Raising an Evangelist
See this face right here? This is the face of our 5 year old evangelist! Shelby loves to tell people about Jesus. One day she ran over to her 1 year old sister and practically yelled in her face “AMELIA! You are a sinner! But God loves you and sent Jesus to die for you, AMEEELIA!” To Shelby it is pretty clear- there is nothing more important than people hearing that Jesus loves them.
I want my children to grow up this way. Looking down the road, I want my kids to enter college with crazy goals like sharing the gospel with every student in their dorm or being bold in their classes! Shelby is fearless now, but will she always be this bold?
Proverbs 22:6- Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it
I’ve heard that verse many many times in parenting. Mostly it is applied with issues of right and wrong. Sometimes I feel like in christian circles, training up our children has been reduced to don’t lie... don’t steal... don’t yell... don’t don’t DON’T DON’T!!!!
Shouldn’t we be training our children for more than DON’T? Shouldn’t we be training our children for the greatest mission on earth? What if our kids make some mistakes, but when they leave for college they care more about the eternity of their fellow students than anything else? Maybe they’ll even care more about eternity than being perfect... or expecting others to be perfect!
I want the story of our parenting to leave an eternal legacy. I truly believe that eternity can be affected by the way we train our kids.
The week before Easter (or Resurrection Sunday) I came across something called the “Easter Story Mix.”
Easter Story Mix:
Pretzel sticks (represent the Cross)
Hershey's Kisses (God's love for you)
Dried cranberries (the blood He shed)
Vanilla wafers (the stone that rolled away)
Gummy bears or jellybeans (your new life in Christ)
1. Mix equal amounts of ingredients in large bowl.
2. Put into fun bags with the poem below. Give them to friends and neighbors as an Easter gift:
The Cross where Jesus died,
The love for you He felt inside,
The stone He rolled away,
The life He brings today.
Easter is a gift, it's true,
A special present from God to you.
We hope you enjoy this special treat
That makes this holy day extra sweet!
This was a great opportunity for Shelby to share her faith and also for me to train her in how to do it! While we put the mix together, we talked about what each thing meant and how she could share that with people. She got in conversations with kids at the park, told our neighbors “Jesus loves you Happy Easter!”, and walked away from the experience wanting to find even more new fun ways to be involved in God’s mission for her life!
What are some fun things you could do to help train your child in the way they should go in the area of evangelism?
Rhonda attended Oklahoma Baptist University for two years until she felt called to reach out to a secular campus. She then transferred to Mesa State where she graduated in 2004 with a B.A. in Counseling Psychology. She now serves as a missionary to college students and has a passion for reaching out to young women. God has a purpose and design for who he wants Godly women to be, and Rhonda is excited about helping women find freedom and joy in His purpose.
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The Easter Story Mix was found in the March 2013 issue of Clubhouse magazine. Copyright © 2013 Focus on the Family. Photo © Ron Nickel. I personally found it at http://www.clubhousemagazine.com/create/easter-story-mix
5/7/2013 02:16:07 am
Thanks for sharing this Rhonda! Shelby is a joy to be around and it's so awesome seeing her love for Jesus and others! What are some practical ideas you have for helping to develop an evangelistic spirit and great love for God in kids who are 2 or 3? :) I know God ultimately makes them fall in love with Him but as a mom of younger kiddos we would love to help grow that in our kids even at their ages now!
5/7/2013 02:27:51 am
Great question Natalie! One practical way is to just keep sharing the gospel with your kids and always bringing the gospel into conversation. Also I think even encouraging your little kids to just tell people that Jesus loves them is a great start j. Getting them to think missionally. And of course pray!
5/7/2013 05:01:41 am
"Proverbs 22:6- Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it."
5/7/2013 12:39:16 pm
Thanks Tiari! When I am struggling with trying to make the "perfect" decision in parenting, I also remember Proverbs 3:5-6- Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and he will make your path straight
Thank you for this post! On this Mother's Day, it's a great reminder that our children do not belong to us, but to God. Thank you for showing how important it is to raise children entrenched in God's word so that they ultimately grow into fearless and vocal evangelists for Christ!
5/13/2013 01:23:05 pm
That is definitely my prayer! Fearless and vocal!
5/13/2013 05:01:32 am
Thank you for sharing this! I love your daughter's heart. I have a one year boy that I am constantly praying for guidance on how to grow in him a heart for Jesus. I love the idea of the Easter Bags! So fun! Children emulate what they see, so you must be doing a great job of showing her how to "be Christ" to others!
5/13/2013 01:25:50 pm
Thank you Kelsey! I pray your little boys grows into a man with a great heart for the gospel and for people!
5/13/2013 11:43:28 pm
I love your explanation of training them in the way they should go, is far more than just about the "don'ts." If we mothers bring our children along on our godly mission in life, with joy, our children grow up loving it just as much as we do.
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