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How Young Can a Kid Become a Christian?

child2I’d love your perspective…

How young do you think a child can be to legitimately become a Christian?

We can certainly have some fun with this, and definitely get off on some tangents…

but I’m genuinely asking.

Please share your thoughts.

As you do, here’s something to complement our conversation from the late Rich Mullins.

http://youtu.be/2H1LNrbG0Lk

Cute-Kid-PrayingHow young can a kid become a Christian?

What’s been your experience?

What’s your thought?

18 thoughts on “How Young Can a Kid Become a Christian?

  1. Avatar
    Debbie Fiegura

    I don’t think it is an all or nothing question. Young children are pure of heart and exude God’s pure love. But they are not able to conceive of the degree of sacrifice that it took God to give His only begotten son to save humanity if only they would accept Him. There are many adults who are unable or unwilling to conceive of this.. It takes a willing heart and spiritual maturity. This usually comes with time and experience.

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      Appreciate that thought, Debbie. Do you sense there is a role the Holy Spirit might play in this? Meaning, what if we come to Jesus not knowing what it means beyond that moment… but then, we later understand what it means – the whole analogy of saying “I do” at an altar, versus living it out and realizing what you meant when you said “I do.”

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        Debbie Fiegura

        I think you came up with a good analogy , Tony. Most people who have been married for the very first time, are filled with love and enthusiasm, but don’t actually know the ramifications of taking the vows they took. They need life experience combined with the love to truly appreciate what love and marriage mean.

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    I think we never know with certainty what another person has experienced. If a two-year-old understood what asking Jesus to live in his heart meant, then maybe that is when he became a Christian. For other people it may be a process of living more Christ-like.

    We only wear our own skin and experience life from only our own perspective. God knows what a person has understood and meant.

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      Fair thought, Pamela. I sense sometimes it’s a harder hurdle for the people around that person to process than for the person himself/herself.

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    My wife gave her heart to the Lord right around 4/5 yrs old. She still remembers it and how her life has not been the same since. Has she gone thru ups and downs in her walk? Yes. But she has never walked away and it all began that day. The faith of a child…if only more of us adults could have this.

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      This is awesome, Jarrod. Does she remember the conversation around it? I’m asking because my daughter is 4 and took a major step this week with God. I’m looking to better understand how I can shepherd her through this.

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        She remembers the situation and part of what the Pastor was sharing. She was attending a church where kids were allowed to be in service with their parents. As a result, she would hear the same messages as her parents…and one Sunday she knew she was to give her heart to the Lord.

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          That’s incredible! That really feels like a movement of God, much like an Acts 2 sort of deal – it’s not being presented in her language, and yet it is her language.

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    My wife gave her heart to the Lord right around 4/5 yrs old. She still remembers it and how her life has not been the same since. Has she gone thru ups and downs in her walk? Yes. But she has never walked away and it all began that day. The faith of a child…if only more of us adults could have this.

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    I think this is definitely something that doesn’t have a black or white answer.
    I was 6, my son was 5 and my husband was 7. I remember vividly as well as my husband. Did we understand the whole concept of the thing at that age, or “concieve the degree of sacrafice”? No…but I don’t think we really do as adults either.
    We are all constantly growing, learning, being refined and my gosh I am glad I don’t have to have it all figured out to believe He is my Savior.

    By faith we believe and receive…

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      The mere idea of it is absolutely profound, Krystle. I’d likewise add that by faith we look for others to validate the fruit of Christ in our lives and the assurance of His promises. Maybe that’s why He invited the Church and the family to begin with.

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    Kerensa Huffman

    I love the conversation happening here. So many people have different stories. I think we should always go back to scripture no matter how small or, in this case, how big it can be. We’ve all heard the story of Jesus surrounding Himself with children saying, “Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” (Mark 10:13-16). That in itself should clue us in on the level of faith that needs to be achieved. I became a Christian when I was 4 and have really thought about this topic, not because I doubt my faith, but wonder about the journey.

