Sunday, September 9, 2012

FAMILY: Baptism = New Parent Ministry

Somebody once asked me, "What kind of ministry is available for infants after they've been baptized?" Hmmm... that one took me by surprise. They're babies. Her concern was that sometimes people come to have their babies baptized and then don't come back. Well, that's a ministry for the parents, not the babies. I have a few suggestions along those lines.
    • Along with the traditional candle and banner, give each family a baby Bible or a Bible storybook.
    • Write (or have the pastor) a prayer for the parents to say together every night for their newly baptized child.  Print it on attractive paper or frame it.
    • If the parents aren't members, give them a member mentor who will pray for them and call periodically (maybe once a month for a year) to see if there's anything with which they can help.
    • If you have a number of new parents, start a new mom's group.
    • Give the parents a list of babysitters (from the congregation) that they can trust.  Be sure to update it regularly.  It'll give you a chance to get in touch with the families again.
    • Give the parents a list of "support parents" they can call if they need help with something.  Ask for a year commitment and update regularly.
    Some things may simply be a matter of having people volunteer to be available, if necessary.  They may never be contacted.  But if somebody brings a child to be baptized, it's a beautiful opportunity to show them they too have been brought into our community of care.

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