Our church is doing a family movie night to see the movie "Heaven is for Real," which is based on the true story of a little boy's trip to heaven and back. We have started a series in our Sunday morning kids' church called 'Heaven is for Real' where kids learn what the Bible says about heaven and learn about the story of Colton Burpo.
Kids may have questions about heaven and afterlife, and this is a great opportunity to have open, honest discussions with them. It is great to point them to answers in the Bible.
It's important to have discussions and open communication with your kids, and it’s even ok to say “I don’t know,” if you can’t answer something. There are some things that the Bible is very clear about, and some things the Bible is ambiguous about, or doesn’t even mention at all. There is a lot we don’t know about heaven- and that’s ok! We will find out the answers to those questions some day! But for now, we want to encourage kids to have discussions and let them know that it’s ok to ask questions and it’s even better to seek the Bible for answers.
Some kids are scared when the topic of heaven comes up. We don't want to scare kids, but it IS important to have open communication with them and talk through their questions and concerns.
Heaven is a big topic- especially for kids. This resource will help you talk with your kids. Included, are some Frequently Asked Questions and some Bible references.
For further information, I recommend the book “Heaven is for Real: For Kids” which gives a kid-friendly version of Colton’s story, and the book “Heaven: for Kids” by Rancy Alcorn.
Here are some resources for parents; I encourage you to use your Bible and look up the Scripture verses with your kids to help them seek the Bible for answers to their questions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is heaven a real place?
Yes! The Bible talks about heaven, and uses these words to describe it: “City,” “Paradise,” a “Garden,” the ”Father’s House with many mansions,” a “Resting Place,” the “Kingdom of God,” a “Heavenly Country,” “The Kingdom of Heaven.”
What does heaven look like?
The Bible describes Heaven as a very beautiful place with lots of colors and jewels streets of gold. In the movie, Colton said that heaven had colors the eyes haven’t even seen before. (Revelation 4:3-8 Revelation 21:21-24)
Are animals in heaven?
The Bible does talk about animals being in heaven (Isaiah 65:25; Revelation 6:2-8). The Bible talks about angels riding horses and horse-drawn chariots, as well as wolves lying down and resting in peace together with lambs. In the movie, Colton says that he saw many different kinds of animals in heaven.
How do you get to heaven?
John 14:6 says “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one gets to the Father, except through me.” If you trust in Jesus and give your life to Him to let Him forgive your sins and make you new; you will spend eternity in heaven with God! (John 3:16).
Will we have a body?
Philippians 3:20-21 tells us that Jesus Christ will transform our bodies to be like His. This tells us that we will possess a new body full of Christ's power and glory.
What will we do in Heaven?
While the Bible does not tell us in full detail what will take place in heaven, but it does say that we will worship and serve God. (Revelation 22:3 & Revelation 7:15).
Will kids go to school in heaven?
While Colton said in the movie that kids will go to school, we don’t know the answer to this question, because the Bible doesn’t talk about kids going to school in heaven. It DOES say that there will be no sadness or pain in heaven (Revelation 21:4), so if there IS school for kids, it won’t make them sad!
What about the children who die before they can understand the concept of God and His Son?
We believe, and many churches also teach, in the principle of the age of accountability which means children are not held accountable for their sin until they understand sin, forgiveness, and judgment. (John 16:7-11) We also believe that God has a special love for children, and believe that He longs for children to be with Him (Matthew 19:13-15).
Will there be angels in heaven?
The Bible talks a lot about angels in heaven. The Bible does not say that people BECOME angels in heaven; it says that angels are specially created by God. (Psalms 33:6; Psalm 148:2,5; Isaiah 40:26; Ephesians 3:9-10; Revelation 10:6)
Will we know people in heaven?
In the movie, Colton recognizes people in heaven. The Bible does point to the fact that people will know each other in heaven (Matthew 17:3-4; 1 Thessalonians 4:17).
Where is heaven?
In Revelation 21:1-7 says, “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.” We don’t know exactly WHERE heaven is, but we do know that it is real.
Is heaven scary? What about death?
