My Child Wants to Get Baptized!

 

We love it when kids start asking about baptism! We also know kids can ask tough questions. Below you will find a guide  to help you answer the questions a child might ask about baptism!

When a person chooses to follow Jesus, Jesus invites him or her to be baptized. But what is baptism?

  • When you get baptized, think of it as the day you tell your family, friends, and strangers that you are on the greatest adventure of your life—following Jesus! When you get baptized, it shows people why you have chosen to follow Jesus. In fact, you are reenacting the story! Jesus came to us, died on the cross (you stand in the water), was buried (you go under the water), and came back to life (you stand again)!
  • It’s your chance to give Jesus the credit. You know Jesus was beyond generous in taking the punishment for your sin. You can hardly believe it—it’s such a good thing that Jesus has done for you!
  • You want to tell everyone! You want everyone to know this good news—that God loves us and wants us to follow Him. Getting baptized in a public place allows you to tell everyone around that you intend to follow Jesus with all of your energy, money, and passion—and invites them to do so, too!
  • You need to identify yourself. Getting baptized allows other people to identify you as a follower of Jesus. You want to make sure people know what team you are on and that the leader you are following is Jesus!
  • You want to find your people. There are many other people who have chosen to follow Jesus, also. Knowing each other allows you to encourage one another, serve each other, and work together as you all follow Jesus. Getting baptized tells other people you are a follower of Christ, too!
  • You want to receive God’s power. Getting baptized is an opportunity for you to receive power from the Holy Spirit for this great adventure to which He has called you and which you have chosen.
  • You want to celebrate! Jesus has given you a new life with a new purpose! This is the best news ever! Baptism is a celebration of God’s work in your life as you eagerly await being with God in His kingdom where everything is good again!

What now? 

At Antioch, it is significant to us to baptize individuals who want to make this public profession of faith. We encourage you, the parent, to enter into intentional dialogue with your child and also provide strategic experiences designed to help your child follow Jesus. Below are some creative ways to encourage a child’s faith before getting baptized:

  1. Learn From Others—Encourage your child to interview a few people who are influential in his or her faith (grandparents, family friends, etc.). Ask to hear about the time they got baptized—make sure to ask why they chose to be baptized! Conclude the conversation by asking about favorite Bible verses then memorize these verses before getting baptized.
  2. Experience Journal—Encourage your child to journal his or her thoughts prior to getting baptized using the following prompts:
    1. I believe God loves me—I know He does because…
    2. I want to get baptized because…
    3. Jesus, following you changes everything. How can I use my time/energy/talents/money to show your love to others?

To find out about the next baptism at Antioch, email us by clicking here!

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What is Child Dedication?

It is an exciting experience when a new child enters a family! In this moment, it is easy to sense that children are a good gift from God. In this joyful season, we encourage parents to recognize each child as a gift from God and then dedicate themselves to teaching their child about God.

What is child dedication?

A child dedication ceremony encourages parents to recognize that children belong first to God. God, in His goodness and love, creates and then gives each child to his or her parents. Parents are then given the responsibility to care for and enjoy this gift. Since children first belong to God, it is fitting that we acknowledge this. This ceremony also allows parents to commit to raising their child in a manner which pleases God, with the hope that the child will know Jesus, love him, and serve him throughout his or her life. A child dedication is both a dedication of a child and a dedication of their parents.

What can I do as a parent to ensure my child knows about God?

As parents, this can sound intimidating. Instead of making it your goal to have godly kids, we encourage you to make it your goal that your child would have godly parents. When a child observes his or her parent learning about God and working to obey God, an amazing example is set. During this dedication, we encourage parents to devote themselves to setting an example of an authentic relationship with God that a child could emulate down the road. In Deuteronomy 6:4-7, the advice is given to talk to a child about God all throughout the day—as you are sitting in your house, walking down the street, and wherever you go!

Is child dedication found in the Bible?

There is no command in scripture to participate in this type of ceremony. However, there is a tradition throughout the story of the Bible where God invites His people to bring children before Him—to dedicate the child to Him and commit as parents to raising the child according to God’s instruction. In 1 Samuel 1, Hannah presented her son, Samuel, to the Lord. In Luke 2, Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple to present him before the Lord. In the same way, parents are invited to present themselves and their child to God.

What is my role as a parent in this child dedication? 

During the dedication, we ask that you or your spouse read a letter of dedication. This letter should express your intention to raise your child to know who God is and what He desires of His creation. The form of the letter can be a prayer (God, we ask that as we raise our child, you would give us wisdom…), it can be an actual note to the child ([Your child’s name], We promise to love you and support you…), or it could be a combination of the two. After you read this letter, you will be invited to dedicate yourself to live as a fully devoted disciple of Jesus so your child can follow you as you follow Christ. Then, the church community is invited to support your child and family in this endeavor.

