KIDS’ BAPTISM AT HILLSIDE
Is Your Child Ready to Be Baptized?
Baptism is an important event in the life of a believer. Because it is a symbolic and abstract outer representation of an inner change, it can be difficult for a child to understand the true meaning.
We want to be sure that a child is old enough to remember and appreciate the event so years from now he/she doesn’t feel the need to do it over again.
We have found that a child around the age of 10 years old can be cognitively ready and able to remember the event later in life. This age may vary slightly from child to child, either somewhat younger or older.
STEP 1: WHERE DO WE START?
A few open-ended questions can help discern if a child understands the true meaning of his/her faith and what baptism really means:
Tell me about why you love Jesus. (this is basically the child’s testimony and shows us if the child understands the Gospel.
Tell me about what baptism means. (if the child says that baptism washes your sins away or that your sins are forgiven when you are baptized, this is not the correct understanding.) Baptism is a symbol, just like the American flag is a symbol of the 50 states and 13 colonies in our nation. The flag isn’t our country, but it represents our country. In the same way, baptism isn’t our salvation, but it represents our salvation. The child’s answer should include an understanding of the symbolism.
Does baptism save you? (No, only Jesus can save us. Baptism is just an outward symbol of the change that has happened in our heart. We want to show others that we have trusted Jesus as our Savior by being publicly baptized.)
Why do we get baptized this way (by dipping our whole body under the water)?
Because this is how Jesus was baptized.
Because baptism itself symbolizes our death to sin as we go under the water, and our resurrection as a new creation as we come out of the water.
STEP 2: WHAT DO I NEED TO DO NOW?
If your child has a solid understanding of the symbolism of baptism, it is time for him/her to think about how to share their testimony with the congregation.
The child should be able to answer the two questions below in one or two sentences each. These should be written on a small card and he/she should practice reading it.
Why do you love Jesus?
Why do you want to be baptized?
Note: They may choose to share a Bible verse as part of the answer to either of these questions.
STEP 3: WHAT’S NEXT?
The Pastor will want to meet with your child to hear the answers to the questions in Step 2, and to explain all the details about the day he/she will be baptized: what to wear, when to be at church, how the baptism will be done, etc.
We, the Hillside pastors and staff, are so proud of your child for taking this step to share his/her faith through the act of baptism! We look forward to seeing how God will continue to lead and guide in his/her walk of faith.