The first time I led a child to Christ I didn’t know what to do after they accepted Christ. I had spent so much time leading up to “the prayer” I hadn’t thought through what to do after they prayed. All I remember doing was giving them a Bible I found in the lost and found box we had.
Their parents were so excited about their child’s decision. They asked me what they should do now. So I did what any good pastor would do when they’re asked a question they don’t know the answer to: I stalled. I told them I would send them some stuff in the mail later that week to help them get started.
I spend hours online trying to find what other churches did. What I found was a whole lot of nothing. If churches were doing something meaningful to help families after a child accepted Christ they sure weren’t sharing it.
So I thought I’d share what I’ve learned and what we’re doing that’s working right now.
It’s exciting when kids enter into God’s family. Celebrate with them and their parents. Give them a Bible with a note from you. Present them with a spiritual birth certificate like this to remember the day. The angels in Heaven are rejoicing. So should we.
Families are busy. It’s easy after the first few days to go back to life as usual. Send them a letter that week to congratulate them and give them some next steps to take with the children. Point them to programs in your church and other resources that will help them help their kids. Here’s the letter we send to parents.
As soon as you can get kids to write their story down. This will help reinforce the decision they made. Keep a copy to share with the rest of your church volunteers and staff so they can celebrate with you. These stories are also great to keep on file to use in messages and promotional material (with the families consent). Here’s a free tool that will help kids writer and share their testimony.
Let kids and parents know that one of the things Jesus wants us to do as believers is to get baptized. If you church has a class invite them to it. If not, you may want to think about starting one. Check out the freebies section of the blog to help you get started.
Your weekend program is probably already doing a great job helping kids with this. Be sure to also give mom and dads some tips on how to help their kids grow spiritually at home during the week. Here are some next steps I recommend to parents.
Using these steps will help you help families learn what it means to be a follower of Christ and grow in their relationship with Him. The important thing isn’t that you use these steps so much as you have an intentional plan that helps families take the next step in their faith.
What does your church do after a child accepts Christ?