Central Baptist Church in Jonesboro has been very busy this summer with activities such as VBS, kids’ discipleship class, and preparing for Awana starting at the end of August.
Children’s Pastor, Adam Cox, says that a typical week during the summer at Central Baptist Church is filled with different events and activities for children and their families to attend, kids are also encouraged to invite their friends. “Who’s the one person that we can invite, that we can help to share Christ with?” Cox asks the children.
On top of busy weeks during the summer Central Baptist Church strives to have a large event every month for families to attend, such as daddy and daughter date nights and mother and son events.
Just this year, Cox baptized 51 children. He says that Central Baptist Church’s kids’ discipleship class contributed significantly to these baptisms and has allowed the children’s ministry to fulfill its purpose. “Salvation is the key to everything, that’s why we’re here to lead kids to Christ and to help them grow in their relationship with Him.”
Kids discipleship class is a two-week class all about salvation. The first week is spent teaching the children what salvation is and the second week is spent teaching the children about baptism. The staff at Central Baptist Church break it down for the children to better understand what salvation and baptism means to Christians. “We want to make sure that those kids, when they make that decision, when they leave our ministry that they don’t later on say, ‘You know what, I thought I made this decision.’ We want them to be solid in their theology and why they made that decision.”
Cox says that when a child comes forth and decides they are ready to be baptized a meeting is scheduled with the child and their parents where he will ask the child questions regarding their decision. “We want them to feel comfortable when they come in. We want them to be able to not be nervous, a lot of times when kids come into a pastor’s office, they think it’s like the principal. But we want them to have fun and be where they can feel open to talk and tell me why they want to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.”
After a meeting with the child and their parents, they are encouraged to enroll their child in the kids’ discipleship class. “The kids have a book that they work through, the parents have a book that gives them tips that they can help. We want to put it in the parents’ hands to help them and give them the tools that they need to disciple their kid.”
Once a child is baptized at Central Baptist Church steps are taken to ensure that they are continuing in their walk with Christ. After children are baptized, they are encouraged to join life groups. “We want to get them in a class where they can dive deeper with a teacher, in a small group setting with other kids their age and help them in taking those steps to continue to grow in their faith.” They also have a worship opportunity for children to participate in.
Cox recommends parents to get their child a devotional after their child is baptized. “Also encouraging those parents to get them in a devotion that they can read daily and getting them to where they can begin to have a quiet time.”
Cox believes in finding moments to teach the Gospel to children in every activity. “I think churches, in everything they do, should incorporate teaching the Gospel, share the Gospel, and encourage them to follow through with believers’ baptism.” Ice-breaker activities and exercises to get the kids’ energy out are necessary in order for children to make friends and have fun at church, but there is a time to play and a time to learn. “Ministry moments can happen at any time.”
Cox, as well as other staff members at Central Baptist Church, continuously pray for children to be saved, for them to follow through with baptism when the time is right for them, and that the Lord would bless them in many ways.