Sunday, April 16, 2017

Teaching Water Baptism to Kids

In anticipation of speaking at my first KidMin Conference later this week, I'm going back through my blog and reposting some of my favorite ministry blog posts. The first one up is, on Water Baptism and some ways to teach it in Kids Ministry.

What about water baptism?

Water Baptism is an ordinance of the church, along with communion, and is also something talked about throughout scripture as something that Christians should do as an act of faith.

But how do you teach kids and youth about what it means?

Aside from reading Matthew 3:13-16, an account of Jesus' baptism there are a few other things we can share with them. With kids I usually involve a barbie doll or an action figure that they can literally dunk in a bowl of water. With this illustration we talk about the practicals of baptism, where the tank is located, who will be in there with them, how cold the water will be, there is no way they are going to drown, and whatever other questions they may have.

We also talk about symbols, like my wedding ring. My wedding ring is a symbol that I am married to my husband. My wedding ring isn't my husband and it's not my marriage, it's just an outward symbol to show other people that I am married. Baptism is similar. It's not our walk with Jesus and it's not what gets us into Heaven. It's an outward symbol to show other people that we've accepted Jesus's sacrifice for us and that He is apart of our lives.

And we finish our discussion by eating oreo cookies. Why oreos? Because they are fabulous with milk! :) When we dunk oreos into milk, they become one, some milk gets on the cookie and some of the cookie gets into the milk. When we accept Jesus into our life, He becomes a part of us, a true part of our life. During baptism, when we are dunked into water, we are showing everyone there that Jesus is a part of us, a real part.

Kids and teens learn a little more abstractly then adults do. Anytime we can add more than one of our senses into a theological discussion, not only will they remember it more but they will connect with it more.

What are some fun ways that you have taught about baptism to kids or to teenagers?

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