Letter to parents: How do I lead my child to the decision of baptism?
Easter is right around the corner (April 1st ) and part of the Easter celebration is baptism! This is a glorious day in which people make public their faith and devotion to Jesus. It says they are ready to shed their “old self” and as they emerge out of the water it is a symbol of their new life in Christ.
As parents, we have this awesome responsibility and privilege to lead our children to know, trust, and obey the Lord. Deuteronomy 6: 6-7 says, “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” Equipping your children to be a disciple of Jesus is a full-time effort that should be incorporated in all aspects of your day and over the course of their entire lifetime. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
So, as a parent how do you talk to your child about making this decision to trust Jesus as their personal savior? How do you know if they're ready for baptism?
In my own personal experience as a parent, I was not equipped to have this conversation with my children. I desperately wanted my kids to know, love and trust Jesus but I had no idea how to do it. It was awkward. What should I say? This is really important…I didn’t want to mess it up!
7 Considerations when talking to your children about baptism
In the next 3 weeks leading up to Easter, R-Kids Co-op will be doing short teachings on baptism in our 2nd-5th grade classes. We’re going to talk about the basics of baptism, why we get baptized, what actually happens on baptism day (relieve any fears about baptism), and how do they know when they’re ready. These mini classes are designed to touch on the basics of baptism and to supplement (not replace) what you’re doing in the home.
Every child is different when it comes to baptism and the Holy Spirit works in each child’s heart in his own time. So, these 7 considerations are just that…considerations and not a formula. They are intended to provide you with basic guidelines that will allow you to approach this process with joy and anticipation!
Pray for your child’s salvation. Pray that the Holy Spirit will be with you and your child during these conversations. Pray for wisdom, discernment, and patience.
#2 Baptism 101
Teach them about the basics of baptism. Janelle’s letter of last week provided a great baseline. It addressed why we should get baptized, who should get baptized, what baptism does NOT do, and what baptism Does accomplish. Make sure you use terms and language they can understand.
Our job as parents is to plant seeds and allow the Holy Spirit to faithfully work in the lives of our children. Be patient…allow the Holy Spirit to work…don’t push your child to make a decision.
#4 Head and Heart
Romans 10:9 says, “because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” This is a head and heart decision. They must understand the basics of salvation but they also need to feel it in their heart. Be listening for confession, repentance, faith, and submission. Ask yourself, “Has Jesus changed their life?”
A very powerful parental moment is when you tell your children about your own testimony and baptism. Talk about what life was like before you put your trust in Jesus and what life was like after you put your trust in Jesus. Talk about your own baptism experience!
#6 The Plan of Salvation
One of our goals is that all children, by the time they leave 5th grade, will know the Plan of Salvation:
God is great: God is mighty, majestic, all powerful, and the creator of the heavens and the earth. He is perfect in every way and is without sin. God desires a personal relationship with each of us.
We are sinful: We are not perfect, we make mistakes, we are sinful. Because we are sinful we cannot have the relationship with God that He so desires.
God sent Jesus: God loves us so much that he sent his only son (Jesus) to take away our sin…past, current, and future sins. When Jesus died on the cross he took all of our sins away so that we can now have a relationship with God.
Believe in your heart: If you say Jesus is your Lord and you believe in your heart that Jesus died on the cross and God raised him from the grave, you will be saved!
Life with God forever: If you confess that Jesus is Lord and believe that God raised Jesus from the dead you will be with Jesus forever!
And this is just the start of a lifelong relationship as a disciple of Jesus.
#7 Resurrection Church Baptism Process
There is a good chance that your child will be nervous about being baptized. To relieve some of that stress, it’s good to explain the process so they’ll know what to expect:
Step 1: Talk to your parents
Step 2: Be able to answer two questions:
Do you confess that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead?
Have you confessed and repented of your sins to God?
Step 3: Sign up on the church’s web site to be baptized
Step 4: Arrive at church on Easter Sunday
Step 5: Change into baptism clothes…the church will provide a t-shirt, flip flops and towels…you bring a pair of shorts. There is a special private place to change. Parents will be with their child through the whole process.
Step 6: Get into the baptism tank with your parent
Step 7: You will plug your nose, cross your arms, and will be gently laid back into the water for just a second and then helped back out of the water.
Step 8: There are a ton of towels available to help you dry off.
Step 9: You return to the special private room to change back into your dry clothes.
Step 10: Celebrate your new life in Jesus Christ.
More to come!
Last week we talked about Baptism 101…the basics of baptism. This week we discussed how to talk to your children about putting their trust in Jesus and baptism. Next week we’ll talk about how to determine if your child is ready for baptism.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or Janelle Dutcher anytime with questions, comments, or concerns. I’m praying for you and your children during these weeks leading up to Easter.