My friend, Pastor (and now school teacher!) Tony Kummer, just posted up the latest edition of the Children’s Ministry Think Tank. Here is the latest question and my thoughts. Click over to his site to see very thoughtful answers to the same question from Brenna Phillips and Glenn Woods.
How should children’s ministry offer an urgent Gospel invitation without emotionally manipulating children? When does child evangelism cross the line and become abuse? What principles guide you in this area?
Last week [now a few weeks back], I read the following words from Henry Zonio (http://elementalcm.com) regarding evangelistic presentations for children:
The key… is to help connect children and families to Christ and allowing the Holy Spirit to do the work of conversion. It’s more than just praying a prayer, raising a hand or coming to the altar. It’s about life transformation, and that is something that can’t be manufactured or manipulated into existence.
Henry is right. Real conversion—life transformation—can’t be manufactured or manipulated into existence. It is God’s work, not the work of a minister or parent. When we seek quick decisions from children, we are in danger of manipulation. So, in the spirit of Henry Zonio, here are some principles for avoiding manipulative evangelism. Continue Reading…