Many families will be traveling during the summer to swim in a pool. There the children will squeal and jump in the refreshing water. Toddlers boldly go into water that is vast and deep, as long as Mom or Dad is right there beside them. They have no worries. Equipped with life jackets or floats they awkwardly kick their feet and wave their arms in an effort to learn how to swim. Though there are sometimes tragedies in and around pools, there is a lot of fun, too. What makes the difference between the two? Supervision. With adequate watch care, it is possible for the young to venture out into deep pools, learn to jump, swim, hold your breath, and play underwater.
Of course I’m going to make a spiritual point here. We encourage our new converts to learn to swim in the community of brethren, but sometimes we fail to give adequate supervision. A baby Christian can no more swim in the pool of evangelism and theology than the toddler who forgets her floaties when going to the YMCA. In baptizing them it’s as if we dip them under the water, lift them up and let them drown. Studies show it takes at least a year before a new Christian has acclimated into the religion where he was baptized. Even then, he or she may be worried about certain activities (like, do I have to join the choir when I really can’t sing), and most assuredly will have continuing questions about their walk with God. We can lift them and their family up in prayer, we can make sure they are familiar with the Bible lessons we are all learning, we can befriend them, realizing that many of their friends now find them “out of sync” with the old life style. After baptism, we must offer them floaties. We are responsible to nurture and encourage them in any way we can.