How should kids fit into the Christian church?
If a child is born into a believing home, should everyone just assume that the child is also covered by God’s grace as part of the family and will grow up to also live as a believer? In some churches that think like this, babies are baptized with the hope and expectation that they will grow up to live as Christians.
Conversely, if a child is born into a believing home, should everyone wait and see what decision the child makes for themselves before having them baptized and declaring them a believer?
These, and other questions, can be complicated. Here’s another one: at what age should a child start partaking of communion along with the other Christians in the church?
How about you? How were you treated spiritually as a child? Were you baptized as a baby or later on in your life? Did you take communion as a child?
How about your child? Will you assume they are a Christian until or unless it is obvious that they are not? Or, will you treat them as a non-Christian until they make their own profession of faith in Jesus Christ? If you choose to baptize your child, how will you decide on an appropriate age? If your child partakes of communion, how old should they be?
My wife Grace and I had to work out our own convictions on these issues as we raised five children together. We also came from different backgrounds in our childhood. I was raised Catholic, while Grace was raised Protestant. I was baptized as a baby, while Grace was baptized as a teenager. We had differing backgrounds, but thankfully came to a unified agreement on what we believed was God’s will for our children.
While teaching a series called Parenting on Point at our church, Grace and I took questions from the audience and did our best to provide impromptu answers. One of the questions we received was, “At what age should parents allow their child to be baptized and take communion?”. This is a very common question that parents and grandparents often wrestle with. My wife and I did our best to provide some practical and biblical advice that we hope is helpful in this video.
Lastly, if you have a question I might be able to answer in a future Ask Pastor Mark video clip, send it in to firstname.lastname@example.org. If your question is chosen, we hope to be helpful to you, and the many other people who are likely wrestling with the same question that you are.