Taking Inventory for your Family

Our family, along with most other families, is getting ready to head Back to School. As we prepare to head portlandback to school, we need a slew of supplies. In past years, I have gone shopping for my kids and bought what it felt like we needed. However, I have often been frustrated to discover that I actually bought items that we didn’t need and I missed items that we desperately needed. So, this year I had my kids take an inventory. I’m still trying to decide if this was the most genius activity or the geekiest thing I’ve ever done. .. I’ll keep you posted.

I typed up and printed out a set of instructions and a list of clothing categories with a place for them to put a number. Their task was to go through their dresser and closet and get rid of anything that was too small, too worn, or just plain unwanted. Then, count what was left. I took their completed inventory and could easily see who needed what.

This practice revealed two important pieces of information:

  1. We discovered we actually had more than we thought we did.
  2. We discovered what we needed.

We have been discussing the Family Discipleship Path and looking at this journey that we’re on to guide the children in our lives to adulthood with a healthy relationship with God and their family. Let’s take a look at the tools we have packed away for this journey. Let’s take an inventory so that we know what we have and what we need.

First, go through all of your tools…books, blogs, magazines, Bibles, traditions, handouts, wise council, classes…..

  • Get rid of anything that your family has outgrown (at the same time, pack away and label items that are “too big”)
  • Get rid of anything that is worn out or stained- Are there traditions or practices that have been “overdone” and have lost their value?
  • Get rid of anything that is unwanted and simply doesn’t work for your family. There may be great ideas that work for your family that won’t work for mine. Great resources that worked for a season but just doesn’t make sense right now.

Next, evaluate what you have left. What area is a little sparse? Do you need to add some items to your tool kit that will prepare you for the journey? Are there some items in there that you forgot you even had or haven’t used in quite a while? Maybe it’s time to re-read that book, set up a lunch date with that person with wise council, or start up a practice that has been ignored.

Our small step for this week is to take a look at all of our resources. I believe you’ll discover that you are more prepared than you thought to guide these little people. May that give you encouragement and confidence. This will also give you a direction to “stock up” on some supplies that will be very useful in this next season.

Please share your discoveries!!

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Establishing Identity in Christ for your Family

When my oldest started 7th grade, one of her assignments on the first day of school was to fill out a “Get to Know Me” type questionnaire. A couple of questions that caused me to think a bit were, “What am I known for around school?” and “What do I want to be known for?” This is really asking, where does your identity lie? We can look back at the Breakfast Club for some helpful hints as to what people are known for in school….the athlete, the geek, the trouble maker, the beauty queen, the weirdo. A huge part of raising kids and guiding kids as they grown into adults is to help them to establish their identity. We can do this as parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, leaders, neighbors, or any person who has any amount of influence in a child or youth’s life. I want my kids to know that their identity lies in Christ. They are who they are in relation to how much Jesus loves them. When the world looks at my girls, the desire is that they will be known by whom they belong to and that is Jesus Christ.

Identity begins with how we see ourselves and what we believe to be true of ourselves. The way to lay a foundation of confidence in which we are in Christ is to speak truth and have your children speak the truth and this will become what they believe and that will influence how they behave.

You are what you HEAR: Speak encouraging words to the children in your life beginning at birth. Speak praise about them to other people at times when they hear you. Fill your home with sounds that will remind your children of their identity in Christ. This comes in teaching, your words, and worship music.

You are what you SAY: Encourage your children to speak positively about themselves. In the movie “The Help,” the main character was a black woman who was a maid in a white home. Her name was Aibileen and much of her job was caring for the 3 year old little girl. This little girl’s mama spoke nothing but criticism and frustration to and about the child. Aibileen begins a habit of telling the little girl, “You are smart, you are kind, you are important” and having her repeat it back to her. This habit of hearing it and saying it will lead her to really believe it.

You are what you DO: Act like a child of Christ. Walk in his power, grace, love, and freedom.

Here are some phrases based in Scripture that you can begin to speak over the children in your life and have them speak back to you. There are some that will be more relevant than others depending on the age, stage and circumstances of the children. I found this helpful list on Joyce Meyer’s website, http://www.joycemeyer.org.

