Milestones: Baptism for Kids

You guys hear me so much on this blog… I want to highlight some people this week with their thoughts on some of the Milestones that we have. First up is our Elementary Ministry Director, Laurie Sinkele. Laurie was a major reason we decided to go another direction when it comes to baptism for Kids at Brookwood. She’s put together a few of her thoughts on the struggle for baptism with kids and what our process looks like now. You can follow her on twitter as @lsinkele . I hope a ton of you follow her so she will tweet more often. Yes I’m totally asking for a favor :)

If you have any questions for Laurie, drop a comment and I’ll be sure to get her to check in with her thoughts!

We are thrilled that we can walk with parents in sharing Jesus with their kids. We also recognize working in children’s ministry that we have an important job in leading children to Christ but feel that the biggest influence of the kids we see on Sundays is their parents. We know for most people their spiritual journey it is not always an event that shaped their faith. It is a series of events. So when we look at baptism we try to get families to look at the milestones that lead them to faith instead of one event like baptism.

It is so easy to say, “I’m a Christian” and not live as one. Sometimes baptism is viewed as they have made it as a Christian when in reality their journey has just begun. That is one of the reasons it is so important that as a ministry and church we teach our kids and parents that baptism is sharing and growing our faith. We don’t want them to be confused that baptism is a means to salvation.

When an elementary child shows interest in being baptized we have the parents attend a class called “Leading Your Child to Christ.” That class is a prerequisite to “First Steps for Kids.” In these classes we cover the basic beliefs of baptism:

  • To follow the example set by Christ. Mark 1:9
  • It’s an outward symbol of the commitment you make in your heart.

Our “Leading Your Child to Christ” class is for parents of elementary kids who want to be baptized. In this class we walk through with parents what a relationship with Jesus looks like. We want to minimize confusion of a faith journey. We share with them that baptism is just the beginning of their kids spiritual journey and that it is a profession of faith and not a one-time event that they have arrived at.

We also teach parents to write their story of faith. This gets them to look at their walk with God and how they can model that to their kids. We don’t suggest to parents that they break out a Bible study each night with their kids. We suggest that they model their faith, communicate their faith, and pray for their child. Not every child’s walk with God will be the same. Once parents have written their own story they are more equipped to help their child write theirs.

“First Steps for Kids” is a class that parents and kids attend together. This is a time when parents can help their child write their story. Through this class we hope the parents and child understand the meaning of baptism and are better prepared to make a decision whether or not that child is ready for baptism.

These classes will help the parents and children see if that child really understands and is ready for baptism. We want the kids and parents to understand that salvation is not dependant on baptism. Our faith is a great journey. It is exciting to see what God has for us.  

by J.C. Thompson
J.C. Thompson is the Elementary Production Director at Brookwood Church in Simpsonville, SC, one of Outreach magazine’s Top 100 Largest Churches in America..
Used with permission from J.C. Thompson.
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