We want to do this! Now what?

Awesome! Please contact us by clicking here and a date can be scheduled.

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Love All :: Advent Conspiracy

What is the point of Christmas?

Is your head spinning as you try to pin down an answer? Here it is: Christmas is a reminder of God’s huge love for his lost and broken world. 

Jesus, though he was rich, became poor to love the poor, the forgotten, the overlooked, and the sick. That is us! He left heaven and became a person so that we could know without a doubt that God has a huge love for his lost and broken world. He came to rescue us! This came at a huge cost: his life. Think about that for a moment. He chose to rescue us even though he knew it would cost him his life. He saw our need and did something about it!

Jesus tells us to do the same. He says he made us to be like him, specifically to see the needs of others and do something to help. Kids at Antioch have been given the challenge to be on the lookout for needs that they could meet.

While surrounded with ways to help, we have also presented two specific opportunities- one local and one global. Here in Bend, there is a new shelter for women and children needing help gathering basic supplies to help the house function.  Globally, we are partnering with The Sold Project, located in Thailand, to scholarship at risk kids in order to provide shelter and education. We challenged kids to bring coins and dollars that they have earned to help. We encourage your family to consider replacing one of their gifts with the opportunity to show love to all by using the money that would be spent to help another.

In the spirit of Advent Conspiracy, we challenge you to:

  • Think about God’s love for all of his creation. Look around. Everyone you see is loved by God!
  • Spend a little less on gifts and use the “saved” money to help those who need help.
  • Risk your comfort to show love to all.

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Worship Fully :: Advent Conspiracy

CHRISTMAS. Christmas pictures. Christmas shopping. Christmas carols. Christmas parties. Christmas traditions. Christmas cookies. Christmas lights. Christmas. Christmas. Christmas. It can be crazy town!

Somewhere along the way, we have lost sight of the point of Christmas.

Christmas is, first and foremost, a time to celebrate Jesus and worship God as we remember the most amazing story of love that has ever been told! But it has been overshadowed by the billions of dollars spent on advertisements and expectations.

However, we don’t think it needs to stay that way! Christmas is a time to remember the story of God’s huge love for our world and to celebrate the birth of a king. It is a time to worship!

But what does it mean to worship? In kid words, it simply means to tell God that he is wonderful! (note: It does not mean simply singing.) Worship is anything we do to show God how important he is to us. Sometimes, when we pray, we spend the whole time asking God for things. What would it feel like to tell God the things you love about Him and thank him for who he is? No asking for stuff. Just worship. Just telling God that he is wonderful.

As a family, read Psalm 95:1-7. What does this passage tell us about why God is worth worshipping?

In the spirit of Advent Conspiracy, we challenge you to:

  • Think about Jesus. Why is he wonderful? Tell him!
  • Consider ways you can worship Jesus more fully.
  • Get excited about God’s love! What does your family do when they celebrate? Do you throw a party? Consider throwing a party on Christmas morning as a way of worshipping Jesus!

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Baby Dedication: December 1st!

The next child dedication service is coming up next month, December 1st! If you are interested in having your child dedicated or would like more information about the child dedication, please email Linda!

Have you ever wondered why we do child dedication services at church?

Our pastor, Ken Wytsma, said “Whenever something belongs to God, it’s dedicated to God. It’s holy.”

In I Corinthians 7, Paul says that children of believing parents, or even one believing parent, are holy. “You’ve got Paul literally saying that it’s not just that kids are good or that God likes kids, but that kids are holy, meaning they belong to Him. They’re set aside unto him.” When parents are believers, they are in a covenantal relationship with God, and He is at the center of their household, working with them and through them and loving their kids. “

“There’s something exciting about presenting kids to God as kids that He wants to call unto himself.” To hear more about this topic, watch the short Redux video below!

Summer Swamp: July 15th-18th!

We can’t wait for July 15th-18th. By far, it is one of the highlights of the summer! We want to make sure you have saved the dates on your calendar, know all the important information, and know how to register!

Date: July 15th-18th

Time: 10 am-12 noon

Age: Kids ages three (and potty trained) through fifth grade are invited to join us for Summer Swamp!

Location: Blakely Park, 1101 SW Brookswood Blvd, Bend, OR 97702

Cost: $25 per child, max $50 per family (max)

Theme: We invite your kids to join us for a superhero adventure as we take an up-close look at the power of justice in the world! Your child will learn about biblical and modern day heroes who teach us to stand up for what is right, even when it is hard. Each day will also include a craft, game, snack and memory verse challenge. Hope to see you there!