I’d love to hear how your children respond to these truths and any creative ways you have tried to encourage your children to hear them, say them, and act upon them. Here are a few to start with: 301276_10200111740294894_1297924620_n

I am complete in Him Who is the Head of all principality and power (Colossians 2:10).

I am alive with Christ (Ephesians 2:5).

I am free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2).

I am far from oppression, and fear does not come near me (Isaiah 54:14).

I am born of God, and the evil one does not touch me (1 John 5:18).

I am holy and without blame before Him in love (Ephesians 1:4; 1 Peter 1:16).

I have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16; Philippians 2:5).

I have the peace of God that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7).

I have the Greater One living in me; greater is He Who is in me than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4).

I have received the gift of righteousness and reign as a king in life by Jesus Christ (Romans 5:17).

I have received the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus, the eyes of my understanding being enlightened (Ephesians 1:17,18).

I have received the power of the Holy Spirit to lay hands on the sick and see them recover, to cast out demons, to speak with new tongues. I have power over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means harm me (Mark 16:17,18; Luke 10:17,19).

I have put off the old man and have put on the new man, which is renewed in the knowledge after the image of Him Who created me (Colossians 3:9,10).

I have given, and it is given to me; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, men give into my bosom (Luke 6:38).

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Family Guide to Use in The Five Minutes’

Hello friends,

 

I have had several requests for the direct link for the Family Guide mentioned in recent post called “The Five Minutes'” http://familydiscipleshippath.com/2014/06/10/the-5-minutes-2/

 

Here is a link to the page where you can download the current Family Guide. I update this Family Guide each time we introduce a new series. The next one will be up in September.

 

http://risenking.org/Ministries/KIDS.html

 

Have a great day, Echo

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The 5 minutes’

Boy, do I understand the busy life of a family: so many schedules to coordinate and so many tasks to accomplish. It really feels sometimes like trying to get everyone where they need to be, when they need to get there, and with the stuff they need to have with them takes extreme planning methods. I think these are the kinds of questions that need to be on SAT tests: You need to have Suzy on the West side with ballet equipment from 3:45-5:15, Joey on the South side for a baseball game from 5-7(and you’re on snack duty), and work on Sally’s science experiment in the same evening. How can you accomplish this? Oh, and make sure everyone is fed and clean!!!

So, I understand when we start talking about Family Discipleship that many already stretched families have the reaction that, “Yes, while we understand that it’s important—it feels nearly impossible to really make those kinds of changes in our family!” Does that feel familiar to you?

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your heart and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.” Deut. 6:7-9

We hear that we need to share the things of God with our children. Okay, but “what” exactly do we need to share with them? At our church, Risen King Community Church in Northern California,  we send the kids home with a Family Guide (these are posted at http://risenking.org/Ministries/KIDS.html  if you missed it or feel free to use them if you don’t have access to a resource like this in yourMatthew and kids area) that has a story, a memory verse and an action point, or you can start with a weekly Scripture reading or devotional, or use what you are learning in church.

Once you figure out the “what”, the hard part is figuring out the “when.” Here are a few of my ideas as to how to put Deut. 6 into practice in the real world that we live in today.  Take advantage of the 5 minute chunks during your day. For the sake of these examples, I’m going to share how I would use a Family Guide in an average family.

Talk about them when you sit at home

  • Stick the Family Guide in your napkin holder and talk it through at the dinner table or while making dinner, cleaning the house or working on homework.
  • Crank up some worship music as you’re working on chores as a family.

And when you walk along the road

  • Walking or driving works!! Stick the family guide in your tennis shoes or in the visor in your car so that it’s available to pull out to start a conversation when you’re driving(of course, don’t read it while you’re driving–have a non driver reading–talk about it while you’re driving) or taking a walk.
  • Listen to worship music!

 When you lie down and when you get up.

  • Write the memory verse of the week on an index card- read it with your children when you’re tucking them up and/or in the morning when getting ready for the day.

Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.

  • Use bracelets, necklaces, shoelaces, key chains or t-shirts to remember things we’ve learned about God.

Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.

  • Write words or verses or truths on the bathroom mirror and the refrigerator!

Please share some ways that you have used the 5 minutes’ in your family!!

