Our Evangelism and discipleship of children is Weekly
“We offer an invitation every week. Is it bad to invite children to accept Jesus at every service or event?”
The frequency and process of inviting children to accept Jesus must be supervised by CM and church leadership. Over-zealous CM team members who offer invitations weekly apart from the overall CM or church principles may inadvertently confuse children.
“But in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give a defense to everyone who asks you the reason for the hope that is in you. But respond with gentleness and respect…” (1 Peter 3:15)
“But all things should be done decently and in order.” (1 Corinthians 14:40)
There are two important factors included in this question: 1) The concept of “doing things in order” / submitting to authorities over you and 2) Being sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading. Nobody in CM leadership would ever encourage anyone on the CM team to ignore the Holy Spirit’s leading, but everyone in CM leadership understands that concept of submitting to the authority over them and following an approved process. The CM can be damaged by CM team members who act outside of the process regarding any function of the CM, including the evangelizing or discipleship of children.
Everyone who ministers to children understands the innocent, beautiful desire of children to “love God” at an early age. If given the opportunity, children will gladly respond to every invitation to “love God,” every week! There is nothing “wrong” with this! In fact, God challenges us to “renew our mind” in Romans 12: 1, 2: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, on account of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” There isn’t any restriction placed on this act of “renewing.” It is implied that this “renewing of the mind” is an on-going process but confessing Jesus as your Lord and Savior is a one-time act. “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and you believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved.” Romans 10:9. There are biblical foundations for repeated confessions of sin and prayers for forgiveness, but there aren’t any scriptures that imply that we have to ask Jesus to be our Lord and Savior more than once. So, when you offer an invitation to accept Jesus, you must be careful to remind the children that if they have already done so, they don’t need to do it again.
There should be regular teaching about what the children can do if they feel they have sinned, but they shouldn’t be given the message that their salvation can “run out” or that it needs to be repeated. Your conversations with the church leadership and your CM team can include how to handle a child who wants to “repent and return” to God as is described in the Parable of the Prodigal Son that Jesus told. Letting a child restate his/her commitment to Jesus is different from inviting Jesus to be the Lord of his/her life over and over again.
Your plan for offering invitations should also include serious discussions about whether this is done corporately, in a large group, or individually. In these discussions, the influence of “peer pressure” on a child’s desire to become a Christian should also be considered. There is no “right” answer to these challenges. You must constantly focus on the goal: to inspire and empower children to grow into fruitful believers who make personal choices to obey and honor God. For more help in this challenge, click on the APPENDIX link below.