Praise the Lord, KidMin Friends! :D
Hopefully, this finds you all well and busy about the Father’s Business.
As our trip to Bangladesh draws closer and closer (I can’t believe we leave in just over 2 weeks!), I have been thinking a lot about presentation of the Salvation message. Children understand salvation in many different ways, at all different ages, etc. But it is up to us to find ways to open their eyes to this most important decision in their lives.
First, I want to say that I understand lots of people reading this will have different beliefs and come from different church organizations. I believe in following the Book of Acts, and presenting Salvation as the Apostles did in Acts 2:38. So, this presentation will be patterned after the 3 steps of Salvation presented in that verse: repentance, baptism in Jesus’ name, and the infilling of the Holy Ghost. If this is contrary to what you believe, please know that I am not preaching to you about your doctrine, but encouraging creativity in the presentation to children. ;-)
For “Salvation in a Bottle”, you will need the following:
- water bottle filled with dirt, including the lid to close it
- empty bowl, bucket, etc.
- large bowl or deep tray filled with water (enough to cover the bottle)
- a pitcher of water
- a funnel
This presentation can be done at the end of your lesson before altar call, or as the lesson itself. I am going to share it in quick form, but you will need to add anything specific to it for your group of children….the exact wording that they will understand depends on age, etc.
Show bottle filled with dirt. This is US! We have dirt in our hearts. (Give examples of sins…let them also share different ways that we make Jesus sad.) Every time we sin, we add more dirt to our hearts. But Jesus came to clean them out and make them beautiful again!
First, we need to repent. We need to ask Jesus to clean out all that bad stuff. Tell Him you are sorry for the bad things you have done, and He takes all of it out! (Dump the dirt into the empty bucket.) Once it’s cleaned out, we need to try our very best not to do those things again. Because every time we do them, it makes our hearts dirty again. So we should repent every single day!
Who would drink out of this bottle just like this? No way! Why not? Because we need to wash it first! Even though the dirt has been dumped out, we need to wash it to make it perfectly clean, and get all of the dirt washed away. When we are baptized, Jesus does that. He washes our hearts out. (Dip the water bottle into the pan of water and show how baptism works. Make sure they understand that Pastor does NOT hold them under the water! It is fast, and Jesus makes our hearts completely clean.)
Now that our hearts are clean, we need to fill it with something. What should we fill it with? Jesus of course! (Put the lid ON the water bottle and try to pour water into it, while it is seating in the pan or deep bowl.). Why isn’t it working? Because the cover is on! When we pray we MUST open our mouths to talk to Jesus! (Remove the lid.)
(Pour water into bottle, missing a lot and making a mess.). Why am I not getting the water in? What could help? (Use the funnel.) This is like your arms. Raising your arms to Jesus works like a funnel. Keeping your focus on Him, using your mouth to talk to Him…He can move right into your heart! (Pour water into the bottle using the funnel.)
(Continue pouring water into the bottle, until it begins to overflow from under the funnel and into the bowl. Keep pouring.) Wow! It’s overflowing! That’s like when Jesus moves into your nice and clean heart, and you are filled to overflowing with His Spirit, you will speak funny words that you won’t understand. That’s the Holy Ghost! That’s Jesus living inside of you. Speaking those funny words is your own special language with Jesus…you can’t say it wrong. Thone funny words show that Jesus has filled you completely up to overflowing with His Spirit.
Wrap up: When you clean out your dirty heart, ask Jesus to forgive you, wash it clean in baptism, and are filled with His Spirit to overflowing…THAT’S when you are ready to go to Heaven! :D
I hope this little demonstration has given you some ideas of how to share the Salvation message with children. Get those creative juices flowing, since it may take a number of times and different ways for some of them to understand. Don’t just wait around for them to get it! Keep coming up with new ideas to help open their understanding. :-) And most of all…pray for the Lord to do what only He can do…open their eyes and their hearts to accept His love, forgiveness, and His Spirit.
Have a wonderfully, blessed week, Everyone!
Sara Vojtasek & Joel’s Vision Ministries