Could you imagine winning a trip to Switzerland? Wouldn’t that be an exciting vacation? Instead of just dreaming about going there every time you watched The Sound of Music, you’d actually get to experience it in person.
Imagine further that your prize included a class to learn conversational German using an advanced teaching technique. By the time you were ready to go, you sounded like a native-born speaker.
Then, the first day of your dream trip arrives. All of your preparations have been unmatched in effectiveness and efficiency. As you depart from the plane, you greet the first person you see with Guten Tag (German for “Good Day”). To your chagrin the person gives you a puzzled look and hesitantly responds, “Come sta?” (Italian for “How are you?”).
You’d feel pretty disappointed when you realized you had arrived at the wrong destination. Your disappointment would be especially pointed as the realization sunk in that all the hard work you spent learning a new language had been for naught.
Baptism Preparation – Arriving at the Right Destination
It’s the same way with baptism preparation. The most engaging and efficient materials for baptism preparation will have little value if they teach a form of baptism that falls outside the Biblical teaching on the subject.
So whatever materials you choose, you’ll want to make sure they are Biblically sound.
But what do you do if you’re not knowledgeable enough about the Biblical teaching on baptism to evaluate preparation materials yourself?
Two Approaches to Ensure Biblical Teaching
You’ve got two choices. First, you can embark on your own research to learn the details of Biblical teaching and then evaluate for yourself the baptism preparation materials you are thinking of using. Second, you can ask someone knowledgeable in this area — perhaps your pastor — to evaluate the materials for you.
Either way, this is an important step that you won’t want to skip.
When I decided to write Joey’s Baptism, the baptism preparation booklet I wrote for my children, I essentially took both of these steps.
To start I did an in-depth study about the purpose of baptism and the suitability of baptism for younger children. Obviously, I needed to ground myself in God’s Word on the topic if I was going to have any possibility of writing my own materials.
Then I asked a pastor at the church I attended at the time, an evangelical, Bible-preaching church, to review my teaching materials and help me correct any problems.
Based on his feedback I became confident that Joey’s Baptism provides sound teaching on the subject of baptism. I’ve developed additional confidence, because it has stood the test of time in actual classroom use at that same church. Joey’s Baptism has been used for several years there.
Having said this, I’m not suggesting that you drive yourself crazy over fear that the baptism preparation materials you use might be imperfect. They almost certainly will have some imperfections.
However, you’ll want to choose materials that avoid significant departures from essential Biblical truth.
Choose your materials carefully. Either evaluate them yourself against what the Bible teaches or enlist the help of someone you trust who is more Biblically literate on this topic. This way you will prepare your child using materials solidly rooted in Biblical truth.
Coming Up: In our next mini newsletter article we will cover
Yes! Your Special Needs Child Can Be Baptized.