If your child wants to get baptized, ask questions.
Baptism comes after salvation, so start with the basics: Can you tell me who Jesus is? What did He do for you?
Here’s one way to explain salvation in a way kids can understand:
- God loves you! He made you and knows everything about you. (Psalm 139)
- When we mess up and do wrong things, it’s called sin. We deserve to be punished for those things, but when we follow Jesus, He takes the punishment for us. (Ecclesiastes 7:20)
- To follow Jesus, you have to admit that you’re a sinner and that you’ve messed up. You need to tell God you’re sorry. (Acts 3:19)
- God loves you so much He sent His son Jesus to earth. Jesus took the punishment for the sin of everyone who would believe in him by dying on a cross. But Jesus didn’t stay dead! God brought Jesus back to life. To follow Jesus, you have to believe Jesus died for you and that God brought Jesus back to life. (Romans 10:9-10)
- Finally, we commit to following Jesus by praying a prayer:
God, I know you love me. I admit I have done wrong things. and I am truly sorry. I believe in my heart that Jesus, your son, died for me and you brought Him back to life. I commit to following you. Jesus you are my leader, the Lord of my life! Amen.
If your child has already asked Jesus into his life, explain what baptism is and what it means.
Here are some suggestions and places to point to in their Bible:
- Now that you’ve committed to following Jesus, you need to let others know by getting baptized. (Mark 16:16)
- Baptism takes place in the water. It’s a picture of what Jesus did when He took the punishment for you sins. When you go under the water, it shows people that you believe Jesus died for you. When you come out of the water, you show others that you believe God brought Jesus back to life. (Romans 6:4)
- Getting saved and then baptized doesn’t mean your life will be perfect. There will be times when you will sin and make wrong choices. When this happens, pray and ask Jesus to forgive you. Jesus took the punishment for all our sin. That means even though you will sin again, you don’t need to be saved or baptized again. (1 Peter 3:18)
- You can continue following Jesus day by day by reading the Bible, doing what Jesus says and praying every day. (Psalm 1:2)
Facilitate the conversation, but don’t dominate it. Kids are naturally curious. Commit to answering every question, no matter how silly, and let you child ask lots of questions.
Remember, walking with Jesus is not a race. Baptism is the first step after salvation for everyone, kids included. But it's possible your child might not be ready. And that’s OK! It's always better to wait than to pressure children to take a step they don't understand.
As parents, we often want to make things happen for our kids. Our hearts are in the right place. We want what is best for our kids. But baptism is about their faith, not ours. What we choose and they do might last for a while, but what they choose and they do will last forever.