A common question we get asked is ‘How do I know if my child is ready for baptism?’ Every child’s journey down the faith road will be different but here are a few things you could look for:
- Do they have a deep understanding of the gospel? Do they know what sin is and that they are a sinner in need of salvation? Do they believe in and trust in Jesus alone as Lord and Savior? Can they express these truths without us asking leading questions?
- Are they excited about the gospel? Sometimes they can learn what the gospel is before their passion for it arrives. When the passion is there, often it will be evident. Actually a lot of times parents will realize their kids are ready for baptism because they ask to be baptized over and over and over again :). This is often a great sign!
- Are they ready and excited to confess their faith to the church and to the world? This doesn’t mean that they aren’t nervous about it, because it can be scary to kids (and adults!) to go before a large group of people. In spite of any nerves, if they are ready to confess their faith in front of family, friends, and their church, that is a great sign.
- Do they understand the lifetime commitment they are making? We often talk in New Believer’s Class about how this isn’t just a one step process in order to gain salvation. Salvation of course is a great gift from God and an awesome blessing, but the children must know that once they are saved that is only the beginning of their discipleship journey. The rest of their lives are to be dedicated to Jesus. Jesus is to be first in their lives, ahead of family, friends, desires for popularity, toys, entertainment, etc. No matter what life brings, they are to be all in for Jesus as both Savior and Lord (boss of their life).
At Normandale, I have devised a “Baptism Interview” paper, found here, which covers a lot of the concepts devised above. I give this to parents ahead of time, to help them guide discussions with their kids, before I walk through these questions with the kids too. It’s not a test you have to make 100 on, but it allows us a greater insight into where each child is at, and if they are ready for the next step of Baptism!
– Dave Zablocki & Jared Simpson