God can lead you down some interesting paths. Parenthood is one of them. The day your child is born is etched in your heart forever. You marvel as you watch your children grow into their personalities and gifts. Suddenly, they are old enough to understand the concept of sin and dedicating their lives to God. Now, what do you do?
The age of accountability is slightly different for every child. Only God and the child will ever really know when that age has been reached. As a Christian parent, the subject of baptism can be scary. What if you push it too soon? What if you wait until it is too late? How do you know when your child is ready? How can you encourage baptism without making it your decision instead of your child’s? The whole subject freezes many parents into total inaction.
When my daughter was about the age of accountability, I wanted to study with her. Unfortunately, my searches for a study on baptism hadn’t turned up anything I felt comfortable using. Either the study was outdated or juvenile looking or the theology wasn’t entirely sound. With a background in education, I had been trained to write lesson plans about a variety of subjects. Could God use those same skills to help me write a study about baptism parents could use with their children?
I am not sure how other teachers are trained, but my program was big on asking questions and experiencing things. My quest to develop a study on baptism began by quizzing my daughter and her friends. What questions did they have about baptism? What did they know or think they knew? What was confusing to them? What worried them? What might have even scared them?
My next conversations were with parents and teachers. What did they wish they had to study baptism with children and teens? What problems had they encountered with other studies? What did other studies lack that they needed?
The resulting A Student’s Guide to Baptism (by the way, this resource is free), was an effort to answer the questions and needs of both students and their parents or teachers. Written so a curious student can use it with or without an adult, it encourages the student who may stumble upon it to approach a trusted Christian adult to study with them. The back of the study contains a leader’s guide that walks adults through the various ways to use the study.
Each lesson has thought questions and activity ideas. If a student is really ready to become a Christian, the study and questions could be completed in a few hours. Students who may not be quite ready can take advantage of the additional activities to enhance and lengthen the discussions. The activities can also be used after baptism to encourage growth in the new Christian.
The idea of studying baptism with your child can be exciting and intimidating at the same time. Hopefully, this guide will make the process a little easier for you. After you study with your child, I would love to hear about your child’s baptism and see the photos. It is the most important day in the life of any person – the day they decide to dedicate their life to Christ. (There are even some ideas in the study of ways to help your child remember the importance of the day for years to come.) Please feel free to contact me and share your family’s story. I would love to celebrate with you!