This past Sunday our family arrived late the 9:30am worship service. We caught the last baptism but missed all that transpired before this. I have 3 kids, one who loves Jesus and has been baptized and 2 younger ones that are just coming of age to understand these things. We share the gospel at home but I know for my child to know and understand the gospel I must get them around the gospel. One visible place we can see the gospel is baptism.
As a youngish father who grew up in a very old and traditional church, seeing Sunday night services as a part of life then disappear, music change from organ and piano to the addition of drums and guitar, from Sunday school to small groups (which in my opinion is the same thing with a different name), through of all the changes made, baptism was sort of pushed back. I grew up in a church where baptism happened once per year. It was an odd, yet sort of cool tradition. In serving in a few different churches I saw baptism on Sunday morning, Sunday evening, after service, before service, at camp, and everywhere in between. With all the cultural changes in the church, this has left baptism sometimes in “inconvenient” time slots.
If we are going to see baptism for what it is, the celebration of new life in Christ, we MUST participate. Baptism is not just for the believer being baptized, rather for the whole church. It is the outward expression of looking at what Jesus did and can do. Baptism is just as much for me to celebrate with the new believers as it is for my own children to witness. It is imperative that my children see, participate, and later ask questions about baptism. My responsibility as a father is to get them around baptism, and it is also yours. A couple of questions we should ask:
- Do our children see others being baptized?
- Do our children frequently see others being baptized?
- Have my children ever seen anyone baptized?
- Do my children need to see me being baptized?
- Do I have open dialogue with my children about baptism?
- Is baptism important to our family?
One of the greatest things we can do as parents for young believing and un-believing children is to bring them around the gospel and those who have responded to the gospel. At some point, your child will be held accountable for their life and faith, and no longer you as a parent. My role as a parent is to present the gospel so often that my children can see and hear that Jesus is better. One way I can do that is getting my children in front of baptisms. If I can make a point to teach them about football and get them in front of that, I have no excuse.
Josh Glymph is the Youth Pastor at Fruit Cove Baptist Church. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org