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GIVING comes from a GENEROUS HEART

Let’s focus on the characteristic of generosity and resist the temptation to narrow this to the act of giving money. With our children and youth, let’s develop a culture of giving.  We, as disciples of Christ, are called to be giving and generous with our times, talents and treasures. How can we develop a culture where generosity is natural? Create opportunities, encourage generosity, and celebrate generous action.

TIMES: We can develop generosity by spending time serving others. This shows up in a variety of ways with children. With preschool and elementary aged children, this can be encouraged by allowing a friend to choose the activity, spend time reading to someone younger than you, pause to hold the door open for others, let another person or group go first at whatever activity we’re going, or serving in various ways alongside your family. As children mature into Jr. High and High School students this tendency will morph into spending time volunteering in the church or community, giving up a week of your summer to be a counselor at camp, offering to help people you see struggling, and thinking about how your actions affect others. Our role as church leaders is to encourage and give opportunities and acknowledge when we see families and children giving of their time and putting others first.

TALENTS: We can develop a culture of generosity by using our talents to serve others. The trick about talents is to widen the scope of what it means to be “talented.” Everyone has a talent in some area. Let’s discover it and give opportunity and ideas on how to use it. As church leaders let’s acknowledge some of the talents that may go unnoticed and create opportunities for kids to be generous with their talents.

TREASURES: Treasure can be money…it can also be “stuff.” Your treasure is anything that is valuable to you. Children can be encouraged to be generous with their treasures by sharing with others anything that is important to them.  Encourage and acknowledge when generosity shows up. Treasure also means money—see the post entitled “We tithe by math, give by faith”  to see some thoughts on being generous with actual money.

http://familydiscipleshippath.com/2012/07/06/we-tithe-by-math-give-by-faith/

When we focus on money as the primary tool to develop generosity, we are missing some BIG opportunities. Generosity is a character trait, a way of life, a world view, not an action. The action of giving comes out of a generous heart. I want to be careful to not put the cart before the horse by starting with the action rather than the heart.

What are some ways that you can encourage, celebrate1972398_624531504284074_1204482594_n, and give opportunities to develop generosity in your church or your home?

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How does GRACE fit in with Your Family?

So much of raising kids tends to focus on behavior management…how do you get them to obey? How to you get them to be kind, compassionate, responsible, courteous, generous, honest, confident, and humble? How to you get them to stop hitting, whining, biting, throwing fits, wetting their pants, and leaving their things all over the house, car and yard?

Sometimes it feels like raising kids becomes “how do you help your kids not be disgusting?” Wear deodorant, take a shower, don’t pick your nose, stop scratching there, go to the bathroom to do ‘that’ and so on and so forth. Other really important lessons are guiding them to understand the value of work and the value of money. We want to instill a strong work ethic and a good understanding of how to manage your money. This is a lot of pressure and I’m barely scratching the surface of all the demands and expectations as we’re raising up the next generation.

And then, there’s GRACE. How does grace fit in to all of these expectations? Grace is a free, undeserved, unearned gift. Grace is how God has shown favor on us as His children. He loves us and gave us the gift of eternal life even though we can’t do anything to earn or deserve this gift.  Ephesians 2: 8-10 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (NIV)

Children have a hard time understanding grace because developmentally they think concretely. Kids tend to think in black and white terms. So, how do we raise responsible, respectful kids who are fun to be around….aaaaaaand, kids who understand God’s grace deep, deep down?  We love unconditionally! Even when kids are not acting ‘loveable’ we extend love to them. I know, we always love our kids, but do we always show them and tell them that we love them? Often, when kids are in trouble or being difficult, our reaction is to withhold affection. Break through that natural tendency and express love as you are guiding your children to do what is right. Grace doesn’t mean that we never suffer consequences. Grace means that we still love and continue a strong relationship through the consequences. When we as adults make a poor decision, we still suffer the consequence of the poor decision—however, God still loves us, still died for us, still gives us the gift of eternal life. When our kids make a poor decision, they still need to suffer the consequence of the poor decision—however, we will still love them, still sacrifice for them, and still give them the gift of unconditional acceptance.

