What does your child think about baptism?
Do they think it’s fun? Swimming at church? Sign me up!
Do they think it’s terrifying? Stand in a pool and let someone dunk me in front of everyone? No, thank you.
Do they think it’s mysterious—even a little creepy? People get dunked in their clothes and everyone is on board with this weird ritual. Are we in some sort of secret society or cult?
Do they think it’s simply an everyday routine? People sprinkle water on babies’ heads. People get dunked in water. It’s just what people do.
Your child may think all kinds of things when they hear about or see a baptism! If your child starts asking questions about it or shares some creative thoughts on the subject, what do you say? How can you really know if your child is ready for baptism when they say they want to do it?
First, talk about salvation. Baptism shows we follow Jesus. If your child hasn’t chosen Jesus as their leader and number one friend, it’s not time for baptism yet. If you’d like some pointers on talking to your child about salvation, read this Bible Plan together.
Experience baptism. Watch a baptism together, or watch this video to see baptism in action. Let your child share their perspective on what’s going on, ask them what questions they have, and share what you know about baptism. If you don’t know what baptism is about, or you don’t know the answers to your child’s questions, you’re not alone! The questions listed below won’t just help your child. They’ll help you out, too!
Have conversations about baptism. The only way to understand baptism is to talk about it and see what the Bible has to say. Here are a few conversation starters, some simple answers, and helpful Bible references you can use to help your child explore what baptism is all about.
- What do you think baptism is? Baptism shows everyone we made a decision on the inside to follow Jesus. (Acts 8:12)
- Why do people who follow Jesus get baptized? Jesus chose to be baptized, so we are following His example. Jesus also tells us to be baptized to show we follow Him, so we are obeying His directions. (Matthew 3:16-17, Matthew 28:18-20)
- Why do we go under water when we’re baptized? Going under the water and coming up again is a symbol that shows we believe Jesus died and came back to life three days later. It shows we understand that our old self that followed sin is dead. Now we’re living a new life following Jesus. (Romans 6:3-5)
- If baptism shows our old sinful life is dead, why do people still sin after they get baptized? We should live in a way that doesn’t choose sin. But, since we still live in human bodies, we struggle with sin even when our hearts and minds want to live God’s way. (Romans 6:1-2, Romans 7:21-23)
- When you sin, do you need to get baptized again? No. Remember, your baptism isn’t taking your sins away. It’s showing the world you’ve decided to follow Jesus. When you sin again, tell Jesus what you did, ask Him to forgive you, and He will. (John 10:27-29, 1 John 1:9)
Pray with your child. Let your child lead part of your prayer time. Encourage them to talk to God about baptism and to share with Him any questions or ideas they have. Pray God will reveal Himself to your child so they can truly understand what salvation and baptism are all about. Trust God to reveal to you whether or not your child is ready to be baptized.
Connect with church leadership. Once you believe your child is ready for baptism, talk to the leadership at your church. Find out what steps you and your child need to take so that your child can be baptized!
Celebrate! Whether your child is ready for baptism or not, celebrate the opportunities you have taken to disciple them. God will tend and water the seeds you have planted so that your child’s salvation and baptism will come at just the right time.