There are times when children come and tell me that they want to be baptized. Sometimes it’s because they want to take communion. Other times, they’ve seen someone else do it and want to do it too. Both of which are great opportunities to tell children more about what it means to be a follower of Christ. These are signs that our children see themselves as a part of our faith community and want to jump in with all that they are. I have recently had two young children come with just such a request and I am excited to talk with them about who they know Jesus to be and how Jesus is working in their lives.
Recently, I have started giving children a little homework to help them connect with people from church to whom these children look up. I ask the children to interview people they have a relationship with who, in turn, have an active relationship with Jesus. The children ask questions like, “What do you remember about Jesus from when you first heard about him? What helped you know you were ready to follow Jesus? How did you feel as you walked forward to tell the church that you wanted to be a follower of Jesus? What was it like to be baptized? How did you grow in your relationship with Jesus after you were baptized? How do you follow Jesus today at home, at work, and at church?” I hope these questions can spark good conversation with the people the children choose to interview.
I share this with you for three reasons. First, I want you to know that our children are asking big questions about God and desire to follow Christ. I praise God for working in these children’s lives. Second, I want you to be ready to answer these questions should a child approach you for answers. And third, if we are prepared to answer these questions for the children, then we are prepared to tell others about our vibrant faith in everyday interactions. Thanks be to God for children seeking to follow the way of Jesus and for our opportunity to walk with them on the road. God is definitely at work in our midst.
– Lee Ritchie