This past summer, we talked about what it means to be adopted into God’s family at camp.
“What does it mean to be adopted into God’s family or to be a follower of Jesus?”
“Have you been baptized?” Response: “Yep, I got baptized when I was 7. The water was really cold.”
During camp, we hear kids mistake baptism for a salvation experience over and over again. I think we are missing a huge opportunity to explain that baptism is a response to the Holy Spirit drawing us to be in a relationship with Christ and is a symbol of a decision we have made to have Jesus be in control of our lives and our Savior. It is in outward symbol of the inward cleansing God has done, or in kid language, it is us showing others that God has changed our lives and forgiven our sin (or all the bad stuff that we do). When we ask Jesus to be the Lord of our life, we become a new creation. It’s like we are born again…and that’s what baptism symbolizes. Us dying to our sin (going into the water) and being born again as a new creation (coming out of the water).
It is important to help kids know that baptism doesn’t make us a new creation, Jesus does. Through Jesus’s death and resurrection (coming back from death) we are saved. Baptism is a reminder of that.
Here are some Scriptures about baptism to go through with kids:
Jesus is baptized:: Matthew 3:13-16