The Clapper

When I am not traveling out of town, I am part of my brother's church.

Yesterday, we had baptisms after the service. 6 precious people followed Jesus in baptism.  They varied in age from 10 all the way to age 77.

It was a joyous occasion and we made sure as a church body that we are with them on their spiritual journey.

After each person was baptized, the clapper you see in the picture was used by everyone in the church to celebrate the person's step of obedience.

Why?  Because when a person comes to faith the Bible says there is a big party in heaven. 

I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.  Luke 15:7

When someone steps across the line of faith they throw a big party in heaven.  I'm sure it's a party worth remembering.  

Many years ago, when I was around 30 years old, the church where I was serving decided to do a remodel of the children's ministry area.  We made it very, very kid-friendly.  We even decided to put a baptistry in this new kid's area so kids could be baptized if they choose to and their parents were present.

When a child was baptized, there were 2 confetti cannons that would shoot confetti over all the kids in the audience.  Everyone would stand and celebrate with the person that had just been baptized.  Shouts of joy!  Cheering.  Lots of high-fives.

I took a lot of criticism for this.  Critics were quick to say that we were coercing kids into being baptized.  That we were making it too much "fun" to be baptized.  That it wasn't serious enough.

If you want to see an example. Here's a prominent website that criticized us.

The truth was that every child who was baptized had went through an interview to make sure they understood why they were being baptized.  Parents were also part of the meeting.  

If the child had made a clear salvation decision, understood what baptism meant and the parents agreed, then we allowed them to be baptized.   

Each baptism was preceded by a time of prayer and a hush filled the room as the child was baptized.  But a as soon as the child came up out of the water, a celebration started.  Confetti cannons were released, cheering could be heard, clapping was thunderous.  

Why?  Because if people can cheer and shout for their sport's team for hours upon hours, why shouldn't we cheer and shout for someone who has embraced Jesus as their Savior.  

We are simply mirroring the party that is going on in Heaven.  

If you need to criticize this or don't agree with this, then go ahead.  Don't get excited about kids taking the step to be baptized.  But as for me, I will celebrate with kids and families when they become part of the kingdom of God and then show everyone the decision they made by being baptized.

I have some great tools that you can use to prepare kids for baptism.  You can check them out at these links.

Starting Point (salvation class to help kids and parents understand what it means to follow Jesus)

Baptism Celebration (explains to kids and parents what it means to be baptized.  It also includes everything you need to have a time of celebration.

And if you want to get some clappers to help the celebration get started, you can get them here.

People celebrate things that are important to them.  Nothing is more important than pointing kids to Jesus and teaching them how to follow Him.  

Grab a clapper and join the celebration.