The small step this week in our Family Discipleship Path will look differently depending on the age and stage of the children in your life. I challenge you to make an effort to extend love to your kids in the midst of consequences or rough situations. If you’re having a great week and that’s not really a big enough challenge for you, then I challenge you to find ways to show grace to your kids…give unexpected, undeserved, unearned gifts. Do something fun—just because, go out for a treat—just because, let them set the agenda for the evening—just because!!

Please take a moment to share the reactions of your children when you extended expressions of love during rough situations. Share your ideas of how to show grace to your kids during the happy times.

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Prioritizing God centered camps in your calendar and budget

Christian camp experiences are a valuable part of a child’s relationship with Jesus. These are times that are set apart and designed for students to center on Jesus, connect with supportive friends and leaders, and cooperate in the mission of God. Camp experiences have been designed to meet the student where they are and draw them into a deeper relationship with Jesus. I realize that there are many demands on your time and money during the summer months. I would like to encourage you to prioritize camp for your kids on the calendar and in the budget.

Reasons I love summer camps:

  1. Camp is a great place to take big steps on your journey with God. In the normal ongoing ministries of our kids and youth our leaders are committed to meet a child where they are and walk them one step closer to Jesus. With some time set apart at camp we can take more steps in one week of camp than we can in six months of “normal” ministry.
  2. Incredible friendships are formed. The friendships that are formed or grown during the camp experience have the benefit of being formed around a common focus on Jesus. These friendships will continue to give encouragement all year long.
  3. We get some intense time with God. The leaders spend months planning and preparing for the summer camps so that the environment is set to hear God speak into their lives.
  4. Students make life-changing decisions at camp. Many decisions that are made in a camp setting are life changing for the students. Some hear a call to be a missionary or a pastor, some are drawn more in love with Jesus, others make a decision to share the love of Jesus with their peers during the school year. These decisions play out during the school year and often their whole lives long.
  5. A unique learning experience. Kids who don’t connect with the classroom setting will be given opportunities to learn truths and applications about God while using their whole bodies and being outside.  So many behaviors that are inappropriate in the classroom are perfectly accepted in a camp setting….running, yelling, jumping, dancing, and belly laughing. Most kids will learn applications in this setting, some kids can only learn those types of applications in the camp setting.

Believe me, as a parent of 3 camp aged children, I understand that the cost can be overwhelming and daunting. This is why I am attaching several ideas on how your family can start now to plan for camp to put this life changing experience within reach.

Ideas for raising money for camp:

Gifts: Your student can ask for money for camp or a mission’s trip for Christmas or birthdays.

Auction: Have your student think about some talents and abilities they can offer to friends and family such as babysitting, yard work, crafting, baking, etc. Auction off 4 hours of services to the highest bidder. Determine your time frame, publicize through email, Facebook and phone calls.

Work: Using the talents and abilities that we have talked about above, seek work with family and friends using these services. You can publicize an hourly rate or offer to work for donations.

Raffle: Is there something that your family can come up with that has value? A weekend away, a home cooked meal, a business service? Print up raffle tickets and directions. Determine a date to hold the raffle and sell the raffle tickets to friends and family.

Support Letter: Send letters out to your friends and family requesting support for camp. Draft a letter with an introduction paragraph describing who you are, what you are doing and the benefit that you see. Give a clear invitation to support you through a donation. Give clear instructions on the time frame and how to send money.

Bible-a-thon: Our KIDS ministry holds a Bible-a-thon each March. The kids ask for people to sponsor them to read the Bible. Sponsors can either give a set amount or an amount per chapter read. There are forms and instructions available at http://www.risenking.org. You are welcome to use the forms and do a Bible-a-thon on your own.

Save: Designate a container in the house to save money for camps and missions trips. Deposit coins and money throughout the next 6 months. You will be amazed at how much you can store away. Make some sacrifices and encourage your children to make sacrifices in order to go to camp.

As you are working toward saving for camp, involve your kids in the process all along the way. The experience of camp will be greater if they were involved in the sacrifice to make it happen.

Do you have an amazing camp testimony of your own or one of your kids? Do you have other ideas on how to raise money? Do you have other reasons that you prioritize Christ centered camps? Please share your thoughts to encourage others in their journeyecho n kids

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Why is it called GOOD Friday?

