This is the last installment from my teaching on “How to Impact a Kid’s Life & Eternity”. So far we’ve covered:
This week, we’re going to look at the practical side of things. What do I DO to impact a kids life?
I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. – 1 Cor. 9:22-23
Contextualization is simply engaging people in a way they will understand and receive it. Paul gives us the perfect example in the text above. To the Jews he became like a Jew, to the weak he became weak, and he did it all for the sake of the gospel that he might save some!
To contextualize for kids, we need to speak to them in an age appropriate way through various mediums. Tell stories. Play games. Be silly. Use examples from their life that they will understand. This is not “cheapening” anything as some would tell you, but being strategic for the purpose of greatest impact!
So use video lessons, play games that have a teaching component and have fun. By all means, teach them the deep things of God, challenge their minds, but don’t do it in a way that won’t connect with them. Be thoughtful, strategic and contextual in the way you do it!
15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, – 1 Peter 3:15
Simply put, we must be ready to share the hope we have in Christ to the kids we serve. So many of us do a great job teaching moral truths, connecting, or having fun but struggle to make the jump to the gospel. It’s a jump that must be made to have eternal impact.
Do you feel confident sharing the gospel? Can you tell in a way they will understand? If the answer is “no” to those questions, that is ok! Start today. Start practicing. Read a book on evangelism. Begin thinking through scenarios in your mind of how you would share with specific kids in your life.
I firmly believe that if you know the content of the gospel, reflect upon how Jesus has changed your own life, learn a good strategy, and practice, that it takes some of the fear out of evangelism. Then the next time an opportunity arises, you will prepared to give the reason for your hope!
Therefore they spent a long time there speaking boldly with reliance upon the Lord, who was testifying to the word of His grace, granting that signs and wonders be done by their hands. – Acts 14:3
Lastly, you just have to be bold to share the gospel. I love how this version of Acts 14 is articulated. They were speaking BOLDLY (courageous, daring, fearless) and with RELIANCE (dependent) upon the Lord. May it be said that we spoke boldly about God with reliance upon Him to the next generation.
So, how do we impact a kid’s life and destiny? In summary, I would say – you give them your fully present self, consistently and prayerfully, while showing them the ways of Jesus through your words and deeds.
I wanted to end by sharing some of the things that people said about my mom when I was preparing for her eulogy, which embodies what true impact looks like.
She fought for me when I wanted to be a better volleyball player. She taught me how to have gumption! She taught me how to dare greatly and be brave! She taught me perseverance and resilience! And grace. She taught me how to believe in myself when I lost. She taught me how to try again! She knew these things well because she was them herself.She taught and taught and poured into people. She poured and poured and poured. Into me, and y’all, and everyone she met! She gave wholeheartedly of herself to the world. I love her for that. I love her feisty, gritty courage. I don’t think I’ve ever seen courage like that in anyone else.
Another of her students said this:
Molly was one of those special kinds of people – that made others feel loved and important, even if she didn’t know them that well. How many millions of friends do y’all have? She was only my 1st grade PE coach, and you and I were the same age. There were also 600 other kids you were in the same grade with. I’ve known you and your mom for a very long time, but we aren’t close friends. But when I would see her out and about, she made me feel like we had a special connection. She made me feel important. She even met my sister-in-law once, and made HER feel important. I think we were at Wal Mart? Haha.I even texted your mom a couple of times over the past few years, I felt like I could! Do you know how rare that is?
So how do you have that type of impact? The type of impact where lives changed and eternities are forever altered? You give them the gift of your fully present self (BE), consistently and prayerfully (KNOW), while showing them the ways of Jesus through your words and deeds (DO).