I have never been impressed with testimonies that are shared just before someone is ready to be baptized. Usually the people are so nervous about being dropped into six feet of water that they can’t really concentrate on why they are there or what they are supposed to say. Something like, “…and that is why I want to be baptized” is often the only thing that is really understood. However, this past Sunday was the exception!
Grace Church had their annual picnic at Lancaster County Park. Along with the picnic, there was a baptismal service where nine souls gave public testimony of their faith in Jesus Christ. Now of these nine, eight were teens who had just returned from our annual youth conference. This conference, called Momentum, has always been a spiritual challenge, and this year was no different. As a matter of fact, on the first night of the conference, 10 of our students responded to the invitation to allow Christ to change their lives.
The testimonies of these students spoke volumes to me. May I share a few of the thoughts that came across to me as I listened?
- One of the ideas that was expressed was about growth. Most of the students had grown up in the church, and many of them already made a “decision.” They realized that those early decisions were preparing them to fully understand what it meant to totally give oneself to Christ. Pre-evangelism was very important in these young lives.
- Several students said that they got serious about their lives and how they lived at the age of seven. This would be about second or third grade for most students. Our parents and teachers need to realize that, at this young age, students are already being impressed with the world and how it affects them. Their future actions are often determined by the teaching and guidance they receive during their years in elementary school.
- Most of them came right out and said to those listening, “I want you to hold me accountable.” I know that is what is supposed to be said, but I believe these kids really meant it. Why were the early disciples baptized in such a public place? Because they wanted to proclaim to the world the change that had taken place in their lives. They were not ashamed that they were “buried with Christ through baptism into death.” And guess what, neither were these nine!
It is a fact that teens often go to events like Momentum, get excited about the Lord, want to serve him, and then their enthusiasm dies down. But one of our teens wasn’t falling for that scenario at all! She closed her testimony with these words, “It isn’t momentum that saved me; it was Jesus.” Right on, Sister!