If you were leading a small child to the Lord (4-6 years old), what would you say? How much does the child need to understand at this age?
I’m not sure I would be “leading them to the Lord” in the sense it is commonly used today.
I would be leading them TOWARDS THE LORD, and appropriate to their age, incrementally increase their understanding of sin and salvation until such time God convicts them and they repent with their own understanding and personal conviction of sin.
Teaching your children is an ongoing process regardless of age, and we teach them as much as they are capable of grasping at whatever age, stretching them a bit each time to challenge them.
While I do not think there is anything wrong with “leading a small child to the Lord” (especially if they have an obvious understanding of the Gospel and WHY they need it), I think parents should be very cautious about thinking a conversion at 3 or 4 years old is necessarily genuine conversion and “it’s a done deal”.
The authenticity of any conversion will be evident by a changed life and spiritual fruit over time. The tests and evidences of genuine salvation are not age specific. So you might want to check out my study on that, and then apply it to your children, regardless of age.