Every year, for the past few years, we have received an invitation from our Conference youth director for my not-yet-baptized child to take a series of Bible studies by correspondence, to earn a free week at summer camp and participate in the baptism on Sabbath.
The first few times, I was hesitant, because I felt he was too young to attend camp. With his developmental delays and speech impairment, I didn’t feel comfortable with his going, either. The past couple years, I asked him if he wanted to try it. He told me he wanted to be 13 when he got baptized. But because of his learning disabilities, etc., I would prefer he attended junior camp rather than teen camp.
He turns 13 this summer! So I’d planned to enroll him in the Bible studies this past winter (January/February), when the invitation came. That way he could technically still be junior age for camp. It didn’t come before we went to Florida for “spring break” though, so we began making arrangements with the pastor at my parents’ church there. (We grew to appreciate him in autumn of 2014, while my dad was gravely ill, and even spent time in hospice).
There were some resources he suggested for my son to go through. I thought I’d share them with you, in case you are ready to help your child prepare for baptism. They would also be helpful, even if your child is already baptized.
Our first resource, which we began using in January, was Making Jesus My Best Friend. It is the baptismal preparation resource for younger children (ages 8-10). It contains 10 lessons, covering such topics as: the Bible is God’s word; the Sabbath; the second coming; death; God’s judgment; and the New Earth. Each lesson has a story to read, followed by questions to answer. At the end of the book is a list of the baptismal vows, for either the parent or the pastor to go over with your child.
We actually finished up this book while we were in Florida, so the pastor went over the baptismal vows with my son. He was well satisfied that my son seemed prepared for baptism, and we even considered having his baptism then (near Grandpa’s birthday), but my son decided to wait for our next visit back to Florida.
The next resource the pastor suggested is Step by Step: Learning to Follow Jesus. It especially helps children understand the principles found in the book Steps to Christ. It contains 30 lessons, containing a Bible verse, a lesson to read, followed by teaching tips at the end of each lesson. Some of the topics covered are: we learn God loves us, why He loves us, what God is like, being sorry when we do wrong things, we can believe God’s promises, and we learn to trust God’s plan.
Our next resource is What We Believe: Seventh-day Adventists Believe for Kids. It serves as an introduction and summary of each of the 28 fundamental beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist church, in simple, easy to understand language for children. Each lesson contains a Bible verse, a lesson to read, followed by teaching tips.
Our final resource is God’s Ten Promises. It definitely helps children understand the Ten Commandments, and helps us look at them as promises, not a list of “do nots.” This book is written more in story form; we are introduced to a set of brother/sister twins who learn one summer, through a series of family worship sessions and life experiences about each of the Commandments. The book actually contains 12 lessons, covering each of the commandments, as well as an introduction and a summary. Each story is followed by teaching tips.
By the way, my son’s baptism is coming up in just a couple weeks!
Although these resources are written for children, the pastor also suggested I share them with a young man our family has recently become acquainted with, who is in his mid-twenties, and has begun studying to become a Seventh-day Adventist (from a Catholic background).
I hope you find these resources as helpful as we have.