel to kids.
Part of our philosophy is that if a kid only comes to our church 1x, they’re going to have an opportunity to hear the gospel and respond to it.
That means we take a few minutes to unpack the gospel every Sunday.
It also means our presentation needs to be concise while still being presented in such a way that kids understand what it means to receive salvation and follow Jesus.
Recently I ran across a podcast interviewing a guy by the name of Jarrett Stevens who wrote a book called 4 Small Words, which breaks down the Bible into 4 overarching parts using 4 small words.
It’s beautiful in its simplicity but also in its depth, and it’s really easy to remember.
So we adapted it for the gospel presentation we give to kids every week.
Here’s the gospel to kids in 4 simple words:
(Disclaimer: My intention is not to create a theological debate; the purpose of this post is to help you think through how to make the Gospel as simple and quick to share as possible, so you can easily present it frequently in church and teach kids in your ministry how to present it to unchurched friends.)
OF (Gen 1 – Fall): You are made in the image OF God. You are not an accident, and nothing about you is a mistake. You’re more important than anything else in creation, and God loves you so much.
Too often kids hear lies that they aren’t pretty enough, smart enough, athletic enough, ____________ enough, but God’s truth is that they’re fearfully and wonderfully made, they’re important, and they’re loved!
FROM (Fall – Jesus’ Birth) But when you do bad things it’s like you’re running FROM God, and every bad thing you do takes you further and further away from Him.
We want kids to realize that sin is humans separating themselves from God, not God separating himself from humans.
In God’s perfect world he walked with us side by side, and it was Adam and Eve who made the decision to separate from that relationship.
AFTER (Jesus’ Birth – Today) But God loves you so much, he sent Jesus, his son, to chase AFTER you. Bad men didn’t want him getting to you, so they killed him. But he didn’t stay dead, in fact he defeated death, he’s caught you today, and right now he has an offer for you: he’ll take every bad thing you’ve ever done and ever will do and lead you back to God if you follow him.
One of the most common questions kids ask at our church is why Jesus had to die.
Yes there’s a lot more depth than bad men killed him, but it helps kids to see at least one concrete reason why.
IN- (Ascension – Today) If you accept Jesus’ offer and follow him, you will have a place IN heaven forever and God will send you someone called the Holy Spirit to come IN your life to help you do right things instead of bad things.
That’s it; the gospel in 4 simple words: OF, FROM, AFTER, IN.
Again, there may be certain points, wording, omissions, etc you disagree with, but the purpose is to help you think through creating a gospel presentation that is transmissible, memorable, and clear.
How do you present the gospel? Leave a comment!
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