One of the privileges of a pastor is being with families in some of their most meaningful life circumstances. One of those experiences is facilitating and affirming the faith of a child.
Recently I’ve had a few parents and grandparents mention about children’s interest in baptism. There is no greater joy than to see children’s interest in Jesus (Mat 18:5) and walking in the truth (3 John 1:4). That being said, we must also be careful to not rush a child’s self-discovery, transitioning from renting your faith to owning their personal faith. Whenever I talk with a person of any age about their readiness for baptism, I work through a series of questions similar to a catechism. My aim isn’t looking for perfection of answers but the direction of their mind and heart before the Lord.
Parents and grandparents, one of the ways you can help your children cultivate faith in mind and heart is to read an age-appropriate Bible with them. I’ve spoken about that before HERE (link). Additionally, encourage and make the commitment to bring your child to church and participate in children’s ministry. Our church has Sunday 9:30am Bible Groups for all ages of children; likewise we have groups for parents – you wouldn’t want to practice “do what I say but not what I do,” would you?!? Then, we have an extended session for parents with young children age five (kindergarten) and under, while we encourage families with elementary age children to acclimate (link) with family and friends in the worship service. We also have other ministries, studies, and resources within the life of our church, feel free to inquire for more information.
A last, but not exhaustive way you can help facilitate faith in your children is to regularly converse with a catechism (link). I’ve developed a small list of 14 questions that have short questions and responses, included with a bible verse to help children and families form faith in words, mind, and heart. These are sample questions that I use when talking with individuals about their baptism readiness. If they are able to respond with a biblical reflection and awareness, then I want to affirm their faith with moving forward with a public profession with baptism. If a person is not ready, then I still affirm how I observe God is at work in their life and family and I encourage them to continue growing and learning.
All of us are a work in progress. None of us have arrived spiritually. It takes a church to raise a Christian. I’m thankful to be part of a church family that is helping me get to where God wants me to grow. I pray you are too.