As parents, we have the huge privilege of being our kids’ main teacher about all sorts of important things…how to go potty like a big kid, how to get along with others, how to not be afraid at bedtime. All of those lessons will serve our little ones for the rest of their lives! It’s so cool to be trusted with the responsibility of preparing these little humans to join society and positively contribute to their community.
There are lots of important things our kids need to know as they grow up, but there is one topic that is more important than anything else in the world. How our precious kids respond to this lesson will have hugely important consequences forever. And while some life lessons can be caught, this is one of those important lessons that will need to be taught, and then backed up with the example from your own changed life (Rom 10:17).
What is this important lesson? It is the Gospel, a story about some really good news! While the gospel is so complex that we can study it the rest of our lives and still learn new things, it can be taught in a very simple, easy-to-understand way, even to preschoolers. And there are some really great tools in this post that will help make it even more simple.
Remember, the Gospel is good news! And good news is important to share. Romans 10:17 says “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”
This lesson is best understood in 4 parts: Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Restoration, but it revolves around one central main point: we have been rescued or saved from something that will destroy us. So let’s check out the four main parts of the gospel story to understand exactly what we’re being saved from.
Creation – The Bible says that God created all of the world and every human in it. He wants us to love and obey him and love, serve, and take care of other people. Living God’s way would have made us completely and perfectly happy (Gen 1:26-28).
Fall – But the Bible also says that humans decided to live life on their own without loving their Creator or following his standards for life. Humans decided to write their own definitions of right and wrong and make their own rules for how to be happy (Rom 1:18-23). They wanted to do that without loving and worshiping God or serving and taking care of each other (Gen 3). A lot of bad and wicked things came into the world, because we decided to leave our relationship with God and go after what we thought would make us happy. The Bible says that, because of that, our relationship with God was severed, and God experiences justified wrath toward his human creations (Rom 1:18-19). If something didn’t happen to change the situation, all humans would be destroyed by the coming wrath of God at the end of history (I Thess 1:10). All of the problems we face as humans and even the problems with life on earth are a result of our separation from God…shame, fear, sorrow, physical problems, relationship problems, even death (Rom 1:28-32). The only way any of those problems can be solved is to have our relationship with God put right again (Rom 3:22).
Redemption – The gospel is ultimately the good news about what Jesus Christ did to put right our relationship with God. God sent his son Jesus to live the perfect life he intended for all humans to live. Jesus lived it perfectly and obeyed everything God had ever commanded. Because he was obedient Jesus deserved blessings and rewards. Sin is bad and needs to be paid for, and the only way to pay for sin is to die (Rom 6:23). Jesus took our place on the cross, paying the penalty for sinning, and he is willing to give us the reward for his perfect life instead (I Cor 15:3-4, Rom 5:8). If I change my mind about living for myself and believe and trust that God sent Jesus to pay for my sins, I can have my relationship with God fixed through Jesus, and God will bring me into his family forever!!
Restoration – One day Jesus is going to come back to earth and fix all of the problems that were caused by sin and also fix our messed-up relationships with God and others permanently! He’s going to give us a new world that isn’t cursed by sin anymore. In the meantime, he wants those who have placed their faith and trust in him to help bring his blessing into the world now (Rom 8:19-21; 2 Peter 3:13).
No matter who we are, we must respond to the message of the gospel by repenting (changing our minds about living for ourselves) and believing (trusting that Jesus’ perfect life and death on the cross is the solution to mend our broken relationship with God) (John 3:16; Acts 16:31). Even a young child needs to be invited to respond when they hear and understand the gospel. Jesus welcomed the little ones to come to Him (Matt 19:13-15)! The gospel is not about something that we need to do, but it’s the greatest story about what has already been done for us, and it’s something that we all have to respond to at one point or another.
The gospel is a really deep and important topic, but parents can do a lot to help their kids understand its message in ways that are age-appropriate. There are lots of great tools to help!
- One handy tool for helping your child to understand the gospel is the Wordless Book.
- There are also some really great Gospel focused storybooks available.My favorite for preschool aged kids is Beginner’s Gospel Story Bible, but there is a big kids version too. Another great preschool book is the Biggest Story ABC (which also has a bigger kids version). We also love the Jesus Storybook Bible.
- These coloring sheets are really fun to make together.
- Christmas and Easter family devotional books are also really helpful.
- Resurrection Eggs are a super fun way to share the story of the gospel. You can buy them or even make your own set.
- The yummiest of all tools for teaching the gospel are Resurrection Cookies or these awesome Resurrection Rolls!
There will be lots of opportunities to share the gospel with your sweet kids during Easter. I hope it’s a great time of family memories and fun activities getting across the important truths that can change your family’s life forever!
~Special thanks to our guest writer, Jocelyn Wallace, for sharing such wise words with us as we enter into this Easter season.
Jocelyn Wallace has been married to her husband Brian since 1996, and they have two great kids, Hailey age 15 and Shelby age 12. Jocelyn has worked helping women who are experiencing addictions and homelessness in the past. Now her main work is at home supporting her husband, teaching her kids, and helping run their homestead farm. Jocelyn serves Jesus at Faith Church in the women’s ministry, Mom2Mom, and the counseling ministry. Contact her by email with questions about this article or parenting!