    When you break it down becoming a Christian is simply recognition that you can’t do it alone and need Him. Who’s to put a limitation on that? In my mind I’d much rather start with a minimal understanding of God and the need for Him than take my time answering every question, hoping to someday have a full understanding. Honestly, we never get the whole picture on how HOLY God is and how inadequate we are. Salvation isn’t a one-time deal. It’s ongoing. So it’s my belief that coming of age is not a precursor to accepting Christ. In fact I believe it can be dangerous to their salvation to put an age limitation on a child. Our job is to never stop preaching the Gospel and sharing Jesus, no matter if we think they get it or not.

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      I really like what you said, Kerensa, and this line in particular: “In my mind I’d much rather start with a minimal understanding of God and the need for Him than take my time answering every question, hoping to someday have a full understanding.”

      Oh, what a day that will be… something tells me it won’t happen on this side of history, but in the one to come. And even then, God will still be God – and we won’t. There will still be parts of Him that will always be beyond our understanding. Per your point, let’s start with what we do understand and build from there.

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    May I be the other side of the spectrum here. Everyone I read mentioned making decisions to follow (invite Jesus into your heart) has mentioned doing it at a very young age and I error on the side of being older enough. We all understand that Jesus us told us to come like little children but I personally believe that was figurative and not literal. I’ve seen the youngest kids say they love Jesus but when asked if they are willing to die for him (take up their cross) it is over their heads. I didn’t become a Christian until I was 10 year old and my son is now 10 and asking some great questions about following God. I know it’s a denominational discussion point here but my son has gone to church since he was born (I’m the Youth/Teen Minister) and he has loved Jesus his whole life but only recently would I say that he is ready to carry his cross and die for Him. I often use Romans 6 when talking to people about following Christ and I ask if people are ready to die, be buried, and experience a spiritual resurrection. How does a child (age 4, 5, 6) understand what that means, especially to kill, bury and resurrect oneself through Christ’s example?

    [Note: I have 6 year old twins and I feel they are a long way from truly comprehending what that means but they love Jesus with their everything. Being a Christian does not mean simply loving Him, it means to “Follow Me”…dying for him daily. I don’t feel my children are Christians yet, but as they learn who Jesus is, they will come to a point when they will make that decision…to be a Christian!]

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    I gave my life to Jesus at 5, and my son odd last year as a 5-year old as well. I remember mine very well. He remembers his very well (so far). We were trying to make sure he understood and when he told us he wanted to “make Jesus the boss of his life”, we wanted to explain everything to him. He got annoyed and said “can I please just do it?” He knew about as much as a 5-year old could understand and he is growing in his understanding more and more. If I begin asking “how much does someone have to understand?”, I would have to create a line that I never feel comfortable with. I think we tend to boil it down to “the prayer” but it’s not about the prayer. It’s about the direction of one’s heart and life. Even for students, it is “in the best way I know how, I turn from my way and give my life to you”. As you said about marriage, you don’t stand at the altar and make a commitment with full understanding. You say, “I am committed to you no matter what. I don’t know what it will look like, but I do know that whatever comes, my commitment pushes through any circumstance.” Sometimes we “feel” the commitment and sometimes we have to remind ourselves of it. That’s the truth spiritually too. I believe he is growing in his understanding and is still submitted to God each step. It’s my job as a parent to continue to help him submit and remember. It’s the job of the Holy Spirit to “carry [what He began] onto completion”.

    Just my thoughts, but hope that gives encouragement to those who need it.

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    I don’t remember a day that I became a Christian. My mother raised us always knowing who Jesus is and what He did and does for us. There have been moments in my life where that made traction in my life and moments where I can’t comprehend it at the time. My son (6) and daughter (4) both responded with a knowledge of their relationship with Jesus. To go with your analogy of marriage, we marry not fully understanding what love is capable of and spend the rest of our lives with our spouse discovering each other and the incarnation of God’s love through marriage. I would have to believe that faith in Jesus would be the same. We may not fully comprehend God’s love through Jesus and the workings of the Holy Spirit in our lives at an early age but are still “married” to our savior to spend the rest of our lives discovering the richness and beauty of His sacrifice and relentless pursuit of us.

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    I think a child can become a christian at any age. When I was 3 I begged my parents to let me become one. They said no at first, but after asking me questions and stuff they decided to let me become on at age 4. Now I am 12 and planning on becoming a missionary.

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How Young Can a Kid Become a Christian?

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