By Sean Nolan

Editor’s note: The GARBC and RBP do not take an official position, one way or the other, on the question this article explores.

As a father of children not quite out of diapers, one of my most frequent prayers is for God to draw my children to Himself. What a glorious day it will be when they identify with Christ through baptism! While I look forward to that day (Lord willing), I also pray it will be an independent decision not coerced by my wife and me. While parents, like sherpas, have a responsibility to guide their children up the mountain of faith, ultimately it is their own two feet that bring them to the summit, where they must decide for themselves whether to trust Christ.

As a pastor, I am always hesitant to initiate conversations with teenagers about baptism at the request of their parents. My caution stems from the tension between the role the family plays and the role the church plays in the rapidly changing years of adolescence.