Why should my child be baptized?
The only biblical requirement for baptism is faith in Jesus Christ alone for forgiveness of sins and the fulfillment of all his promises including eternal life. However, College Park elders recommend that children wait until at least age 11 before considering baptism—not because we doubt that a young child can be truly born again but because of a larger discipleship strategy that we have for young people in the church. Please see Reasons for Waiting to learn more.
My child was baptized when he/she was a baby. Should he/she be baptized again?
Yes. The Bible teaches that baptism is for those who are trusting in Jesus Christ alone for the forgiveness of their sins and for the fulfillment of all his promises including eternal life (Acts 2:41, 8:12, 10:47–48). Therefore, we recommend that children wait until sometime after age 11 when they are able to understand, and we are confident that they are whole-heartedly embracing the gospel and committed to passionately follow Jesus Christ.
After my child is baptized, is he/she automatically a member of the church?
Yes and no! Yes, because in Christ “we are all baptized into one body…” (1 Cor. 12:13). That “body” is the Church. College Park is a local expression of Christ’s Church which has “members” and a membership process which we encourage young people to pursue after baptism.
Who decides if my child is ready to be baptized?
Ultimately, College Park elders are responsible for all things related to baptism at the church and thus final approval of all candidates for baptisms rests with the elders. However, we view this preparation as a partnership with parents. The process is designed to help parents be the first to discern if their child is ready or not.
How are parents involved in the baptism service?
This varies depending on the service and on the family situation. In most baptism services, parents are often standing with their children at the waters’ edge and are prepared to receive them with a towel after the baptism. Many times, a parent—especially a father—will be in the water to assist with the actual baptism.
Can anyone baptize my child?
Although there are exceptions, generally baptisms at College Park are officiated by a pastor or elder of the church.
To begin the College Park baptism process for your child, please visit Student Baptism 101.