Do you know how the share the Gospel with a child in the easiest way possible?
You may have seen something called “the wordless book” or made beaded bracelets with the colors in Sunday School.
The colors are usually presented in this order:
Black: Our sin
Red: Jesus’ sacrifice for our sin
White: Our new purity
Green: New growth in Christ
Yellow: For the hope of heaven
But most of the color-presentations are missing something essential.
They are missing God’s motivation.
As a story-writer, I know that every character must be properly motivated. His/her actions have to have a reason, because that’s how things work in real life. We don’t do random things. Even if they may APPEAR random, they always have a reason. (Whether or not the reason is sane is another story altogether.)
When we start our gospel presentations with sin, we have a motivation problem. Why on earth would God want to save us from our sin? The answer to that question, the motivation for Christ’s sacrifice, lies BEFORE sin.
The gospel starts at creation, not at the fall. If God hadn’t created the earth and the people in it with a beautiful story and plan in mind, the fall wouldn’t have been painful. It wouldn’t have needed fixing. We wouldn’t have needed a Saviour.
So, my friend, I have a full-color gospel for you, a gospel that includes God’s motivation for sending Christ as well as a deeper understanding of the full scope of salvation. It ain’t just about getting into heaven when we die. The gospel isn’t hell-insurance.
So here is the gospel in an easy-to-remember, but fully complete, form!
How to share the Gospel with a child through a color Gospel presentation:
Want to print this? Free download available here.
A few notes on this short gospel presentation for kids:
When white people give this presentation, we do it with our cultural blinders on. In the past few years I’ve come to recognize that the way we present sin (as black) and purity (as white) reflects our western, European culture.
North Americans and Europeans wear white on our wedding day to reflect purity, but that didn’t begin until Queen Victoria kicked off the trend with her white wedding dress in 1842. Before then, white was the color of mourning and red was the wedding color!
Another crucial thing to consider is how people with black skin feel when white people say offhandedly “black=sin”. If you, like me, have light skin, we need to be very careful about conflating the color black with evil, because it’s not a far stretch from that to say that those with black skin are evil. I am Canadian, so please correct me if my American history is wrong, but I believe this is exactly one of the argument Christians used to keep blacks in slavery. This is bad.
As you can see, our conflation of white=purity and black=evil is a problem. In this presentation I’ve tried to equate black more with the darkness of death rather than with sin itself. Sin itself often appears more light than dark anyway (so maybe the white needs to be the sin one!) but I think we all agree that death is probably dark.
If you’ve got better ideas, PLEASE let me know. For now, this is my best effort to make a more culturally sensitive gospel colors presentation.
An easy way to remember the order of the colors in the gospel presentation for kids:
The order of the colors is almost a palindrome.
- The gold of heaven begins and ends our eternal story.
- The green of creation and re-creation is the beginning and end of our earthly story.
- Black, red, white are in the middle.
- God’s plan of salvation hinges on the centre: the red.
Ways to use the colors of salvation with children:
- Make beaded jewelry (bracelet, necklace, or anklet) following the color pattern.
- Create a “wordless book” (a few pieces of coloured paper stapled together)
- Talk kids through the gospel colors presentation using colored candy (jellybeans work well!)
After sharing the gospel with a child, ask them if they:
- know that they are a sinner and in need of God’s grace.
- believe that Jesus came to show God’s love to them and save them.
If the answer is YES, they have fulfilled the scripture: “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9. Now you get the privilege of praying with this friend!
How to pray with a child:
You may want to provide your kids with a repeat-after-me prayer, but I think kids are incredibly capable of talking to God on their own. Kids don’t need a formula prayer. Just let them talk to God. You may find it helpful to prompt them using a prayer pattern like this one, but there is NO wrong salvation prayer.