Cru Store releases a brand new evangelistic tool for children: a coloring and activity book that presents the gospel in four easy-to-understand points.
Not all childhood evangelism has to involve multiple generations. When we think of sharing the Gospel with children, it's natural to assume the presence of an adult, who is going through some series of outline points, using words and Scripture verses, the meaning of which may be lost on the kids.
Think of the last time you went to a sit-down chain restaurant. If you took small children, more than likely, the hostess grabbed a menu for each child that served two purposes: to help the kids decide between chicken nuggets and corn dogs, and to keep the kids occupied during the time it took between sitting down and delivering the food to the table.
These restaurant chains print activities and coloring objects on the kids menus. The smarter ones use the activities to reinforce that particular restaurant's core products. Red Lobster's children's menus, for instance, features games, word problems, and coloring objects featuring sea creatures (most of them edible and available at their restaurant). The kids like to engage their siblings for a partner—or competitor—for the tic tac toe games. They sometimes even ask their parents for help in solving the cross word puzzles. This type of engagement not only helps keep the otherwise rambunctious kids in their seats during meal time, but it also serves to help create stickiness—the kids, at a young age, begin to learn that it's fun to eat at Red Lobster or Red Robin or whatever restaurant takes the time to engage them.
What's truly great about this type of piece is that it allows the restaurant to engage the party—and their children—in such a way that doesn't require the direct handling of a restaurant executive or manager. It's not as if every time a hostess hands one of these out that a restaurant representative has to come sit down at the table and carefully explain everything that's on the menu: how to do the crossword, what color the crab should be, etc. The kids, in the process of figuring it out, soak in the very things that the menu is trying to communicate.
The truth is, evangelistic materials for children can be the same way. But the problem with tracts is that 1) most kids aren't easily engaged by simple reading, especially in an age of multi-media entertainment and distractions. 2) Tracts are normally just complicated enough, using language that may be difficult to understand for children, that it would require the presence of an adult in order for there to be a seed-sowing opportunity.
The educational materials industry has understood this principle for decades. The introduction of coloring and big activity books as a means to reinforce lessons about geography, social studies, math, and language has both launched and sustained companies who publish nothing but.
Imagine a coloring and activity book that shares the gospel with kids and actually engages them, using activities that are fun to do and that reinforce the principles that the text is communicating. Imagine not only sharing this activity book with your child, but also encouraging your child to share one with their friend... An evangelistic tool to share the gospel with children that can be used both vertically (adult sharing with a child) and horizontally (child sharing with peer).
Such a tool would be a useful children's evangelism piece that can also be used as a peer-to-peer Gospel presentation. Either way, it would be seed for the spiritual soil.
The Four Fantastic Facts Coloring and Activity Book is the newest and best-formatted evangelism tool to date from Cru. It contains a thorough Gospel presentation, a four-point outline that is based on the Four Spiritual Laws, customized for children. What it has, that no tract could possibly offer, is page after page of engaging activities—games, cross word puzzles, word finds, and coloring objects that reinforce the gospel message shared in the text. In short, this is a piece that a child will want to keep. They will want to share a blank copy with their friends. It's a tool whose demand keeps multiplying, as kids get excited to not only use the book for themselves, but share with others.
The best part is that giving your child a book, or sending them with one, is sowing a seed in the heart of that child. It is also an easy and effective way to share the Gospel with children. The Four Fantastic Facts Coloring and Activity Book was designed for 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders (or ages 8- 11), since their penchant for using coloring books with moderate degree activities for educational purposes is congruent with the format of Cru’s new tool.
In early field testing with the beta version of this piece, some of the best results came from children sharing the activity book with other children. In the specific experiments involving the Four Fantastic Facts Coloring and Activity Book, the adult would give a nine- or ten- year old child two unused copies of the book to take over to a friend's house as part of a regular visit or play date—nothing particularly out of the ordinary. But it was the positive responses to the piece, and the message communicated by the piece, that was most encouraging. But there is a secondary, but not less important benefit. Children who may not be comfortable sharing their faith with words or testimony found it easy to share the coloring books with their friends. Some couldn't wait to "show it off." It proved to be a great way for them to share what was important to them in a presentation that was both relevant and fun.
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