Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Kids Baptism: A Celebration and a Teaching Time.

Baptism is an important time in the life of a child. As Minister of Childhood Education I try to be a part of this memorable occasion. Churches should plan for kids baptism services. The baptism time should be a celebration and a teaching time. 

My doctrinal position asserts that baptism is a celebration of new life in Christ and is by immersion after someone receives Christ as their Savior. We have an opportunity to teach kids, the parents, and the church the meaning of baptism.

Here are some suggestions that can help Kids baptism be a celebration and a teaching time at your church:
  • Before a child is baptized they should be counseled to confirm that they understand what they are doing and the reason for this special ordinance. (See my post last month about Kids and Salvation.
  • If possible take children on a "field trip" to the baptistery prior to the baptism service. This gives them an opportunity to ask questions and overcome the fear of the water and the baptistry.
  • Take at least one picture of the pastor baptizing them.
  • Present  a Bible to each child.  I recommend the HCSB Illustrated Study Bible for Kids 
  • Bookmark and review page 312 in the HCSB Illustrated Study Bible for Kids - "How Can the Bible Help you?" Share with them how important their Bibles are. (See Illustration One)
    Illustration One
  • Encourage them to write out their testimony on the last page of their new Bible. 
  • My church presents each child with a handkerchief that has the church name on it and explains to them that the most important decision that they will ever make is the decision to follow Christ. The second most important decision is who they will marry. Our handkerchiefs are embroidered in blue so that the girls can carry them when they get married representing their "something blue." (See Illustration Two)
    Illustration Two
  • Before the child is immersed, ask the parents, Sunday school leaders, and other family members to stand emphasizing how important it is for them to stand with the child as they grow in their faith.
  • Email pictures taken during the service to the parents.
  • Send a letter to the child reinforcing the celebration time. The letter could read like this:
Dear McKenzie,
It was a special time when you were baptized!  Baptism shows that a person has turned away from the way she used to live, has asked Jesus into her life, and wants to follow Jesus every day.  Becoming a Christian comes first – then baptism.  This Sunday you were baptized showing others that you have already become a Christian and you were following Jesus’ command to be baptized.  You are now a child of God!  I pray you will continue to grow and learn more about God and His love for you!
Love in Christ,
Ginger Owens
Minister of Childhood Education
These are just a few ideas. I am sure you can think of other ideas that will help Kids baptisms be a celebration and a teaching time. Feel free to share your ideas below in the comments.

Provided by Ginger Owens, Minister of Childhood Education, First Baptist, Panama City FL and 4:12 Network Member.