There’s nothing more important (or intimidating, it seems like) than trying to figure out how to explain salvation to a child. Where do you start? What do you say? And if you’ve heard how critical the 4-14 window is, the pressure is on!
One thing about salvation for kids (or adults), if they don’t understand what sin is (and its forever consequences), why would they want salvation?
And there’s a difference between head knowledge and heart knowledge for sure! We can know something with our heads, and not accept it into our hearts.
I have a couple of books to share today that might just help with teaching the plan of salvation for kids, on a very practical level.
Teaching the Plan of Salvation For Kids
I am a big fan of Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort, and their directness. Keeping the salvation story simple, and acknowledging the penalties that we’re wanting to be saved from. Yes, what we’re being saved to is wonderful, but unless you recognize the things we need to be saved from, and the cost of that salvation, you’re going to be sorely disappointed and fall away when things get tough.
How to Explain Salvation to a Child-Videos
I love that video! It makes me laugh, but think, too. That video will do wonders for an adult’s understanding of salvation, and even some kids, but not all of them. Here’s a playlist of videos that are designed to share the plan of salvation for kids, making it much easier to know how to explain salvation to a child you care about!
The Sinners Prayer for Kids
The sinners prayer for kids sounds so tidy. Just give them a script, and they’re saved. It’s even included in at least one of those videos up there. But that’s not quite right. If your faith is in saying the right words, it’s not in Jesus.
Putting our trust in Jesus, or walking your child through the plan of salvation for kids isn’t about a magic formula. There are 3 common steps in the process, but it’s all Jesus, who makes us clean.
Are you ready to learn more about the 3 Steps to Salvation, and snag a free printable on the ABCs of salvation?
How to Explain Salvation to a Child with Salvation Story Books:
The Evergreen Wood
The Evergreen Wood by Alan Perry and Linda Perry is a retelling for children of Pilgrim’s Progress features a little mouse named Christopher, who must summon all his courage to overcome the hawks, weasels, rats, and other predators he meets on the way to the Evergreen Wood.
This is one of the best ways I’ve ever seen, of how to explain salvation to a child (or adult)!
I recently got my childhood copy out, to share with my kids, and Wow! I was impressed all over again by how wonderful it is. My 7-year-old has asked me to read it several times now, and is beginning to grasp some of the complicated truths contained in this great little allegory.
In 7 short chapters, this books walks through the journey from living without hope, through the salvation story, the Christian walk, and reaching heaven.
Christopher Mouse goes from living in the Dark Wood and knowing it was in poor shape, to reading an invitation to the “Evergreen Wood” where they may live in peace and safety. When no one will go with him, he sets off alone. Learning to trust The Book, and the servants of the Lamb, he travels through many dangers, and even some costly mistakes and second chances before reaching the Evergreen Wood and a wonderful welcome celebration.
While there may be a little sticker shock on this out of print book, I can’t recommend it highly enough, as it still effects me each time I read it, even in my mid 30s, having been raised in the church. Definitely watch thrift stores and yard sales, if the price goes much higher on this salvation story.
Noah’s Invisible Adventures
I first discovered Noah’s Invisible Adventures on this Kidtime Storytime video, where she reads a few pages out of the book (It’s longer, at over 60 pages), so we asked for it for Christmas. My boys ask me to read it regularly, so they love it as much as I do!
Noah is blind, so he has learned to trust what he can’t see. The first half of the book talks about regular daily life, but then, Noah shares his faith and trust in Jesus. This salvation story does a remarkable job with presenting the plan of salvation for kids!
One of the best features, there are shiny stars next to the things he believes, and a collection of matching verses in the back of the book, so you know why we should believe what is said.
Don’t Blame the Mud: Only Jesus Makes us Clean
Marty Machowski helps parents talk to their children
about temptations, choices and consequences
For young readers and families, Don’t Blame the Mud paints a vivid and accurate picture of sin and God’s plan of redemption. Written by best-selling children’s author Marty Machowski, this beautifully illustrated picture book teaches children how to recognize the lure of temptation and the truth that bad choices lead to bad consequences.
