First Lutheran Church Plainville, Kansas
Peace Lutheran Church Natoma, Kansas
I was quite honored about a month ago when I was asked to be a baptismal sponsor for a friend’s new baby. Now as a member of the Church, you and I are technically sponsors for all those whose baptisms we witness, and for those who are new to the faith. But to be personally asked to be a sponsor for a child bears a special responsibility. It is with that in mind, and with the realization that many of us are sponsors, or will be sponsors in the future, that this article is designed to help you fill that very important role.
- The first thing you can do is the easiest thing you can do: be there. It sounds simple, and while not always feasible, it is beneficial to be present for the baptism. What a wonderful reminder to both you and to the one whom you sponsor that you can vividly recall the details of the day, including being able to say that at the baptism you answered these questions on their behalf.
- Your job following the baptism, first and foremost, is to specifically pray for the child that you sponsor; might I suggest setting aside one night a week, probably Sunday, as a day that you specifically mention that child by name in your prayers. Pray that they would continue to grow and develop in the Christian faith, and that they would not be led into temptation. Pray that they would one day be led to a godly spouse who likewise is a faithful Christian.
- It is your job to remind the child of their baptismal anniversary. Everyone will remember the physical birth of the child, it is your job however to remind the child of the day that they were reborn as a child of God. Instead of running to the store and buying the newest Barbie doll or the latest video game, consult the Concordia Publishing House catalog or website for some Christian themed gifts. There are a wide variety of Bibles, devotions, and Christian literature appropriate for all ages available.
- Periodic notes or cards during the year, particularly at Easter and Christmas can also be beneficial in reminding the child that these are not just generic days on the calendar, but that there is a special connection between their baptism and the birth of Jesus, and their baptism and the death and resurrection of Jesus. These things were done so that all who believe and are baptized would be saved. Christmas and Easter are made personal when connected to the day of one’s baptism.
- Do not forget about your own baptism, or the need for your own spiritual well-being. The parents of the child that you sponsor asked you to fill this important role because they saw you as someone who was faithful and would be a positive influence on their child in all things, but especially in all things when it comes to the Lutheran faith. Do not be negligent of your daily devotions, and make worship a priority where you can be reminded of your own baptism and receive the body and blood of Jesus. You play an important role in the faith of this child, a role that will be severely diminished should your own faith suffer.
To those who are sponsors, thank you for your service, I pray that this letter is an encouragement to you in that role. To those who will be sponsors in the future, I pray that you would hold on to this letter, and make good use of it when you are asked to fill that role. It is an honor, and not one to be taken lightly.
God Bless! Pastor Schmidt