Have you ever said or heard these kinds of statements in the classroom?
We believe in Jesus as our Savior.
Jesus has forgiven us of all our sins.
We love Jesus and want to do what He commands.
When we die, we will go to heaven and live with Jesus forever.
True statements, right? Each statement is gloriously true for those who have come to genuine saving faith in Christ. But in most classrooms, it is highly likely that there are also unbelieving children present. If that’s the case, using these kinds of inclusive statements would be inappropriate and even dangerous.
Therefore, be careful in using inclusive language in the classroom. Instead, carefully qualify your statements. For example, a teacher could clarify each statement by saying…
God sent Jesus into the world to save sinners like us.
If you put your trust in Jesus, He will forgive all your sins.
If you truly love Jesus, you should want to do what He commands.
Everyone who is trusting in Jesus will go to heaven and live with Him forever.
Statements like the above minister to unbelievers as well as believers. Unbelievers are reminded and implored to turn to Jesus as their only hope. Believers are reminded of God’s sure promises that are secured in Jesus and are implored to live a life that is pleasing to Him. Bottom line: We must always keep in mind that we are likely ministering to both the lost and found in our classrooms. We are tasked with evangelizing the lost and discipling the found. At Truth78, our resources have been carefully written to keep these two things in mind when teaching the Bible. For example, the suggested language used in lessons and small group application discussions aims to guide children to repent and trust in Jesus as their Savior and Lord and then rest in His sure promises as they progressively grow into Christ-likeness.
This is no easy task for teachers and ministry volunteers. It is not easy to rightly discern whether a child has come to true saving faith. Our calling is to faithfully teach His Word to the lost and found, and earnestly pray that our heavenly Father would accomplish His perfect will in the lives of our students. He knows His sheep and calls them. They hear His voice and follow. Note: If you are also looking for help in ministering to children from non-Christian homes, here is a short helpful guide.