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Should You Baptize Children Without Their Parent's Permission?

Recently, a Christian school in North Carolina baptized over 100 children without their parent's permission. Many of the parents were upset because they weren't notified and asked for permission to baptize their children.

This raises a question. Should you baptize children without their parent's permission?

Personally, I will not baptize children under the age of 18 without their parent's permission.

I would also say in a local church setting, I will not pray with kids to receive Christ as their Savior without their parent's permission. Let me explain what brought me to this ministry philosophy.

When I first started leading in children's ministry, I would share the Gospel with kids in a large group setting. I asked kids to raise their hands if they wanted to invite Christ into their life. I would then lead them in a large group prayer to receive Christ as their Savior.

But over time, I realized this was not the best strategy for me. How did I know if the kids understood the decision they were making? And so I made a shift. When kids raised their hands, I would pair them up with a counselor who could talk with them individually. I felt better about this, but there was still one missing piece. When parents came to pick up their children, we would share the exciting news that their child had accepted Jesus. They were excited, but I could see in their eyes that they wished they could have been there and been a part of it.

This led to a final shift in my strategy.

When kids raised their hands to accept Jesus, we pulled them aside and got their contact information. When their parents come to pick them up, I let their parents know their child had raised his/her hand and wanted to invite Jesus into their life. I then shared that I had a class they could attend with their child. In that class, I would thoroughly share what it means to enter a relationship with Jesus.

The class was a family class for kids and their parents. No drop-offs. In the class, I clearly shared the Gospel with the kids and their parents. At the end of the class, I gave parents the opportunity to lead their children to Jesus. Or if the child was not ready to accept Christ, I encouraged them to continue having the conversation with their child at home. I provided parents with a tool they could use to share the Gospel with their children.

And here's the cool thing. When parents got in the class and heard the Gospel presented clearly, I saw many of them step across the line of faith as well.

Next, I invited those who stepped across the line of faith to attend another class about baptism. In this second class, I clearly explained why you should be baptized.

This strategy has been proven to work. In one year, I saw over 450 children and dozens of parents step across the line of faith, become followers of Jesus and follow Him in baptism. Every single one had attended the classes.

I have developed two classes for this strategy. Starting Point is a class where you share the Gospel using scripture, videos, object lessons and dialogue. Baptism for Kids explains what it means to follow Jesus in baptism.

Hundreds of churches are using this strategy. Here is a testimony from one of them.

"I just wanted to share a quick praise report about implementing your Starting Point Class material this past year.

We had 50 kids respond for salvation on Easter and sent home in their salvation packet to parents a follow-up QR code promo for kids and parents to attend our follow-up “Starting Point” classes on a Wednesday night.

We had eleven children register. Two were guest families! They complimented the content and the creative ways of connecting with kids and teaching them about salvation and baptism. It was also the first time half the men including a grandfather attended with the family.

This coming Sunday, I have the honor of baptizing half the group, and the rest will get baptized during the Summer."

It is essential that we share the Gospel on a regular basis. Actually, you can't share the Gospel enough. Every week is great. At the very least, you should share the Gospel twice a month.

So what is your strategy when it comes to leading children to Christ and then baptizing them? Should you baptize children without their parent's permission? Share your thoughts and insight in the comment section below.


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