Mom’s: Join other women from Antioch for coffee from 9:45-10:30 when your drop off your kids! We will have delicious Back Porch coffee piping hot for you to enjoy, as well as delicious biscotti!

Register Here! We can’t wait to see you at Summer Swamp!

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Explaining Baptism to a Child

Baptism can be confusing to kids. They hear adults talk about it and see it happen at church, but rarely does anyone take the time to stop and explain baptism to a child in a way that they can understand. Until now! Below, you will find five questions that kids might ask you about baptism and a simple answer to each question. Enjoy!

How does baptism work? When you get baptized, you begin in water. An adult helps lower you into the water then raises you back up. When you go into the water, this represents the death and burial of your old sinful life and is a reminder that Jesus died and was buried to forgive sins. When you come out of the water, this represents your new life and reminds us that Jesus was raised from the dead, also!

What is the point of baptism? Baptism is simply a public declaration or announcement, telling everyone who can see or hear you a simple message: that you believe in Jesus and have committed to living your life in a way that pleases God.

For nearly all of history, people spent a lot of time near water. They fished in the lakes, gathered water from the ponds, and did their laundry in the rivers. Christians would be baptized in a public place such as a lake, pond, or river to let everyone in town know that they lived for Jesus.

When I get baptized, what does it mean? When you get baptized, it is a public declaration, telling everyone who can see or hear you a simple message: that you believe in Jesus and have committed to living your life in a way that pleases God.

Do you have to be baptized to be a Christian? Baptism is not necessary to be a Christian; instead it is a way to tell others that you are a Christian. By doing so, you are being obedient to Christ’s command to tell others about your faith.

How old must I be to get baptized? There is no specific age that someone has to be to get baptized. Instead, when you have decided that you believe in Jesus and have committed to living your life in a way that pleases God, we want to give you the opportunity to tell everyone that can see you hear!

Join us for the annual Baptism at the Deschutes, July 7th. We will gather as a church at 5:00pm for a potluck and our 7th Annual Baptism at the Deschutes River! Throw your lawn chairs and blankets in the back of your car and we’ll have a great evening of food and games at Farewell Bend Park, followed by baptisms down at the Bill Healey Bridge. If your child would like to be baptized, simply fill out the form below and we will be in contact with you shortly!

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Baby Dedication: April 21st

Have you ever wondered why we do child dedication services at church?

“Whenever something belongs to God, it’s dedicated to God,” says Ken Wytsma, pastor of Antioch Church. “It’s holy.”

In I Corinthians 7, Paul says that children of believing parents, or even one believing parent, are holy. “You’ve got Paul literally saying that it’s not just that kids are good or that God likes kids, but that kids are holy, meaning they belong to Him. They’re set aside unto him.” When parents are believers, they are in a covenantal relationship with God, and He is at the center of their household, working with them and through them and loving their kids. “

“There’s something exciting about presenting them to God as kids that He wants to call unto himself.” To hear more about this topic, watch the short Redux video below!

The next child dedication service is coming up next month, April 21st! If you are interested in having your child dedicated or would like more information about the child dedication, please email Linda!

Night of Worship!

We want to make sure you mark your calendar for October 14th! On this evening, you and your family are invited for a night of worship and communion.

Have you ever wondered how to explain communion to you kids? If so, here is a simple explanation!

When Jesus was here on Earth, he told his disciples that he was going to have to do something terribly difficult. We know that he was talking about dying on the cross for our sin. We also know that because of God’s great power, Jesus didn’t stay dead, but rose back to life!

Jesus didn’t want his disciples, or any one else for that matter, to forget the amazing miracle that God did when He brought Jesus back to life! Before Jesus died, he taught his disciples to eat and drink a special meal so they would never forget. We still eat that meal today! If you believe and live for Jesus, this small meal will help you never forget the amazing miracle that God did, too!

When you take communion, which simply means eating some bread and drinking some juice, we are remembering the amazing love that God showed us by raising Jesus back to life! When you eat the bread, remember what God has done for you- He has forgiven you of all your sin and called you His child! And when you drink the juice, remember God’s great love for you- He created you and wants you to tell everyone you know of His unending love! This communion meal is designed to help us never forget God’s great love.

Here are the details:

– October 14th at Bend High.

– The Night of Worship begins at 7:00pm and is finished by 8:30 pm.

– Kids are invited to participate in the worship experience!

– During the time of communion, kids are given the option to do a “kids-only” activity in the common area if they are not ready to participate in communion.

– It’s an amazing night. You should be there!