I had the privilege this week to speak at a Church Camp for an incredible group of Junior High students. As is often the case, many of the students who attended camp had not yet surrendered their lives to following Jesus. I was ecstatic, yet not surprised, by the number of pre-teens who responded to the invitation to follow Jesus as their Lord. One of the students who came forward told me that that she has attended church all of her life and that she believed that Jesus was the Savior of the world. But she had not yet taken the next step to be baptized into Christ because her mother thought she was not ready for that yet.
Many parents are asking is this: “Is my child ready to be baptized yet?” (CLICK TO TWEET)
As a pastor I often meet with parents who want me to help them determine whether their child is ready for the step of baptism. In my ministry experience, the common question that many parents are asking is this: “Is my child ready to be baptized yet?” If you are asking this question, then I’d like to share four points for you to consider:
1. Get Excited. When your child starts asking you questions about their faith, God, the Bible, and the possibility of them getting baptized, this is not the time to panic. Take a deep breath and express the joy of a decision like this. Here’s the truth: Deciding to follow Jesus is the BEST decision a person can ever make! As a parent it is your responsibility to help your kids make wonderful choices in life. THIS IS THE MOST WONDERFUL CHOICE THEY WILL EVER MAKE! Don’t be afraid to have this conversation. Talk to your child about Jesus. Express your excitement about their decision.
2. Use Your Parental Discernment. Following Jesus is a mature decision. It’s not one to be taken lightly. No one knows your child better than you. Ask a few questions to determine your child’s motive in making this decision. Here’s a great question to open the conversation with your child when they ask about baptism: “I’m so excited your thinking about this. I’ve been praying about this for a long time. Can you tell me what has made you think about this decision?” This question will help you determine your child’s mindset going into a decision like this. CAUTION: Never blow off your child’s question because you think they’re too immature. If they start asking about baptism and starting a relationship with Jesus, take advantage of their questions by teaching them about Jesus.
3. This is not a quiz. Don’t think they have to give you all the right answers before you will let them get baptized. Jesus said in Mark 10:15, “I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” Your child is making spiritual decision. Not an intellectual decision. Having a proper understanding is necessary. But passing a test in order to be allowed to be baptized is not.
4. Learn something new. If you have not studied the Bible very much, there’s a good chance your child may ask a question that you’re not so sure how to answer. Rather than avoiding the question until you can schedule a meeting with your pastor, take a moment and research the question to help your child understand now. The person responsible for your child’s growing faith is not your pastor, it’s you. Consider him a resource to learn from. Send him an email asking for help. Seek his guidance as you seek to guide your child in the right direction.
It’s a joy meeting with parents to talk about Jesus with their kids. But it’s an even greater joy to watch parents teach their kids about Jesus. When parents become their children’s “spiritual advisor”, then faith will grow, not just on Sundays at Church, but seven days a week in your home.
What conversations have you experienced with your kids about Jesus. Keep the conversation going by leaving a comment!