One day, Max takes the muddy path along the creek home. He disregards his mother’s reminder to keep his school clothes clean. After crashing into a mud puddle, he tries to hide his mistake. He discovers the stain of his sin goes deeper than the mud he can wash away. In this lovable, relatable, and heartwarming tale, Max learns his heart needs to be cleaned. nd Jesus is the only one who can wash away his sin.
By clearly articulating the gospel, Don’t Blame the Mud helps parents create an environment of confession so kids can own up to their own mistakes—in the freedom of Christ—rather than place the blame elsewhere. Parents, teachers, and caretakers can help children identify with the real-life draw of temptation and the real-life consequences of sin. Helping them understanding the value of God’s salvation through the cross. Instead of teaching kids how to deal with a problem, Machowski uncovers the real issue of sin and provides a gospel answer.
My Review of This Book on Salvation for Kids
I found this plan of salvation for kids book to be simple and relatable. Teaching kids about sin and the guilt that comes with it in very practical terms. But it definitely does not leave them there.
Teaching the plan of salvation for kids with this book is entirely possible. The progression is fast, because it is a short story, and can’t possibly convey the many similar experiences beforehand. But that’s ok. The truth is that God pricks each heart at different times. When a heart is ready, the experience isn’t slow.
I found the illustrations engaging, and the story easy to follow. I could relate on a personal level to Max. His good intentions and getting distracted by something fun.
The Mud “monster” is great! Really helps get the point across just with the illustrations.
I would recommend this book to any elementary kids. My 7 year old enjoyed it and keeps coming back to it. We will read it often.
God Loves Me This Much
I recently got to read a brand-new book about salvation for kids. This one’s even Bi-lingual! Each page has the text in both English and Spanish, and is highly interactive. It’s great for the little ones and the wiggly ones.
There’s a bit of the Gospel, and an interactive “God Loves Me This Much” page. This pattern repeats through the whole book.
God Loves Me This Much is beautifully illustrated and has a solid multicultural representation. But what I really like is the simple Gospel message, of ‘we all have sinned, but God loved us and sent his Son.’
I did receive a copy of this book from the author, and chose to review it here. All thoughts are my own.
More Fantastic Resources for Family Faith-Building
- Top 10 Best Easter Story Books that Tell the Real Easter Story
- Christian Cartoons and Kids Shows
- Growing the Faith of a Child With Great Books
- Fun Bible Stories for Kids 12 Great Storybook Bibles
- The Best Stories About Colors for Believers
- 20 Educational Apps and Games for Stealth Learning
- The Importance of Reading With Your Child
Are you Ready for Sharing the Plan of Salvation for Kids?
It can be intimidating sharing the plan of salvation for kids, but when you have tools like these salvation story books; and when you remember that it is God who gives the increase, it’s way less stressful.
What are your favorite books that share the salvation story?
I love that this book teaches kids about sin and salvation. Most of the books my kids have are bible stories but not stories that relate to their daily life. I just give them insight on the story. So this is great!!!
Exactly. We do have several books that cover more practical faith in daily life situations, but it’s harder to find those sometimes.
Aryn, you have a heart for kids and I’d love to send you my 52 Commands of Jesus for Children…either to review or just use with children. Please email me if interested. firstname.lastname@example.org
Why thank you! That’s very generous of you. I’ll send you an email ?
You find the best books. I have so many of them bookmarked for my children. Sin is such a hard concept to describe, and mud is the perfect was to illustrate it. Thank you for all the great books you share with us.
??? Thank you! I’m so glad you are finding good books here! And teaching kids about sin and salvation doesn’t have to be hard, with books like that!
This is a great, comprehensive post Aryn! Pinned.
Such a good time during the summer to sit down with our kids and dig in a little deeper on these issues. We cannot just assume they are going to get this stuff in church or Sunday school. We are responsible as parents to be the leaders in this area.
Thanks for linking up at InstaEncouragements!
Exactly. Parents are responsible for teaching kids about sin and salvation and many other things. We sometimes forget and yield our responsibility to others, then wonder why we aren’t getting the results we want. “Don’t Blame the Mud is an excellent asset in your parenting toolbox!
What a cute way to help kids (and adults) grasp salvation!
It is, isn’t it? ? Th8s book does a good job too!