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How to Talk With Your Children About Baptism and Communion

Author: Anne Lincoln Holibaugh Category: General, Culture

Celebration Services at The Village are some of the sweetest times for our church family. Together we both see and hear testimony of God’s saving work as men, women and children make a public profession of faith through baptism. And together we remember the sacrifice of Jesus by taking communion.

These services may be a time that sparks increased curiosity about baptism and communion from your children. It is natural for kids to be inquisitive, especially because these ordinances are symbolic and require explanation in order for young minds to understand their significance and meaning.

If you find your child asking questions about baptism and communion but are unsure how to respond, here are some brief explanations that might help.

Baptism

Help your child understand that baptism is an act of obedience for those who have already been saved.

  • Baptism tells a story of being rescued from sin by Jesus through faith in His death and resurrection.
  • Being baptized does not save you. Placing your faith in Jesus alone saves you. Baptism is a picture of what God has already done in the heart of a believer.
  • When someone is baptized, that person shares a brief testimony so that other believers might hear of God’s grace, rejoice in His saving work and worship Him together.

It might also be helpful to explain to your child what they see when someone is baptized.

  • When the person stands in the water before being baptized, that represents their life before trusting Jesus. They were alive to sin, following and obeying it as their master.
  • When the person is put completely underneath the water, that represents the fact that they died to sin when they became a believer; they turned away from sin to follow Jesus.
  • When the person comes up out of the water and is completely wet, that represents the new life they have because of Jesus. They have been washed clean from sin – not because their bodies are wet but because they have been forgiven by God because of Jesus’ death in their place.

If your child starts to express a desire to be baptized, each of our campuses offers a Family Baptism Class for elementary-aged children and their parents several times a year to explain what it means to be a believer, what baptism is, who it’s for and why someone should want to be baptized.

Communion

Help your child understand that communion is a reminder, both for individual believers and the church family as a whole, of Jesus’ sacrifice in their place for sin.

  • The bread is not Jesus’ actual body. The juice is not Jesus’ actual blood. They are symbols.
  • Jesus told His followers to remember Him in this way until He returns so that their hearts would be strong in believing that Jesus is their only hope. He wanted them to remember that faith in Him is all that is needed in order to be forgiven for sin and brought into relationship with the Father.

If you’re wondering whether or not to let your child participate in communion, this resource will be a tremendous help.

Talking About Tough Issues

It isn’t uncommon at The Village to hear testimonies during Celebration Services that include content that is more adult in nature. The baptismal waters come filled with stories of people being set free from addictions, healed from abuse and delivered out of sin. There are confessions of adultery, self-harm, abortion, addiction to pornography, etc.

While parents praise God for these testimonies, they sometimes cringe when they realize their children are hearing about things that might be a little too heavy for them to carry and require further conversation.

If your child is attending a Celebration Service with you, be prepared to address issues and answer questions related to what they hear. Don’t be caught off guard, frustrated or afraid; know that it’s coming and be ready. As a parent, you want to be the first word for your child on things like sex, alcohol, relationships and self-image. Yours is the most influential voice in the life of your child, and this an opportunity for you to show them that the Lord is not silent on these issues.

Baptism and communion are essential and precious parts of worshiping as the church body. It is good for children to see them, and they provide great opportunities to engage in gospel conversation.

Recommended Resources

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