There are commonly 2 extremes as we all wrestle with this question. The first is the careless lack of discernment of many churches who have an alter call for 4-5 year olds, ask them to raise their hand if they love Jesus, then baptize them as converted followers of Jesus. The other extreme often results from the carelessness of the first.
This extreme prevents both parents and pastors to be willing to affirm whether or not a child is truly converted until they are adults and are completely independent of their parent’s authority and care. I believe a middle ground must be approached if we truly desire to discern clear biblical evidence that a child, teenager, or young adult has become a new creature in Christ.
Knowing we are not God and cannot see the heart, I believe there are still evidences we can see and know to help us discern a child or teenager’s conversion in a similar way we try to do the same with adults. In the spirit of Jonathan Edward’s 5 signs of true conversion, here are 5 evidences that I try to use as a template as both a parent and pastor in wrestling with this issue.