What does Starting Zone include?
There are four parts to Starting Zone, all of which are required for an elementary-aged child to participate in baptism at the Prince William Campus, even if the parent/guardian is certain their child already has a relationship with Christ. We believe that parents/guardians can never have too many conversations with their child about a relationship with Christ. The four parts are:
- "Start Your Engine" Class: a 30 minute Gospel presentation about becoming part of God's family.
- "Pit Stop" Interview: a one-on-one interview between a child and a Kid's Quest leader about what it means to have a relationship with Christ and how baptism is one way to publicly declare one's faith in Christ.
- "Photo Finish" Video Testimony: a video recording of the child giving their testimony and explaining why they want to be baptized.
- "Victory Lap" Baptism Ceremony: an indoor baptism ceremony conducted at the MBC-Prince William Campus, which includes the child's "Photo Finish" Video Testimony.
Part 1: "Start Your Engine" Class
This class is a unique 30-minute Gospel presentation about becoming part of God’s family and is for children to attend with their parents/guardians. For families with two parents/guardians, we strongly urge both to attend, as they are both responsible for guiding their child spiritually.
Parents/guardians should work with their child to memorize John 3:16 (NIV) prior to coming to the class: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." You can pick up a John 3:16 bookmark at any Kid’s Quest Check-In Station or in the Elementary Room on the 2nd floor.
The family will hear a presentation based on John 3:16 about becoming part of God’s family that uses a large family photo album as a visual aid. The four main points taught include:
God loved you before you were born and loves you now but you are separated by sin.
God gave His son to make a way for you to be in God’s family.
We believe in Jesus and rest in the fact that He died for us.
We receive eternal life and can never lose our place in God’s family.
At the end of the class, parents/guardians receive "Race Notes" which is a resource for continuing the conversation at home. Race Notes includes questions about the 4 main points that parents/guardians should discuss with their child and work with him or her to answer. Also included are tips for parents/guardians and a sample prayer for starting a personal relationship with Christ.
We believe that God intended for parents/guardians to be the primary spiritual trainers in their child’s life. An hour a week spent in Kid’s Quest cannot compare with the number of hours parents/guardians have with their children at home. Parents/guardians need to be there when their child is ready to start a relationship with Christ and need to guide them in taking the next steps to grow towards becoming a fully devoted follower of Christ. For this reason, children may not be invited to pray to receive Christ in the class because we encourage parents to enjoy this privilege at home.
A listing of upcoming dates for the next three parts of Starting Zone will be available following Starting Zone or on our website. However, helping your child complete and understand the answers in their Race Notes is your first obligation. Our scheduled dates are not a substitute for God’s timing. The goal is not to get your child baptized. The goal is to have true and meaningful conversations with your child about Christ. Be praying and looking for the opportunities that the Holy Spirit sends your way to have these conversation; and follow the Holy Spirit’s lead regarding your child’s readiness to move towards being baptized.
A child who can articulate on his or her own a clear understanding of what it means to have a personal relationship with Christ and who demonstrates a desire to publicly declare that they believe and trust in Jesus indicates readiness for baptism. When your child can articulate an understanding of what it means to have a personal relationship with Christ, first stop and celebrate. We suggest taking a photograph to add to your own family album as a remembrance of the day your child joined God’s family.
If your child is not ready to move onto Baptism, we recommend waiting. Pit Stop dates are offered at various times during the year. You may also choose to bring your child back to another Gospel Presentation Class. Again, you can never have too many conversations with your child about their relationship with Christ.
If you bring more than one child to class, have conversations with each child separately and work on completing separate Race Notes with each. Celebrate each child and discern their readiness for baptism individually.
Part 2: "Pit Stop" Interview
Parents/guardians schedule a Pit Stop Interview for their child when he/she is ready to talk about their relationship with Christ and be publicly baptized. Pit Stop is a one-on-one interview between a child and a Kid’s Quest leader about what it means to have a relationship with Christ and how baptism is one way to publicly declare one’s faith in Christ. Parents/guardians are invited to sit in on the interview but may not guide the child’s answers.
To prepare for Pit Stop, parents/guardians receive a Baptism booklet to help their child complete and a CD by Denny Harris, Director of Ministry Operations, which explains how MBC conducts baptism.
Part 3: "Photo Finish" Video Testimony
Kid’s Quest leaders determine if a child is ready for Photo Finish at the conclusion of the Pit Stop interview. Photo Finish is a video recording of the child giving their testimony and explaining why they want to be baptized.
We video children for 3 reasons:
- The experience helps teach children how to tell others their story.
- Children are sometimes nervous at the Baptism Ceremony and showing a video instead of live testimonies enables all children to share their stories.
- Parents/guardians will receive a copy of their child’s video to have as a keepsake of this important milestone in their child’s life.
Part 4: "Victory Lap" Baptism Ceremony
Victory Lap is a baptism celebration which families and friends are invited to attend. The baptism takes place indoors and is conducted by an MBC Pastor. The child's Photo Finish Video Testimony is shown during the ceremony.