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Sharing Jesus with a Child with Down Syndrome, Part 2

Earlier this week, Barbara J. Newman introduced us to a few tips for sharing the love of Jesus with a person with Down syndrome (if you missed it, read it here). She will continue with some fun & helpful ideas for sharing your faith. 

Be creative. How can you use the areas of love and interest we brainstormed earlier this week to make the introduction? While the possibilities are endless, here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

Make a photo album. Put in a photo of Jesus and then pictures of you doing things with Him and for Him. Share this with your child often and explain how Jesus got to be your best friend and your Savior. Perhaps as your child develops that relationship, he can have his photo album to share. Some images you could include in the album:

  • Raising your hands as you sing to hug him,
  • Kneeling beside your bed to talk to him each night
  • Reading the Bible and learning all about His life
  • Hugging a sad person because Jesus asked you to do that for Him

Does your teen enjoy playing Capture the Flag? Put out one of the jail bases and the middle line that separates the two teams. In Jesus Capture the Flag, we all get sent to jail for the things we do that make God sad (sin). Jesus is the only way out of "jail." When we say, “Jesus, I love you. I don’t want to stay in this sin jail. I’m sorry”, Jesus comes to tag us and give us a free walk back to His team. Once we are on the Jesus team, we always get to stay on that team.

Find a Bible or Bible story at the interest level of your child. Read the salvation story, watch it on a video, act it out with wooden figures or puppets, or discover some iPad apps that help your child interact with the story. Make sure you treat this story differently than any other on your shelf. Treasure the book or item in front of your child. Let them know it’s the very best book ever – and it’s all true. Show the adoration and love you have for Jesus as you get ready to recreate that story of what Jesus did for us.

Keep the celebration going. Here are a couple of ideas:

  • As your child says “yes” to Jesus and to loving Him, remember the date. Let your child know that every year, you will celebrate two birthdays – the day she was born in the hospital, and then the day she was born with Jesus. This gives you a time each year to celebrate that relationship in a special way.
  • Use holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter as a chance for your child to think about getting Jesus a present. What might Jesus like? Sing a song that tells Jesus, “I love you.” Make a video of your child dancing to a favorite worship song. Take a photo of your child and tell her that if Jesus had a refrigerator, this picture would be on it!

It’s my hope and prayer that this list of ideas will help you think of meaningful ways to introduce Jesus to your child. Remember, as God created each person, He also made each one able to connect and enter into a relationship with Him. I am encouraged daily by my students and friends with Down syndrome who have a vibrant and living relationship with Jesus Christ. 

Barb Newman 2 April 2011
Barbara J. Newman
Church and School Consultant

Barbara J. Newman (1962-2020) was the Director of Church Services at All Belong. For over 30 years, she endeavored to create communities of inclusion through All Belong. Co-administrating the inclusion program at Zeeland Christian School allowed her to stay on top of best practices which she shared at schools and churches nationwide and in her books and practical resources, including Autism and Your Church, Helping Kids Include Kids with Disabilities, the Inclusion Awareness Kit, Nuts & Bolts of Inclusive Education, and her latest title, Accessible Gospel, Inclusive Worship.