Walking the Aisle

It’s not my place to tell other parents how to handle this matter, but I hope you’ll both understand and consider my points.

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It’s the time of year for Vacation Bible School. I rejoice when I see children walk the aisle on Sunday morning to make their public profession of faith and follow up with scriptural baptism. It’s the most important thing a person will ever do – ranking higher than getting married.

I also rejoice in the “dividend” being paid, so to speak. Churches invest heavily in Vacation Bible School and it’s good to see the fruits of the investment of both time and money.

I’m especially proud of our church in the way we “process” the initiatives taken by these young people. Our Vacation Bible School is organized so that an invitation is given during Thursday morning’s assembly. The youngsters have had a solid three days of teaching and Thursday marks the “call to action”. Our church prepares dozens of mature adult volunteers and trains them to speak with those who walk forward making commitments. We want to make sure they made a volitional choice of free will and understand what they’ve done. We want to make sure that they didn’t get caught up in some emotion of the moment and just do what others were doing.

We go a step further. Our staff and specially trained volunteers follow up with the parents and invite them to “family night” on Friday night. If there’s any problem at home, it is dealt with lovingly and professionally.

Then on Sunday, scores of young people come forward during the invitation and baptisms are scheduled.

Good job church!

I think it’s important that I give credit where it’s due. Those of you who follow my videos are aware that I am not reluctant to weigh in with my criticism of church culture and organized religion. I want to be fair.

I remember in my own life, my parents were not even informed that I would be making my decision for Christ. It was a surprise to them. I had only made the decision an hour earlier in Sunday School. See my testimony here

When my daughter started asking questions about salvation, I let her know how proud I was of her. I also arranged for our Pastor to speak with her further. Why? Could I not speak to her? Of course I could. However, I’ve seen coaches who try to coach their own kids. They generally do a lousy job. Why? They’re not objective and they have a conflict of interest. I didn’t want anything on my part to see or hear things that I wanted to be true that just, well… weren’t. I knew my Pastor could be more objective and I would accept his assessment of how sincere her “free choice” was.

I also informed the Pastor and my daughter that under no circumstances would we accompany her when she went forward. I emphasized that this was one choice we could not make for her. If she lacked the courage to do this on her own, then I felt she was not ready to make the decision at all.

Tough love?

Maybe, but I know that Satan is an “accuser” – the bible says so in Revelations 12. I believe that just as soon as he can, he’s going to start whispering doubt into those little young ears and hearts. So for this coach, it’s like running the score up. Leave NO DOUBT. Leave no opportunity for second guessing. Let’s give them a firm foundation to stand on.

It’s not my place to tell other parents how to handle this matter, but I hope you’ll both understand and consider my points. I would hate to think that some young person walks the aisle for any other reason than the conviction of the Holy Spirit. If they mean it – really mean it – they’ll do it and all concerned can be confident as the discipleship and sanctification process begins. Let’s not bring any baggage into this most important of all relationships.


That’s what I think. I’m interested in your thoughts. There’s lots of ways to hit me up so let me hear from you.

You can leave your comments below.

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Author: Mark Prasek

Christian Technologist. Find me on Twitter @DataGenesis

2 thoughts on “Walking the Aisle”

  1. Coach,

    I can relate to this story because it touches me from my personal experience. I walked down the isle to the front of the church in front of the entire congregation… alone. I was in the 3rd grade. I was unafraid and enthusiastic to turn my life over to Christ. I was confident in what I’d been studying in Sunday School and listening to in church services and I know it was the Holy Spirit calling me and I responded.

    I was the one in my “gang” of 5 who went straight out of Sunday School class to the big auditorium (it was big to me back then) and found a good isle seat where I could see the choir and paster’s podium. They always sat behind be a few pews and made a ruckus during the sermon. I love to sing the hymns and listen to the paster preach fire and brimstone. My grandparents didn’t know what I was up to. They had our paster make a home visit to meet privately with me in person. I was baptized the following Sunday.

    I’ve made a lot sinful mistakes in my life since that day. It’s been a long time. I know I am worthy of Heaven because of the promise made by Jesus Christ who bore the burden for my sins. I pray I can be a better servant to my Lord. I pray every day he will lead me a to become a better servant for His Glory.

    Like

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