Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Connect / Baptism

I wrote a little Bible study activity thingy for the ELCA Youth Ministry Network's quarterly "Connect" journal. Members of the elcaymnet can download the entire issue here.

the Gospel: Baptism is a daily dying to sin and rising to new life in God’s love.
the Point: The baptism that took place when you were a baby still matters today.

OPENING (20 min.)

Prior to your meeting time, affix an image of baptism on the center of a 4’ x 6’ sheet of butcher paper: (perhaps a baptismal shell with drops of water, a baptismal font, or an actual picture of a baptism.) Post the butcher paper image on a prominent and accessible wall in your meeting space.

1. Each person should be given a washable marker. It works best if everyone has their own individual color.

2. Ask everyone to find a spot on the butcher paper to write down all of the activities, clubs,
organizations, etc. that they are involved in.

3. When all the lists are completed, read all the items aloud. After each item is read, ask the kids to respond with a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” to the question, “Does this activity punish you if you don’t attend.”

4. Calculate the percentage of items listed on the butcher paper that hold students accountable for participation. Write that number somewhere on the paper.


Ask someone to open a Bible to Colossians and read chapter 2, verse 12 aloud
“When you were buried with him in baptism, you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.”
What does it mean to be “buried with Jesus in baptism?”
Reflect—What are some aspects of your life that need to “die” and be “reborn”?

Ask another person to open a Bible to 1 Peter and read chapter 3, verse 21 aloud:
“Baptism . . . now saves you—not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
How can you “appeal to God for a good conscience” if you are baptized as an infant?
What does it mean to you that the waters of baptism make you clean—both inside and outside?

Share a few thoughts with the group, based on the opening activity and scripture:
  • Most of the items listed in our opening activity require regular participation.
  • Baptism doesn’t require anything of a baby— parents, sponsors, church, and God make promises in your baptism.
  • Your regular activities are a part of your life, but they are not life-giving in the way that your baptism is.
  • Even though nothing was required of you in your Baptism, there are still ways that you can respond to God’s promises as you grow older.

WRAP UP & PRAYER (5+ min.)

Have each student take their marker and draw a circle, box, cloud, etc. around their list of activities on the butcher paper. Then ask them to draw an arrow from their list and point it to the baptismal image in the center.

Remind them that dying to sin doesn’t mean giving up what you’re already doing, but it might mean letting your baptism impact the choices you make every day. It also may mean doing things for reasons other than avoiding punishment.

Let's pray...God, you give us new life every day through the waters of baptism. Help us to stand strong in the promises you made when we were baptized. Give us faith when we are unsure of how you are calling us to live. Remind us that you are with us alway—at school, home, at church, with friends, or when we are alone. Let us never forget that you are our God, and we are your children. Amen

1 comment:

  1. That's some good Theology right there.
    Thanks for writing and posting this cool activity.


Thank you for taking the time to be a part of "koinonia"