This was a question that I was asked by my then six year old daughter. Why is it called GOOD Friday? I mean, Jesus, the one that we love, the one that we adore, was crucified on this day. What’s so good about that? This is a question that many adults forget to think about. This question presented an incredible opportunity for us to talk about why it was so GOOD that Jesus died on the cross. My initial answer was, “It’s so GOOD because Jesus died for our sins…your sins, my sins, the sins of the whole world.” She innocently and oh so wisely, asked again, “But why is that good?” The reason that is so GOOD is because this is what allows us to have a relationship with God. A simple explanation (I like to look at John 3:16 and Romans 5:8) is that our sin is like a giant electric fence in between us and God, keeping us from being really close. When Jesus died on the cross he wiped our sins away and that giant fence was demolished so that there is nothing in between us and God. And that is why it is GOOD Friday!! Looking at it this way, maybe we should call it GREAT Friday, or AMAZING Friday, or ABSOLUTELY, AWE INSPIRING, MIRACULOUS Friday!! Check out Hebrews 10:19-22, “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” Read these verses with your kids. Depending on their ages you will focus on different parts…but the overwhelming truth and bottom line is “let us draw near to God.” Good Friday is so GOOD because Jesus’ sacrifice allows us to draw near to God.

The small step on the Family Discipleship Path that I would like to encourage you to take this week is to celebrate Good Friday with your family. You can attend a service at a church or have your own celebration with your family or a group of friends. Spend a couple of minutes reading scriptures regarding the death of Christ before you celebrate. Encourage your kids to ask some questions after the service or gathering. I give my kids a paper and pen and have them write down questions during the Good Friday service so that we can talk about it afterward. This helps them stay focused and quiet and remember their questions at a time when we can talk about it.

Most Good Friday services include a communion table. What a great opportunity to draw near to Jesus as a family. A simple explanation for communion is that it is a way for us to remember what Jesus did for us when he died on the cross. Give a brief explanation before hand, then participate together, and then offer an opportunity to share their experiences or ask questions afterward.  Here’s a post with a bit more of an explanation of communion http://familydiscipleshippath.com/2013/03/28/communion-with-your-family/

 

Please share your experiences with children and Good FridayMatthew and Noah

 

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How do I talk to children about Salvation?

I have had many parents come to me and admit that they are anxious and unprepared to lead their children to accept Jesus. These are adults who have led other adults to Christ and have followed Jesus for a long time. And yet, there’s some hesitation in how to simplify the message and put it into words that kids can understand. Classic wording, like “invite Jesus into your heart” doesn’t make sense to children. I once had a little girl who “invited Jesus into her heart” and then refused to drink any water. I asked, “Why won’t you drink anything?” and she responded with, “I don’t want to get Jesus wet!”

Here is a simplified salvation message to help you share with your kids in your life.

God is LOVE. He loves you and He wants you to Love Him. But not all people love God! Why? Because of Sin. What is Sin? Sin is disobeying God. Sin is making a decision to do those things which you know are wrong.

James 4:17 says “Anyone who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.”

Who has sinned? EVERYONE!

Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned.”

What does sin do? Sin puts you into circumstances that are not God’s best for you. Sin separates you from God. Sin gets in between you and God and makes a relationship with God impossible. So, what is God’s answer for your sin? JESUS!

Jesus is God’s son! He lived a perfect life. Jesus died on a cross to pay the penalty for your sin and came alive again in a wonderful way!! Jesus lives in heaven today. He listens to your prayers and is preparing a place for you in heaven!! Jesus is the only way to have a relationship with God and spend forever in heaven with Him.

Jesus answered I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

Here are some easy steps to say YES to Jesus and invite God to be the leader of your life.

1. Admit that you are a sinner

Every person has sinned.For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.Romans 3:23

 Sin separates you from GodFor the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ.Romans 6:23

2. Repent of your sin

Repentance is feeling sorry for having sinned and having a great desire to turn in the opposite direction.

Just as repentance is turning away from sin, faith means turning toward God. You show faith when you turn toward God and His forgiveness.

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out. . . Acts 3:19

3. Believe in Jesus

Realize that God loves you and Jesus died for your sin.

