Helping kids become more confident talking about their faith isn’t easy. There’s no question that there are obvious things we can do to help kids grow more comfortable and confident sharing their faith like:
- Familiarizing them with Scripture.
- Pray with them.
- Equip them with strategies.
- Give them opportunities to practice.
But there are other important things we can do for and with our kids to empower them to be bold when it comes to talking to others about Jesus. Here are four tips for inspiring confident believers.
1. Read to them widely
It’s almost impossible to overemphasize the importance of reading to children. Beyond the ideas and principles behind the content you read to them, they’re learning skills that will help them reason and communicate. The benefits of reading to children include:
- A growing vocabulary
- Critical-thinking skills
- Listening skills
All of these skills help them feel confident in connecting with others and communicating their thoughts and, ultimately, their faith.
2. Let them see you praying
Praying with your children is important. But if you want them to grow into adults who take personal prayer and intercession seriously, they need to see it modeled—especially in the area of intercession.
Obviously, praying for others is an important part of evangelism, but learning to intercede for others isn’t the only advantage gained by kids witnessing adults’ private intercession. It also helps remove any idea that evangelism is performative. When children overhear mom or dad praying for someone’s salvation in private, it establishes an important precedent. We don’t share our faith to demonstrate our piety or win the approval of others, we do it for Jesus alone.
3. Help them value their own choices
We all long for affirmation from our loved ones, friends, and peers. And the fear of rejection is one of the hardest things for people to get over when it comes to sharing their faith. It’s true at any age, but it can be particularly difficult for kids.
One thing to be careful of is inadvertently training our kids to live for affirmation, and it’s easy to do. When a child brings us a picture they drew, our natural instinct is to compliment it and tell them what a great artist they are. In fact, we’ll often do that instead of really engaging them on what they created.
What’s even more valuable is to actually talk to them about their decision-making process and how they feel about what they created with questions like: “This was an interesting choice. Why did you do it this way? How do you feel about how it turned out?”
Of course, we want to affirm and encourage kids. The answer is not to withhold praise. But we also want them to make decisions they’re happy with even when others don’t understand or agree. Because if we teach kids to live for compliments and praise, they’ll be completely undone by criticism.
4. Admit when you don’t know the answers
The fear that someone could raise questions or objections about faith that we don’t have an answer for can be a real obstacle. If we want kids to feel confident about responding to questions, we need to demonstrate what truly listening and answering questions looks like.
If we respond to every question we’re asked with a clear, definitive answer, it’s easy for kids to get the idea that they’re supposed to have all the answers too. When we can acknowledge a good question, admit that we don’t have the answer, and invest time in helping them answer it, we help them see that unanswered questions aren’t a boundary to faith.
Expressing curiosity and showing kids how to track down answers helps them enjoy, rather than avoid, questions.
Check out the Do You Ever Wonder…? series
When it comes to answering questions, it’s helpful to have simple, thought-provoking resources that can help answer some of the typical questions that come up. The animated Do You Ever Wonder…? series helps kids (and adults) understand and articulate what it is they believe—and why they believe it.
The longest video is three and a half minutes, which means you can watch it with a child and then use it as a springboard for meaningful discussions about Jesus and faith.
The videos include:
Check them all out today!