One of the most common questions parents ask Bible class teachers is “How should I study baptism with my child?”. A few years ago, Teach One Reach One’s founder, Thereasa Winnett, noticed her daughter beginning to show an interest in baptism. Over the course of a week, she wrote this study as she talked with her daughter about what she knew and what concerns she and her friends had about baptism. Thereasa based the lessons not only on scripture, but also on the common questions students have on the subject.
The study includes a leader guide to help you make the most of your time studying baptism with the children and teens in your life. The study also provides meaningful support activities for parents to use to help their children grow spiritually either before or after their baptism. The activities can also be used as a subtle way for parents with children who really aren’t ready for baptism to continue the dialogue with their child over a longer period of time. The leader’s guide gives you guidelines for how to shorten the study for children who are ready and lengthen it for children who are not quite mature enough.
Please feel free to share this study with parents and teachers who may want to study baptism with others. You can find it here. We have been told it helps provide a nice framework for studying baptism with adults as well. Over the next few years, we will be adding links for this same study translated by native speakers into various languages. Feel free to share those links as well. Our only request is that you not present this material as your own or sell it to anyone.
May God bless you as you study baptism with your child!
If your kids are reaching or have reached the age of accountability, you may want to study baptism with them. Or perhaps one of them has already asked to be baptized and you want to make sure they understand what they are doing. Parents are sometimes reluctant to study with their kids, because they aren’t quite sure what to say.
When our daughter was expressing an interest in baptism, we couldn’t find anything that really explained things clearly. So we begin designing our own study. Eventually we added a leader’s guide and questions and activities a young person can complete either before or after baptism to investigate some topics in more depth.
The best news is that this study is now a free ebook on our website. You can download it or print off the pages you want printed. This has become one of our most popular resources and has been used by both parents and Bible class teachers. We’ve even been told some people who downloaded it used it as a guide for studying with adults interested in baptism.
As a child, one of my favorite stories in the Bible was Mephibosheth. There was something fascinating to me about the idea of David honoring a promise to his friend Jonathan. In a time when David would have been considered justified to have killed Mephibosheth as a member of his “opposition”, he basically made Mephibosheth a member of his family. Oh, there were a few hiccups later, but they had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that Mephibosheth had special needs.
We all know the “age of accountability” for baptism (and thereby becoming a Christian) probably varies slightly from child to child. For years I have watched as the first children in a class study with their parents, decide they want to be baptized and dedicate their lives to Christ. The parents of the other children in their grade start looking forward to the day when their child decides to become a Christian, too.
Many of those children will probably become Christians at some point over the next few years. As the remaining children enter high school, the looks of anticipation can gradually turn to panic. Parents wonder if their child will reject God entirely. Many are afraid to talk about baptism or ask questions for fear of frightening a child who must be on the borderline of rejecting God. After all, what parent wants to ask the question or make the comment that is the final straw in their child’s faith life?
Surprisingly, there are 5 very common misconceptions young people have about becoming a Christian. Accepting one of these as truth can delay a decision and commitment to God for months and even years. Yet many of them could be easily corrected and encourage your child to make the most important decision of his/her life.
So what are the most common reasons young people might delay baptism?
Perhaps, the scariest thing to me about parenting is the fear of my daughter rejecting God. Many of my parenting decisions were made because I wanted to be able to honestly say I did everything I knew how to do to help her be strong spiritually. And yet there are no guarantees your child will be a faithful, productive Christian as an adult. Or are there?
The new book Abandoned Faith by Alex McFarland and Jason Jimenez examines why many young people are abandoning their faith and what parents can do about it. I won’t lie. This is one scary book. If your children are still at home, it will scare the pants off of you – and it should. As someone who works with kids and teens on a regular basis, I can tell you very few parents are doing what they need to do to prepare their children to live an active, productive Christian faith as an adult.
Most of you will lose your kids – watch them reject God and His teachings – because you aren’t doing what you could do now to greatly lessen the chances it will happen. This book does a great job at pointing out the main mistakes parents make when helping their kids develop a strong spiritual life.