last night, while we were eating dinner, joshua asked us if he could be baptized. i asked him what made him want to be baptized. i don't even recall his reply exactly, but our discussion went on to talk about what baptism is. he told us he wanted to go into the water and come out a new person. he wanted to do this so God would help him to make the right choices. jamil and i told him when he gets baptized that it is his way of telling our church family and others that he has accepted Christ into his heart and he will commit to following Him. he said he understood that and that he has God in his heart. he even prayed the prayer to God.
there have been other times he has asked to be baptized, usually when he has seen a friend do it. but jamil and i haven't felt it came from his heart, he just wanted to do it because he watched someone else. we also hadn't felt he had the right understanding of what it means to accept Christ and therefore be baptized. but this time it sincerely appears to be different.
i have seen a tremendous amount of spiritual growth in joshua over the last several months. he isn't a perfect child, he still disobeys, drives his sister crazy, talks back and can outsmart his mom. but even as adult christians, are we perfect? do we have it all together? do we make the best decisions? most certainly not. having a relationship with Christ is an ongoing ever changing process. we grow, we learn , we make mistakes, we learn again and grow some more.
i really think for where he is as a seven year old, he understands enough to make the decision to love and honor God. so, i say i think he's got it!! it's time to celebrate! another one for Christ!!
jamil and i certainly talk with him, answer questions and read bible stories to him consistently. but what he receives while being in e-kidz (elevation's awesome children's ministry) has certainly been significant in this process.
on our first day at elevation (May 13, 2007- exactly 8 months ago yesterday), joshua left saying "this is the best church i have ever been to". you have to understand elevation is only the second church josh has known. he has always felt loved, welcomed and comfortable being in e-kidz. even when we moved over to the butler campus, the transition was smooth. i am so thankful for every small group leader, teacher, greeter, actor and worship leader that joshua has been in contact with. all of these amazing volunteers have been our "partners" in achieving this goal for joshua to know and love God. words really can not express my gratitude.
it is so exciting to be a part of a church who understands and values the importance of a thriving children's ministry. a church that understands that reaching people is what it is about. a church who has a clear vision statement and never strays from that...
...so that people far from God would be filled with life in Christ!