Child Evangelism

Children Ready to Hear and Accept—In the children who were brought in contact with Him, Jesus saw the men and women who should be heirs of His grace and subjects of His kingdom, and some of whom would become martyrs for His sake. He knew that these children would listen to Him and accept Him as their Redeemer far more readily than would grownup people, many of whom were the worldly-wise and hardhearted. In teaching, He came down to their level. He, the majesty of heaven, answered their questions and simplified His important lessons to meet their childish understanding. He planted in their minds the seeds of truth, which in afteryears would spring up and bear fruit unto eternal life. Ev 579.2

When Jesus told the disciples not to forbid the children to come to Him, He was speaking to His followers in all ages,—to officers of the church, ministers, helpers, and all Christians. Jesus is drawing the children, and He bids us, “Suffer them to come”; as if He would say, They will come, if you do not hinder them. Ev 580.1

Let not your unchristlike character misrepresent Jesus. Do not keep the little ones away from Him by your coldness and harshness. Never give them cause to feel that heaven would not be a pleasant place to them if you were there. Do not speak of religion as something that children cannot understand, or act as if they were not expected to accept Christ in their childhood. Do not give them the false impression that the religion of Christ is a religion of gloom, and that in coming to the Saviour they must give up all that makes life joyful. Ev 580.2

As the Holy Spirit moves upon the hearts of the children, co-operate with His work. Teach them that the Saviour is calling them, that nothing can afford Him greater joy than for them to give themselves to Him in the bloom and freshness of their years. Ev 580.3

The Saviour regards with infinite tenderness the souls whom He has purchased with His blood. They are the claim of His love. He looks upon them with unutterable longing. His heart is drawn out, not only to the best-trained and most attractive children, but to those who by inheritance and through neglect have objectionable traits of character.—The Ministry of Healing, 42-44 (1905). Ev 580.4

Early Impressions Influence Later Life—The lessons taught to children and youth make an impression upon their minds which influences their characters in a far greater degree than older persons imagine. In my childhood a minister who came to my father's house at Poland, Maine, read the chapter in Acts in regard to the deliverance of Peter, when an angel of God took the prey from the enemy who had determined to destroy him. The chapter was read slowly and solemnly, and it made an impression on my young mind that has kept the narrative vividly before me to this day. Ev 580.5

Now from the light given me of God, I know that as a people we have not improved our opportunities for educating and training the youth. We should teach them how to read and understand the Scriptures. Wherever there is a Biblical institute for ministers and people, we should, in connection with it, organize a class for the youth. Their names should be registered. All should feel the importance of the scheme of educating the youth to understand the Scriptures. Let the work be taken hold of in the very simplicity of the truth itself. Lead the minds of the youth from truth to truth, up higher and higher, showing them how scripture interprets scripture, one passage being the key to other passages. Thus the Scripture itself will be the educating power, holding the thoughts in captivity to Christ.—Letter 27a, 1892. Ev 581.1

Children's Meetings in Evangelistic Efforts—The third angel is flying in the midst of heaven and bears on his banner the inscription, “The commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” In every place where the tent is pitched earnest efforts should be made from the first to preach the gospel to the poor and to heal the sick. The work of giving spiritual sight to the blind has added many souls to our number of such as shall be saved. Ev 581.2

Meetings for the children should be held, not merely to educate and entertain them, but that they may be converted. And this will come to pass. If we exercise faith in God we shall be enabled to point them to the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. All who attend our large gatherings are to be labored for. The high and the low, the rich and the poor, are to be reached by this class of labor.—Manuscript 6, 1900. Ev 582.1

Love Wins Children to Christ—By your manner of dealing with the little ones you can by the grace of Christ mold their characters for everlasting life, or by a wrong course of action you can give them the impress of a satanic character. Never act from impulse in governing children. Let authority and affection be blended. Cherish and cultivate all that is good and lovely and lead them to desire the higher good by revealing Christ to them. While you deny them those things that would be an injury to them, let them see that you love them and want to make them happy. The more unlovely they are, the greater pains you should take to reveal your love for them. When the child has confidence that you want to make him happy, love will break every barrier down. This is the principle of the Saviour's dealing with men; it is the principle that must be brought into the church.—Letter 23a, 1893. Ev 582.2

Well-planned Effort for the Children—The interest here [Australia] in our camp meeting exceeds anything we have ever seen in any meeting in America or in any other country. Right through the holidays, with all their exciting amusements, we have had on weekdays as many as twelve hundred people at the tent—earnest, intelligent people. Many children of outsiders come in. On last Sunday there were about four hundred in attendance at the children's meeting. These meetings are under the direction of Sister _____. She has the children arranged in classes under appointed teachers, whom she instructs and assists in the work. The kindergarten methods are followed as far as possible.... Ev 582.3

The money spent in Gospel Wagons would have been far better used if invested in something solid and abiding. It is true that the Gospel Wagons will accomplish some good. But I saw that there would be disappointment as to the final results. In contrast with this, another work was presented to my sight. Tents were being taken to different places during suitable seasons of the year. Camp meetings were being held in many localities. These were conducted by able, God-fearing men, assisted by suitable helpers. Children's meetings were held, and revival meetings, to bring the people to take their stand for the truth.... Ev 583.1

At this camp meeting the very work that should be done has been done. The children's meetings, or Bible kindergarten, has done a good work. The lessons given are repeated by the children in their homes, and the mothers show their interest by preparing the children neatly for the school. Most are children of parents not of our faith. The seeds of Bible truth have dropped into the soil of the heart. It is no easy exercise, but it is doing good. Impressions are being made upon the hearts of parents and children. The good these meetings have done the great day of God will reveal. This is a large field to cultivate. Let this work be carried on. Where can the talents be better used? These workers are sowing for a harvest.... Men, women, and children are anxious to know what they shall do to inherit eternal life.—Letter 2, 1899. Ev 583.2

Nature Lessons—Children's meetings were held twice a day. After the morning lesson, on pleasant days, teachers and children took a long walk, and during the walk, by the banks of the river, or in the grassy fields, a halt was called, and a short lesson from nature given. It was noticeable that on those days when the children had a ramble in the fields, they were very quiet and orderly in the camp. The attendance at the morning meetings when only the children of the camp were present was thirty. In the afternoon when the school children from the neighborhood came in, there were from fifty to sixty.—Manuscript 27, 1895. Ev 584.1

Reaching Parents Through Children—Our camp meetings are one of the most important agencies in our work. At every camp meeting work should be done for the children. Let suitable workers be constantly educating the children. Ask the blessing of the Lord on the seed sown, and the conviction of the Spirit of God will take hold of even the little ones. Through the children many parents will be reached.—Manuscript 52, 1900. Ev 584.2