I Don’t Believe a Person Can Get Saved Until They Are in Their Teens

I was on a retreat this past weekend.
1 Kids Saved

I was talking to a gentleman who said, “I don’t believe a person can be saved until they are in their teens.”

I told him that he might feel that way, but most of those who trust Christ worldwide are between the ages of four and fourteen years. That is seventy percent.

When I was in seminary, they did a survey and found that most of those called to ministry were under age twelve when they trusted Christ as Savior.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of folks in the church who feel the same way as this gentleman.

They themselves were led to Christ at a young age but then were left with no discipleship.

Later in life, they felt the need to make the decision again because they did not understand at such a young age.

Sadly, this situation is all too often true.

Conversion, for many, is the beginning and ending of discipleship. 

However, conversion should never be the ending of discipleship.

  • Every new believer needs to be shown how to walk with Christ daily.
  • They need to understand that we are called to surrender our lives to Christ daily.
  • They need a mentor—a Paul—in their lives.
  • They need to understand how to read and study the Word of God daily.
  • They need to be shown how to pray and come to the throne of grace
  • They need to be shown how to share their faith and then be released to do so.
  • They must understand that they are called to obey the Lord’s commands. Through obedience, they build a strong foundation for their faith (Matt. 7).

There is a bigger picture here.

One of the foremost problems with our approach is the Education Model.

We have age-graded groups of children in our churches, just like in public schools.

There is nothing wrong with a knowledge of Scripture.

But when we aim at the head, the message does not transform a life.

When we aim at the heart, Christ is made Lord of their lives.

God’s Word comes alive through action.

Kids are called to serve now.

They are to be playing in the game not sitting on the bench.

To do so is a faith killer.

When they are trained and released to minister, they become Jesus' hands and feet in a hurting and dying world.

After 33 years of children’s ministry, I have found that the Spirit of God works powerfully in the lives of children who are aligned with His Great Commission.


  • He is in the middle of it.
  • It is His heart.
  • It is the reason Jesus died for our sins.
  • God works powerfully in the lives of kids when they take part in it.

The Holy Spirit is working in powerful ways through the lives of children and preteens.

I have personally witnessed it on the 35+ mission trips with preteens that I have been a part of.

Some Suggestions:

  1. Have a plan in place to train (disciple) children in your ministry.
  2. Show them through God’s Word that salvation is not based on feeling but on the fact that the Word of God says it. “As many as received Him, He gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12)
  3. Call them to surrender their lives in obedience to Christ (Luke 9:23).
  4. Encourage them to be in the Word of God daily.
  5. Teach them how to pray.
  6. Teach them how to share their faith.
  7. Help them discover their spiritual gifts by providing opportunities to serve.

These are just a few suggestions to get started. If you want to learn more about training and equipping kids for ministry and missions, check out our online training. It is free to anyone who wants to go through it.