Monday, February 17, 2014

Journey to Jesus - a Preparation for Baptism Part 1

Over the years, I've had many conversations with leaders from other churches where we wonder together about how to invite new believers and children into the life of our communities of faith. I hear from them, they listen to me, and we talk about sharing resources with one another... and then we never do.

I have said I would offer these resources many times, and then I just can't bring myself to package it in any sort of static form and send it off to another community. Contextualization feels so important. I feel paralyzed by the hesitation to offer something that has worked well in our community and assume that it will work well elsewhere. After feeling guilty about not putting it together in any kind of coherent way for a long time, I'm finally going to blog about it. That feels safer... I can do it smaller chunks, less permanent pieces, and get feedback along the way.

So here goes... I'm going to offer the nuts and bolts of what I have done with kids at Life on the Vine over the past years. I willingly admit and recognize that not all of this material is easily transferrable to adults. For adults, I highly recommend Robert Webber's books, which is where the general frame for what we do with our children has come from.

The time we spend together is divided into four basic stages (and these are Robert Webber's):
- Seeker stage: evangelism - what is the gospel? what is conversion?
- Hearer stage: learning the doctrines of the church, discipleship - what do we believe?
- Kneeler stage: spiritual formation - how do I become more like Jesus?
- Walker stage: moving into the full life of the community of faith - how do I become part of this?

I plan to blog about each of the stages, giving an overview of the stage, scriptures I refer to, activities we do together, conversations we have, etc. I invite your questions and comments and hope you'll share your ideas!

NOTE: Every part of this series will be specifically geared toward kids in a community of faith. Because of that context, not all of this will fit for people who have no knowledge of the Bible, of Jesus, or for adults. I am specifically writing out of the experience of leading the children of believing parents into discerning their own baptism and becoming part of the community of faith out of their own belief.


  1. This sounds wonderful. I look forward to your posts!

  2. Thanks for joining the journey, Brad. I look forward to any feedback you might have along the way!