It can be a challenge to apply creative approaches in relating the salvation message! Use these tips as kindling to fuel your creative approach. Forge a genuine connection with children so that you can meet them where they are – catch their interest points, use their language, and give them only as much as they’re ready to comprehend. Remember – the Holy Spirit applies the truth with His own timing. We need to be sensitive to His leading. And if some kids do show an interest in accepting the Lord, be sure that they clearly understand the decision they are making.

One more point: Be careful not to take for granted that your kids are all saved just because they come from good Christian backgrounds and have grown up in church. You have been given the privilege of introducing your kids to their best friend. So start shaking the salt that can make them thirsty for Jesus!

Example 1: Heart-felt Personal Experience

Many kids are attracted by the sharing of heart-felt personal experience. Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out! (Psalm 107:2) You are so often the model that kids follow, and your personal words can hit home. Why were you willing to have your life changed to follow Christ? How about one meeting for “before and after” testimonies for leaders?

Example 2: Role-playing

Role-playing may help some see how God really can make a difference in real life. Role-playing actually is an ad-libbed skit. The participants are assigned roles with a few written pointers describing the situation and the position they are to take in a given issue. They then perform for a few minutes with freedom to act out any behavior their roles indicate. The leader cuts the role-play when she sees a point being reached from which meaningful discussion can be taken up.

Example 3: Effects of Sin

Confront the kids with situations which tell of the effects of sin. Use as a lead into a discussion about why people do this. Get to the underlying reasons. What situations do we face where we do what we don’t want to do, but struggle to do what’s right? How can we do the right things? Jesus can help us, if we’ll let Him. For ideas you might read appropriate articles out of current newspapers, describing such things as crime, hardships, vandalism.

Example 4: Open-Ended Story

The open-ended story can make a child acutely aware of some need he might have. Tell the story up to the point of the dilemma or decision. This is then used as a touch-off point for discussion about these needs and how they can be met.

Example 5: Object Lesson

Here is a simple, but visual approach. Give each kid a 12-to-18-inch piece of thin, bendable wire. Then show them a straight piece of wire of the same length, saying it illustrates God’s perfection and goodness. There is no crookedness in Him. Now have the kids bend their wires to describe how they think people are inside. Are they straight like God? Or do they do wrong things? Compare the wires. Encourage the kids to explain why their wires are bent or not bent. Lay each piece of wire by the straight piece which represents God. Use this as a springboard into a discussion about God’s expecting us to be perfect and sinless but how we, try as we might, can never be perfect, and reach His standard. Let the kids try to straighten out their wires perfectly. Let them compare the bumps and bends left – even after they have tried to straighten them – with the perfect wire representing God. So God, in love, says, “Stop trying. I’ve got a better way in Jesus Christ.”

Example 6: Emotions

Color is a visual means of expressing feeling. For example, yellow is peppy, cheerful, bright; blue is subdued, cool, perhaps even sad.

Hand out a sheet of paper to each kid and have crayons available. Choose some emotion, perhaps fear or loneliness. Let each kid color his paper to represent a particular time he felt this: he might draw figures, patterns, or whatever helps him express this. Encourage them to share their papers either with smaller groups, or with the entire group. Perhaps they could describe the situation, or just explain why they chose the colors they did.

When the whole group is assembled, you might want to list situations in which people feel lonely or afraid. Then discuss why we feel this way and what we can do about it. Jesus is the only person we can consistently count on to never leave us and to help us through each difficult circumstance.

You might use a similar approach with guilt. “Have you ever felt guilty, unclean inside, and you couldn’t get rid of the feeling?” They might feel reticent to share this with the group, but having them draw out this experience on paper makes them aware of the problem. Why do we have this feeling? What can we do about it?

Love is another emotion you could approach in the same manner. By drawing situations in which kids gave or received love, you can then refocus on the greater love of God. Our earthly love is but a pattern, a shadow of the heavenly love. God loves us and wants the best for us, as proven by His sending Jesus.

Example 7: Field Trip

Take a field trip to a planetarium, an observatory, a zoo, a park, or any place where your kids can sense the wonder of God’s world. The creation around us is a powerful reminder of God. Help them see this. Point out the amazing organization and order, the vastness, the variety. You might say to them, “God created all of this. He is the greatest and most powerful. And this same God promises us His love as a free gift. Just think, the God who created you and everything you see around you, loves you and wants to take care of you. He sent Jesus Christ to show you His love in a special way. But you must accept His love. You must accept this gift of Jesus Christ.”