BLUEPRINT: After ABC comes D for Discipleship

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The decision to become a Christian is a first step in building a strong and lasting relationship with Jesus Christ. We want to give teachers, parents and care-providers information and tools to help them move forward, dig deeper and build a firm foundation on Jesus Christ.

Below is an acrostic for the word BLUEPRINT. You’ll find information with each letter about ways to follow up with kids who choose to follow Jesus during VBS.

B – Begin at the decision point.

L – Let parents or caregivers know about the child’s decision.

U – Use VBS celebration events to communicate with parents what a child needs to do next.

E – Enroll the child and family in Sunday School / small group Bible study.

P – Provide discipleship resources to child and parents.

R – Reach out after VBS and assign the child a mentor.

I – Invite the child and parent to a “Next Steps” or “What to Do Now” class.

N – New Believer’s Study for Kids will help kids learn more about what it means to be a believer of Jesus.

T – Transformational experiences can be provided to help kids grow in their relationship with God.

Begin at the decision point

After the Gospel presentation in VBS (same day/night or by the next day/night):

  • Counsel kids one-on-one to discuss with them about their salvation decision.
  • Gather the names of kids who made professions of faith.
  • Give kids who made a salvation decision a devotional Bible.
  • Send home a letter the same day to the parent(s) to let them know about the child’s decision and provide information about the plan to begin discipleship.

Let parents/caregivers know about the child’s decision.

  • Speak to the child’s parent/caregiver in person at VBS.
  • Make a phone call to the parents to let them know about the plan for discipleship.
  • Email the parents about the child’s decision and the next steps plan.

Use VBS celebrations to meet with parents/caregivers.

  • Meet with parents on Family Night to celebrate the child’s decision and plan for discipleship.
  • Invite parents to attend Sunday School the following Sunday to celebrate and go over the next steps for their child.
  • Send home a Bible with devotions in it the same night/week of VBS.
  • Give parents a VBS 2020 Parent’s Guide that they can use to review with their child.

Enroll the child / family in Sunday School.

  • Connect the child to a Sunday School class or small Bible study group where they will be taught the Bible each week.
  • Use curriculum that will teach the child Biblical truth and how to apply Biblical truths to their everyday life.

Provide discipleship resources to the child and parent. 

  • Give children a Gospel presentation activity book like The Gospel: God’s Plan For Me from Lifeway to use to help the child understand more about the Gospel.
  • Provide devotional magazines from LifeWay for kids to use (like More, Adventure, Bible Express).

Reach out to the child by continuing to connect with them and assigning them a mentor.

  • Monitor the child’s attendance at church. Contact and connect with the parents if the child is not attending church.
  • Assign the child to a children’s worker in the children’s ministry who would serve as a mentor to help the child in their spiritual journey. Rotate a different mentor every 9-12 months.

Invite parents to attend a Next Steps class with their child. 

  • Within two weeks after the child has made a salvation decision, schedule a Next Steps information class for the child and parents to attend.
  • Give them information about the decision their child has made to become a Christian.
  • Review what it means to be a Christian. (Present the Gospel.)
  • Discuss the next steps the child needs to follow in order to be baptized.

New Believer’s Class

  • This class will review how to become a Christian, what baptism means, the meaning of the Lord’s Supper, and church membership information.
  • Give parents information about what the class is about and answer any questions. The class can be 3-6 weeks long. An example of the study to use is LifeWay’s I’m a Christian Now.
  • Have one parent attend the class with their child.
  • Celebrate the child’s decision to follow Christ. Make sure parents make note of the date of their child’s salvation and celebrate it each year as they get older.
  • Review the plan of salvation and what it means to become a Christian.
  • Confirm the child’s decision (their testimony).
    • Have the child write about their decision to follow Christ.
    • Help the child verbalize their decision and what this decision means to them.
  • Discuss and explain baptism.
  • Explain that baptism does not save them but shows others that they have turned from their sin, they have asked Jesus into their lives, and that they want to serve Him.
  • Take kids to the baptistry and explain the process of baptism.
  • Schedule a date for baptism.
  • Explain the Lord’s Supper.
  • Explain that it is a way the church remembers Jesus’ death.
  • Introduce what each element represents – the bread: Jesus’ body; the juice: the blood of Jesus.
  • Describe to the child the process your church uses to celebrate the Lord’s Supper.
  • Teach the spiritual disciplines of prayer, Bible reading and serving.

Transformational Experiences

  • Provide experiences for children to grow in their relationship with the Lord, such as mission projects, mission trips and service projects for the church and community.
  • Provide opportunities where kids can share the Gospel.
  • Discuss with parents about the spiritual transformation that is taking place in their child.
  • Create life experiences that impact the spiritual growth of the child.

Information is taken from After the ABCs Comes D for Discipleship, a conference led by Scott Patrick at the Vacation Bible School Institute, Ridgecrest Conference Center.

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