How do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Do you eat mint ice cream while wearing green clothing like our family does? We’re not Irish, but we love traditions and it’s fun to participate in all the little holidays too!
What I love about March 17 is the opportunity for Christian parents to talk to their kids about evangelism. You might be asking, What does evangelism have to do with green shamrocks and pots of gold?
Many people know that this holiday began as a religious feast day to honor the patron saint of Irish Catholics, Patrick, who was born in Roman Britain to Christian parents. Kidnapped by Irish pirates and forced into slavery as a young man, it was during that time he surrendered his life to the Lord. He escaped, returned home briefly and then received religious training in a French monastery.
Patrick wrote about his own coming to Christ, saying “And there the Lord opened the sense of my unbelief that I might at last remember my sins and be converted with all my heart to the Lord my God, who had mercy on my youth and ignorance, and watched over me before I knew Him and comforted me as a father would his son.”
Amazingly, he returned to Ireland in 432 AD as a missionary and eventually became a bishop. He was passionate about evangelism and felt that because God freed him from both physical and spiritual slavery, He wanted to bring truth to the people of Ireland, many of whom were enslaved by pagan practices.
St. Patrick loved the Lord and the people of Ireland so much that he gave up the comforts of home and family to share the gospel. He told others about Christ even when faced with persecution and established Christian schools and churches during his time as bishop. He was well loved and when he died in 493 AD (historical records indicate it was on March 17), the entire country mourned his passing.
So this is why we talk about evangelism on March 17 – because it demonstrates the heart that Patrick had for those who were unsaved and needed to hear about Christ. It helps our children understand the need for missionary work, both where we live and overseas.
To help you start a conversation on evangelism and missions with your kids, I’ve created a St. Patrick’s Day Bible Verse Scavenger Hunt!
Here are a couple of ideas for doing this activity with your family:
- Talk about the story of St. Patrick (use this post for reference or read this one for some good talking points too).
- Use the eight verses in the download, printed on “gold coins”, to learn what Scripture says about bringing the good news to others.
- Hide all the coins around the house, send your kids on a hunt and then read the verses together.
- Ask your kids questions like, “Do you think it was hard for Patrick to return to the country that persecuted him? Why do you think he went back? Would it be easy or hard to go to a different country and share Christ? Why or why not? What are some ways we can share Jesus right where we are?”
Click here to download your printable verses. There are 8 verses, but you can make more than one copy if you have several children that want to participate. Then cut them out and, if you want, tape some gold-wrapped chocolate candy to each piece. Complete the scavenger hunt activity and have fun sharing the truths of God’s Word this St. Patrick’s Day…and maybe eat some green mint ice cream too!