A young boy who attends the Good News Club at Laurel Lane raised his hand to talk to a counselor about trusting Jesus. Joshua* is a very bright and bubbly 6-year-old. To be sure he understood the Gospel, the GNC counselor asked questions about:
- who God is
- man’s problem with sin
- God’s solution in Jesus’ sacrificial death
- the response God desires: believe Him and accept the gift of Eternal Life (John 3:16)
Joshua’s answers showed he understood. He bowed his head and asked God to forgive him of sin and told the Lord he wanted to trust in Jesus as his Savior.
Joshua ran home excited to share his decision to trust Jesus with his family. The next week his mom came in quietly and sat listening to what goes on in the club. At one point the teacher said with a smile, “Joshua, you know all the answers! Let’s give someone else a chance to answer.” Mom grinned.
Hopefully, Joshua’s mom was able to see in club that day that CEF policy is to NEVER pressure a child to make a decision for Christ. If anything, in counseling we lean toward waiting if there is any doubt about the child’s understanding.
Joshua’s grandmother “just happened” to question her friend (a GNC volunteer!) about his decision. She wanted to know whether her friend thought a young child can truly understand and receive Jesus. Her friend was able to give an emphatic “Yes!” based on God’s Word.
Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray.
The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 14-15
Only God Himself knows when a child can understand and receive salvation by grace through faith in Jesus alone. God immediately ushers that believer into His forever family!
(Ephesians 2:8-9, John 1:12)
So, in Good News Clubs we always give children an opportunity to respond to the Gospel message. Then, we carefully counsel for understanding and watch to see evidence of faith.
The next year, Joshua asked to be baptized, sharing his belief publicly with his church. He made a point of saying that he trusted Jesus in Good News Club.
Praise to our faithful Lord!
*Real name not used, for privacy reasons.