Talk to your child about baptism
If your child is expressing the desire to get baptized that's great. You'll know, from the maturity of your own child, if they are ready to do this but as a general rule we tend to wait until a kid is about 9 or 10 years old before we baptize them. You can use this guide to talk to them about it.
(This guide is available as a download at the bottom of this page.)
Baptism is going public.
Being baptized is going public with what you believe. Following Jesus in baptism is saying, I want to follow You Jesus and stand out in the crowd. Being baptized means you are ready to live for Jesus at home, school and everywhere you are, not just when you are with your Christian friends.
Baptism is something Jesus did first - we follow Him by also being baptized
Read: Matthew 3:13-17
Jesus went out to the desert where John was baptizing and asked John to baptize Him. John baptized Him and as He came up out of the water the Holy Spirit came down on Jesus in the form of a dove and the Father said, “This is my Son, whom I love, I’m really pleased with Him.” This was the beginning of Jesus going public with who He was and what He had come to do and it happened before He did anything towards His public ministry.
Read: Matthew 28:18-20
Jesus told the disciples to go and share the good news and baptize those who believed. You don’t have to know everything to be baptized but you do need to know the Good News about Jesus. Jesus came to teach us to love and to bring us back to God, to deal with our sin through His death and to give us life through His life. He rose again, beating death, and makes it possible for each of us to be His friend forever, starting right now and going on for all eternity.
The disciples baptized people who had decided this was true, even when they didn’t know very much more than that. The important thing is that they wanted to live their lives for God. If you want to live your life for God you are ready, even if you don’t feel like you know very much. This really is a case of ‘it’s not what you know but who you know’
Read: Acts 8:36-39
Philip shared the good news of Jesus with the Ethiopian and when he saw a pool of water he asked then and there if Philip would baptize him. The Ethiopian was ready and nothing was going to stop him going public with his faith in Jesus.
Baptism doesn’t save you.
Jesus saves you. Jesus is the one who washes you clean and forgives you. Being baptized is an outward sign of the transformation Jesus is doing on the inside of you. Believing in Jesus comes first, trusting that He has saved you comes before getting baptized. The water is a picture of the washing clean that Jesus has already done in you. Going down under the water is a picture of giving up your old life and leaving it there and coming up to live your new life in and through Jesus.
Baptism is a decision you make.
No one should force you to get baptized, if you feel like you are being forced into it then don’t do it. If this is your decision and you feel the Holy Spirit is nudging you to do it, and you are ready to ‘go public’ then you are ready to be baptized.
What happens at baptism?
At the Bridge we baptize by full immersion, which means going totally under the water, however, if you have a request to be baptized another way please talk to us as there are options.
During our special baptism meeting you may want to share your story with the church of how you started to follow Jesus and why you want to be baptized, you don’t have to, but it would be great if you did.
When it’s your turn you get in the water to about waist high with a pastor or someone that is important to you on either side of you, if your parents know and love Jesus you could ask one, or both of them, to baptize you or you can have two pastors, it’s up to you.
Cross your arms and one of them will ask you some questions, yell out the answers so everyone can hear you.
They’ll ask you:
- Do you know and love Jesus and are you trusting in Him to save you?
- Do you want to go public with your faith today and tell the world that you are ready to follow Him and live your life to love and serve Him?
If you say yes to both these questions then we’ll say,
“Your name I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
Plug your nose if you want to.
We’ll lean you back into the water until you are fully underneath it and bring you back up again and everyone will cheer - they always do!
The church will gather round you and pray for you once you are wrapped up in a towel and back on dry land.
Remembering your baptism
The day will go fast and you may not remember it for long so there are a few things you can do to help you remember that it happened and the decision that you have made to ‘go public’ with following Jesus.
- Ask someone to take a picture before, during and after your baptism
- Tell your story - write it down, read it out
- Tell your story - video yourself saying how you came to know Jesus, why you want to get baptized and what it means to you that you have decided to follow Jesus in baptism and ‘go public’ with your faith
- Write the date of your baptism in the front of your bible
- Take some of the water home with you in a jar, put the date on the lid, keep it as a reminder
- You will get a certificate from the church saying you were baptized
For parents to talk through baptism with their children