Sunday, June 12, 2011

Follow Me into the Waters

My 12 year old son, Trent, decided to begin the steps toward baptism and joined the Discipleship class at Kingwood Christian Church about  five months ago. He was assigned a mentor, a member of our church who Trent really looks up to, Mr. Dave. The process has involved a monthly class after church which includes Bible study, discussion and thinking about Creation, Covenant, Christ, Church, and Completion. In the Disciples of Christ tradition, we dedicate babies after they are born. Then we celebrate a believer's baptism, which means that each child makes the decision to be baptized when they feel called and are ready to publicly confess that Jesus is their Lord and Savior. Some are ready at six, others at 16. I didn't feel any pressing need to coerce Trent into thinking about baptism. I had no set age in mind. Trent has been in our church from his very beginnings. Even in utero, he LOVED choir practice nights and would kick along with the music!  He has been in church every time someone is baptized. I wanted it to be his idea, his decision. So when he expressed interest in the Discipleship class, I was pleased.
Fast forward to the weekend before the first class. "You mean there is homework?" Trent grumbled, now second-guessing his decision. At this time I realized that I was not the person to convince him that this homework was important and needed to be done. Enter mentor, Dave, who has a wonderful low-key way of talking with and encouraging Trent.

Thankfully, Dave made a commitment  to get together with Trent before their class met each time to work on the homework together. He also attended the classes with him, nudging him (sometimes literally) as needed. This is what church is for me. I get emotional just typing these words.  How blessed we are to be a part of a church family where others can and will step in and nurture our children, filling in the gaps when we can't, picking up the slack, from watching for cars in the parking lot to leading them in their faith. If it had been left up to me to insist he did the homework and attend the classes, (I hope you are seeing the unpleasant picture here) he probably would have dropped out. But when another person (who wasn't Mom) stepped in to walk with him, things moved along just beautifully.

Today,  I tried to hold it together as I watched my son follow Jesus into the waters of baptism. It was one of my proudest and most joy-filled moments.

I can't wait to see what God will do in your life, my precious son.

With gratitude to Jim Fuehrer and Ryan Nelson-Paryag for the photos.