It also symbolizes a believer’s connection with God in five ways:
He/she has been called by God. (Titus 3:5-9)
He/she has confessed both their sin/lostness and Christ as Savior and Lord. (1 Cor. 6:11)
He/she has been cleansed of their sin. (1 Cor. 6:11)
He/she has been created anew. (Romans 6:3-4)
He/she has been connected with the Church. (Galatians 3: 26-26)
Baptism is the ultimate act of going public with your faith in Christ. Not only was Jesus baptized, He commanded his followers to be baptized and told us (The Church) to do it. Because of this, at The Mill to be a member you must be a baptized follower of Jesus. We know Christians have practiced baptism in different ways, but we believe the most biblically faithful model is to be immersed in water after you have personally repented and trusted in Christ for salvation. Often people come to are church having already followed through with this wonderful act of obedience. When this is the case we accept them based on their testimony and/or their membership in a previous church. If a person has never been baptized after trusting Christ then baptism becomes the most important of their membership journey. We know every person’s story is unique so you can learn more by reaching out to Asheton@amrbc.org.
Each of our different ministries within the Family Ministry has a process for baptism candidates to complete. The process is to make sure our children fully grasp the decision to follow Jesus Christ and that they know what their next steps are. The first step is to set up a meeting with the pastor who guides their specific age group. For children through 5th grade, contact Nate Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org; for 6th-8th grade students, contact Kris Kuriger at email@example.com; and for 9th-12th grade students, contact Adam Siskey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
First of all, this guideline is not about salvation. The leadership of The Mill does NOT believe a child has to be eight years old in order to be saved. We feel strongly that Christ can, and does, save children at an early age.
Secondly, there is no verse in Scripture that identifies the ideal age for a child to be baptized. Every child is different, and the Lord does not work on one standard timeline in each little heart. Our decision to require children to be eight years old before they are baptized is based on what we know about human development and what we have observed in hundreds of children throughout the years. According to those who work closely with children, it is around age eight that children begin to understand the difference between concrete and abstract ideas.
Usually young children struggle to separate the meaning of baptism with the meaning of salvation. They often think the water washes their sins away and getting baptized makes you go to Heaven when you die. Older children, however, have an easier time grasping the concept that baptism is an outward symbol of the inward reality of salvation. They can also comprehend that being baptized does not bring salvation, but rather testifies that salvation has come.
Requiring children to reach the age of eight simply creates an environment where everyone involved can feel confident in the child's faith on the wonderful occasion of his/her baptism. If you have any further questions, please contact Nate Brown at email@example.com.