The most important thing we do is share the gospel with kids and families.
Jesus often used object lessons to help people understand the good news of salvation.
Here are five object lessons you can use to teach kids about salvation:
The Birthday Gift
Have a small wrapped gift for an illustration
—Romans 6:23: Everyone has sinned.
—Romans 6:23: The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus.
If something is a gift, you cannot earn it.
When you get a birthday gift, what do you have to do for it to be yours?
You simply have to reach out and accept it.
—Ephesians 2:8-9: Jesus' forgiveness is a gift. But you have to reach out and accept it for it to be yours.
Did Jesus die for everyone? Yes. Is everyone going to heaven? No. Some people don't want Jesus' gift of salvation. It is a choice you have to make for yourself.
He offers you His forgiveness. Will you reach out and accept it?
What is your favorite place to eat?
When you eat there, what do they hand you (usually at the end of the meal)? A check.
You owe a bill for the food you ate.
You owe a bill for your sins. (Romans 6:23—the wages [bill] of sin is death.)
This means if we have to pay our sin bill ourselves, we will be separated from God when we die.
The Good News is Jesus offers to pay your sin bill. He never sinned. It was your sin bill that Jesus was paying for when He died.
Use an illustration of a time when someone paid a bill for you, bought you lunch or something similar.
Jesus died on the cross and rose again to pay your sin bill (Rom. 5:8).
When you invite Jesus to come into your life, He forgives your sin bill and you have eternal life.
Pretend you are at the beach.
You go into the water to swim.
You get stuck in water that is over your head and you start going down.
—You cry out to your friend on shore to help you.
—He or she grabs a rope and throws it out to you. He or she pulls you in and saves you from drowning.
—This is like what Jesus can do for us.
—We realize that we are drowning in our sins.
—We call upon Jesus and ask Him to save us (Rom. 10:13).
—He rescues us from our sins.
The Two Crosses
Give each child a piece of paper and a pencil/pen. Have them draw the following items as explained.
—Draw a rounded hill. (Jesus died on a cross on a hill.)
—Draw three crosses on the hill.
—Above the middle cross write "Jesus" and above Jesus write "0." Jesus never sinned.
—Above the other crosses, write the word "sin."
—The other two men deserved to be there. They had sinned and done terrible things.
—Draw an arrow from the left cross to the middle cross.
—Write the word "no" above the arrow.
—One of the men didn't believe in Jesus. He made fun of Jesus. He said no to Jesus' forgiveness and had to pay for his sins by being separated from God.
—Draw an arrow from the other cross to the middle cross. Write the word "yes" above the arrow. This man believed in Jesus and asked for His forgiveness.
—Mark out the word "sin" above that cross.
—Jesus forgave this man's sin and told him he would be with Him in Paradise that day.
—This represents the entire world.
—Everyone has to make a decision about Jesus: yes or no.
The Broken Figurine
This short video illustrates how Jesus paid for our sins and invites kids and parents to experience Jesus' love and forgiveness.
The video is available for your ministry to use. You can get it at this link.
You may also be interested in our Starting Point milestone class. It's a one-time class that thoroughly explains to kids and parents about what it means to follow Jesus. It is being used in dozens of churches across the nation. Dale used this class to see over 460 kids reached for Christ and baptized in one year at the church where he served. Get more info. at this link.
Your turn. What are some other object lessons you use to share the gospel with kids and parents? Share about it in the comment section below.
Dale Hudson is a ministry builder. As a children's pastor, he has helped build some of the largest and fastest-growing children's ministries in the country. At Cross Church, he led the children's ministry to double in size. At Central Christian Church in Las Vegas, he helped the church grow from 8,000 to 16,000 in four years, with the majority of the growth coming from reaching unchurched families.
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