HOW TO TEACH A CHILD AFTER SALVATION
When a pupil under your teaching has received Christ, your responsibility as a teacher has only begun. Young Christians must be nourished in the Word and taught how to grow spiritually in their new life. They need to know that the heavenly Father who has done so much for them through the Lord Jesus Christ wants ALL of them, which is only right, their “reasonable service” (Rom. 12:1,2).
You, teacher, are the young Christian’s example. How about your own life? Do you still show the enthusiasm of your “first love”–that time when you accepted Christ as your Saviour? Are you consistent in your daily Christian living? Are you faithful in church and prayer meeting attendance? In Bible study? In prayer? This is very important, for it has been truly said, “The teacher teaches what he is.”
And you are his friend. The teacher should make sure the young Christian knows his love for and interest in him. By visits in the home the teacher learns about the pupil’s parents, their spiritual condition, and
their reaction to his step of receiving Christ as Saviour. This personal contact and the true interest shown in the young Christian’s life will make spiritual growth more sure for him and perhaps for his family also.
Or it may be the means of winning the parents for Christ and uniting the family in Christian living.
You are his companion. The teacher should get to know pupils in many ways and gain their confidence. There are the opportunities offered in outings of all kinds, shopping trips, special program practice, weekday church club activities, Training Union preparation times and programs. The trip home after a meeting or party is often the time boys and girls will tell things in confidence, those things that reveal their heart feelings and their home situations. The discerning teacher can then see through what has been said, reach deep into the pupil’s life while talking with him and help him.
You are his teacher of God’s Word. The teacher is responsible for giving principles for Christian living from God’s Word and showing the pupil how to put these principles into practice. If the young Christian is from a non-Christian home, his Sunday School class may be the only place he receives instruction in practical Christian living.
From this teaching, when a direct transition from the Bible lessons to actual experiences of boys and girls is made, he should learn to make everyday decisions pleasing to his Saviour, such as: Is it wrong to have
mother, father or others give you the answers to your arithmetic homework? Why? Or, What about the boy who kicked Johnny in class, and when questioned blamed someone else? Would you as a Christian do this?
From this teaching he should learn that God expects us to grow spiritually–“But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (II Pet. 3:18). And that in putting the principles of Christian living into everyday practice we must be “doers of the word, and not hearers only” (Jas. 1:22).
From this teaching the young Christian will receive regular nourishment, tender loving care and training. For just as a baby needs these things to grow physically, so a new child of God, a babe in Christ, needs the
following guidance and encouragement to grow in the right way.
(1) Nourishing food. He must first learn that he needs to read God’s Word, for it is the food for his spiritual life. This nourishment is necessary for growth and must be taken daily–“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” (I Pet. 2:2).
(2) Exercise. Then he must learn that proper growth depends upon daily exercise as well as food.
Prayer is one form of spiritual exercise. The young Christian needs to confess his sins to God every day in prayer–“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all
unrighteousness” (I John 1:9) . And we are to ask things from God in Jesus’ name–“And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (John 14:13). Also, we are
to thank Him for what He has done–“Be thankful unto him . . . .” (Ps. 100:1).
Scripture memorizing is another exercise Christians need for proper spiritual growth. Hiding God’s Word in our hearts better fits us for living for Christ in everything we do each day–“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Ps. 119:11).
Serving God is another important exercise for spiritual growth. Boys and girls can serve God through witnessing, or telling others about Jesus, and inviting them to church. This is the time for the young Christian to learn that he witnesses by his very life and by what he does. Then too, he can serve God by tithing and giving of the money that he has, studying his lesson, leading in prayer, playing a musical instrument, helping to arrange the room, reading the Scripture in class, or doing anything as “unto the. Lord.” All of this id exercise that is needed to glow spiritually.
(3) Rest. Food and exercise are not enough. The body must also have rest. The young Christian needs the restful peace of mind in these troublous times that comes from knowing that wherever he is and whatever
he is doing he can trust God at all times–“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Ps. 46:1).
You are his guide for his relationship to the church. Teacher, you are not alone in this responsibility of teaching the young Christian how to live. The church shares it with you. But your pupil must be guided to
participate fully in the opportunities the church offers him. Here are some ways the entire church can help the young Christian to grow.
(1) Regular church worship. If his family does not attend services, the young Christian should be asked to sit with another family or his teacher. The pastor can help by directing a part of the message to the boys and girls.
(2) Instruction in basic responsibilities to Christ. Oftentimes the pastor will hold classes instructing these new Christians in the meaning of baptism, Lord’s Supper, church membership, and their responsibility
to God in tithing and giving. The young Christian should be active in the training program of the Sunday evening Training Union.
(3) Home visitation. The teachers and others of the Adult Department should visit in the home. The whole family for Christ and the church should be a primary aim of the church program.
(4) Weekday club activities. With additional Bible emphasis as well as craftwork and fun, club work as a part of the total church program offers an excellent opportunity for a closer personal contact with boys
(5) Summer camping opportunities. Lasting decisions are often made in Christian camps. Ways should be made for underprivileged children or those of indifferent parents to have the privilege of a camping
(6) Missionary emphasis. Young Christians need to see the scope of both home and foreign missions, their part in missions right now, and what others are doing for Christ. Missionaries greatly influence young lives,
showing effect in future decisions.
You are his counselor. In all these things we are teaching young Christians how to live. There should be regular checkups in class with pertinent questions like: “Did you read your Bible every day last week?”
“Did you invite one person to church?” “Let me hear the memory work you learned last week.” And then the teacher can concentrate on weak areas, counseling on the importance of each phase of Christian growth.
Teacher, yours is the responsibility, but the power is God’s–“Our sufficiency is of God” (II Cor. 3:5). May we look to Him for this enabling power to be used in changing and guiding lives as we teach young Christians how to live.
(The above material was prepared and published by the Accent on Life Bible Publications, Inc. in Denver, CO.)
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