The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Twelve clicks for a baptized baby

This Facebook thread caught my attention, and generated plenty of discussion from my clergy friends:

Folks in my congregation are in an uproar because I wouldn't baptize the grandson/great-grandson of members because the parents don't attend, and don't intend to attend, any church (and they live a state away). [I've always believed we baptize] into a community, not "on command" ....

One friend responded, "Pour water on that baby and trust the Spirit. God's promises are more abundant and far-reaching than we can know."

I agreed, and add this to the discussion: Yes, baptize that baby, but consider starting a faith conversation and relationship with the parents with 12 little communication clicks — one a month — for the next year.

Start by getting email addresses from the parents, grandparents and sponsors on baptism day while they still remember who you are. Or request their friendship on Facebook since messages via this site may feel less intrusive. Put a reminder on your calendar to send them one note of encouragement each month on the baptismal date for the next year — something like this:

Note 1. "Wonderful to be part of your special day. God bless you as you keep your baptismal promises."

2. "Thinking of you and that beautiful baby today ...."

3. "How's it going? Getting any sleep?"

4. "Thought of you when I read this. (Include a link to a short, practical parenting article.)

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