"How the church helps parents prepare for baptism is vital to how the whole family lives its baptism identity throughout life, as well as to the renewal of churches themselves."
New Book on Baptism Preparation
Here at Buliding Faith we're big fans of David B. Batchelder. As a pastor, author, husband, and father, he understands the critical link between church and home; and the need for Christians to nurture faith through consistent practices.
David just released a new book, all about the process of preparing parents and families for Baptism. The full title of the book is Pathways to the Waters of Grace: A Guide for a Church's Ministry with Parents Seeking Baptism for Their Children (Wipf and Stock, 2017).
The beauty of this book is its two-pronged approach. In part 1, the author describes a broad vision for Baptism and the Christian life. Then, in part 2, the author provides a practical guide for Baptism preparation in a church setting. The reflections in part 1 are peppered with allusions and quotations – especially from poems. Part 2 provides examples of content for preparation settings. Note that part 2 is not composed of word-for-word class outlines; but rather session overviews with specific talking points and resources.
Here is the description from the book itself:
"What if the Church took with utmost seriousness that baptism is the gift of a new identity taking a life-time to grow into? And, what if that identity includes God’s call to a way of life made visible in how Jesus lived his? This book is a response to these questions in relationship to the church’s practice of baptizing children. This book’s underlying premise is that how the church helps parents prepare for baptism is vital to how the whole family lives its baptism identity throughout life, as well as to the renewal of churches themselves."
Who Would Enjoy this Book?
This book is mostly for pastors, ministers, educators, formation leaders who are thinking about how their church 'does' Baptism. For example, if you were designing (or re-designing) a program for Baptismal Preparation, you could read this book first to give you inspiration and grounding to go forward.
Who is the Author?
David B. Batchelder, pastor of West Plano Presbyterian Church, Plano, Texas, is active in the renewal of worship in the Church with particular attention to its sacramental practice. In addition to numerous articles on all matters pertaining to worship, he is the author of All Through the Day, All Through the Year: Family Prayers & Celebrations.
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