 God so loved the world that He gave us his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

To believe in Jesus means to trust Jesus. This means you believe Jesus is the Son of God and you trust Him to save you from your sins and to give him control of your life.

4. Receive Jesus into your life

Ask Jesus through prayer to come into your life to be your savior and Lord.

If you confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart God raised Him (Jesus) from the dead, you will be saved.Romans 9:10

If you have never received Jesus into your life, you can pray this prayer now:

“Dear God, I know Im a sinner. Please forgive me. I believe that Jesus died for my sins. I want Jesus to come into my life and be my savior. I want to follow Him and obey Him. I want Him to be the Lord of my life. Amen.”

¨ Jesus came into your life

¨ Your sins are forgiven

¨ You became a child of God

¨ You have a home forever in heaven

¨ YOU ARE A CHRISTIAN! A Christian is someone who follows Christ!

Whoever acknowledges Me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven.” Mathew 10:32

Who are you going to tell? How are we going to celebrate and remember this day?

Please share your stories about leading children to Jesus. They can be inspirational or funny!1972398_624531504284074_1204482594_n

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How do I Talk to Children about Baptism?

Baptism is an important step to take in our discipleship path. Baptism is a symbolic action and often symbolism is tough to explain to kids. Here is how I teach it to children.

Who can be baptized?Everyone who has decided to follow Jesus!! When you invite Jesus Caleb's baptisminto your life you are joining God’s family. You should wait to be baptized until you have accepted Jesus into your heart.

There is not an age limit on who can be baptized. It is important that a child be able to express and tell the story of when they decided to give their life to Jesus. Before we baptize a child (or an adult) at Risen King a pastor or leader asks the child to tell them about when they asked Jesus into their life. There have been many occasions when I have asked a child this question and they answer, “I’ve always been a Christian” or something to that effect. I don’t ask for specific dates and details but if a child cannot tell me about a time when they made the decision and prayed to ask Jesus into their life I ask if they would like to make that decision and pray today. (Coming soon: How do I talk to children about salvation?)

Why get baptized?

–          To tell others that you have joined God’s family or to show on the outside the decision that you made on the inside. The decision to follow Jesus is a personal decision and often is private. The act of baptism is done in front of your friends and family to share this private decision publicly. ____________.

–          To do what Jesus did. Matthew 3:13-15

–          To do what the Bible tells us to do. Acts 2:38

–          To symbolize the act of dying to our old selves and being born again into God’s family and the act of being washed clean of all of our sins when God forgives us of our sins. Romans 6:4

o   Symbolism is a tough concept for younger children. I use more common examples like a wedding ring. My wedding ring doesn’t make me married but it is a symbol that shows others that I am married. Or the McDonald’s arches. The yellow arches don’t taste good or fill you up but they represent food.

I will ask each child why they want to get baptized. I want to hear in their own words that they understand and have internalized the explanation and landed on their own motivation.

 

How is a person baptized?People get baptized in water.     BAPTIZE means “put in the water”. Acts 8:38 People are also baptized in public or in front of their friends and family.

–          Sometimes young children are afraid or nervous about the act of baptism. I always explain exactly how it happens. For example: I will be right there with you and on the other side will be another pastor. We will pray for you and then we will say, “By the confession of your faith(which just means because you have said that you believe) we baptize you in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” We will make sure you are ready. You can even plug your nose and then we will dip you back under the water and then right back up again. I will often “demonstrate” outside of the water with one child to show how little time they will be under the water and how I will hold onto them the whole time. This eases their mind about the specifics so that they can concentrate on meaning of baptism.

 

Celebrate!! Baptism is a big deal. It is an exciting day and a time that needs to be remembered and celebrated. You can find some ideas here: http://familydiscipleshippath.com/2012/09/07/celebrate-with-your-family/

 

I’d love to hear your baptism stories or questions. Share your comments.

 

*** Churches and denominations vary in how they understand and live out the act of baptism. I am a pastor at Risen King Community Church which is part of the Christian and Missionary Alliance. Here’s a document from the C&MA on baptism http://www.cmalliance.org/about/beliefs/perspectives/baptism

 

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