A child (meaning anyone under the age of 18) will be received for baptism after the same fashion as an adult. The child must be old enough to understand repentance and the gospel and must demonstrate a good understanding before his elders. He must testify of his repentance and faith in Christ. He must give evidence of his salvation before his parents and before the church. The child must go through the baptism class and show good understanding of biblical baptism.
The child must appear before the church leaders and their wives to give his or her testimony and to answer questions.
A child that is accepted for baptism becomes a church member, but not a full voting member. He is a Junior Member. He or she can take the Lord’s Supper and participate in ministries according to his age and ability and qualifications.
At age 18, the Junior Membership will expire and he or she must seek membership under full adult privileges. He does this by approaching the leaders and giving his testimony of salvation before them. He also studies the Church Covenant, answers the review questions, and agrees to it 100%. If approved, he gives his testimony before the church and is received as a full member by vote of the church.
This is meant to be a check point. It is a protection for the individual and for the church. It is common for those who are baptized in childhood to later express doubt about their salvation, This gives each one an opportunity to reexamine his salvation experience to make sure that he has full assurance of faith. If he has doubts, he can settle the matter by professing repentance and faith in Christ and being baptized. It also gives the youth an opportunity to confirm his personal commitment to church membership when he reaches adulthood. Decisions made in childhood are made under adult supervision and must be reevaluated in adulthood from an adult perspective. “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things” (1 Corinthians 13:11).
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