What do we do when our nine-year old says "Mom, I want to be baptized?" We are thrilled and terrified all at once! Thrilled that this child wants to obey the Lord, but scared that he or she is not ready yet for this momentous step. What should parents do?
Children growing up in faithful families can be expected to learn the steps of salvation rapidly, and to desire to do what pleases God. Yet we sense that knowing the "Five Steps of Salvation" really isn't enough. There has to be more to readiness, but what is that "more" and how can we know when a child is truly ready?
"Am I Ready" is a special workbook designed to fit this very scenario, and to answer these critical questions. This book helps a child and his/her parents assess readiness via five lessons. The lessons focus on the responsibilities of being a Christian and what the plan of salvation means, but even more, they focus on an understanding of personal sin and sinfulness. Perhaps best of all, they give the parent a ready answer to a child that early in life asks to be baptized. That answer is "Great! I am so glad you want to be baptized!" We are glad -- the desire to be a Christian is marvelous! Then the parent says "This is a big step and you need to know what you're doing. We'll study in this book and when you've completed all five lessons you'll know if you are ready." Then the parent lets the child go to work. If the child's desire is a result of temporary emotions, wanting to get attention, then after a lesson or two the child will stop doing the book. The parent doesn't have to say anything, or do anything. The parent doesn't "get after" the child to continue. The parent says nothing and the problem of an unready child wanting baptism just took care of itself. When the child returns to the subject the parent returns to the workbook.
Some children, of course, will complete the book with a zeal and determination that indicates their readiness to be Christians. Either way, a bad situation is made into a good situation by studying God's Word!
The book is 5 lessons and 28 pages. Countless families have used it with great success. I pray it will be a blessing to you as well!