Sometimes, talking about heaven is scary for kids. It’s important to remind them that heaven is a beautiful, wonderful place. It is going to be amazing, and we are going to love it there! It is not scary. Hopefully, we won’t get to know what heaven is like for a long time, but the truth is, sometimes people really DO die, and it’s not sad for those who love God, because they are having a blast in heaven, and they aren’t sad or hurting. Talking about death can be sad or scary for kids, but it is a reality of life, and even if they haven’t known someone yet who has passed away, they will at some point, and it is a good opportunity to talk about how those who die get to be with Jesus in an amazing place. Philippians 3:20-21 says “But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. 21 He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.”
Where do people go when they die if they DIDN’T trust in Jesus?
Romans 6:23 says the penalty for sin is death. Spiritual death means being separated from God. Instead of a person living with God forever in heaven, they would be separated from God forever.
I want to know more about what it means to give my heart to Jesus and become a Christian.
For more information about what it means to know and trust Jesus as your Savior, click here.
To DOWNLOAD THIS RESOURCE AS A PDF
What an honor it is to be able to lead a child to the Lord and see Him transform their lives! We should be ready to help kids respond to Him and make life-changing commitments whenever the opportunity is given.
Many people are saved as kids, which makes them one of the biggest mission fields in existence! They are building their foundation for the rest of their lives (and eternities), and we want to help them grow strong roots and become strong in their faith. Kids are naturally curious and formidable. Kids may not understand EVERYTHING about salvation... but I believe adults don't understand everything about salvation either. That doesn't stop us from believing. I know I didn't understand everything about salvation when I was saved at age 17. Kids can have a true grasp of what it means to be forgiven and to have a relationship with Jesus. We know from the Bible that Jesus loves children, and He wants us to bring the children to Him. That is what this is all about- being prepared to bring kids to Jesus. That's what children's ministry is all about.
Here are some tips for leading a child to Christ. Included at the bottom are some resources you can download and use in your ministry. We don't do "altar calls" too often, because kids can feel a lot of pressure or not truly understand. It's more likely that kids will make commitments in their small group setting, with a leader who has been mentoring and investing in their lives, and can answer their questions and have a real conversation with them. Altar calls can be a great way to inspire kids to make a commitment for God.
We encourage parents to be the ones to have faith-conversations with their kids and pray with them to accept the Lord.
Three Steps for Children's Ministry Leaders
1. Empower Small Group Leaders to have faith conversations with kids.
2. Fill out a Commitment Card.
3. Celebrate and connect with parents. Provide resources for growth.
Tips for Small Group Leaders and Kidmin Leaders
Important things to remember….
1. Don’t do all the talking. Ask questions; let the child talk. Let the child ask questions, and help him/her look up the answers in the Bible.
2. Don’t use big or confusing words. Instead of the phrase ‘Ask Jesus into your heart,’ which is too abstract for kids to understand, use the phrase ‘Ask Jesus to be your very best friend.’ Avoid big words.
3. Say It. Ask the child to communicate what he/she is doing, to make sure they understand. Ask if he/she has any questions.
4. ABCs. Go through the ABCs with the child, and use a Bible to help the child look up the Scripture verses.
5. Pray. After going through the ABCs, pray with the child. Ask if he/she wants to pray too.
6. Celebrate! Tell the Children’s Pastor, who will follow up with the child’s parents. Fill out a Commitment Card (1 for the child, and one for the church to keep). We will follow up with Next Steps for discipleship for the child.
A- ADMIT you are a sinner & ASK for forgiveness!
B- BELIEVE in Jesus as your Savior & BECOME a child of God
C- CONFESS that Jesus is Lord & CHOOSE to follow Him daily!
Click below to download
Question - do you remember when you gave your life to the Lord? Who prayed with you and inspired you? Mine was my youth pastor and his wife, at age 17. They eternally impacted my life, and I am forever grateful for them and their investment in me and bringing me to the Lord.
Holy Week. It's a time to remember the passion of Christ- the pain and suffering He endured, the sacrifice He made for us. It's easy to breeze through the week and the Easter holiday and not really take time to sit at the feet of Jesus, especially for families with young kids. As a church, we can encourage each other and share resources to help each other focus on Jesus.
Children are a Gift
kidmin leader, mother, and servant of the Lord.
These are the views of Lynne Howard, and are not necessarily the views and opinions of any church.