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Encouraging Profession of Faith

Part of our responsibility as the body of Christ is “taking the temperature” of those who have not yet affirmed their baptism with a public profession of faith. No one should be cajoled or pressured into taking this step until the time is right. But we should always be encouraging each other to grow in faith, deal with doubts and fears, and take next steps of commitment.

The following ideas and resources will help pastors, elders, children’s ministry and youth leaders, parents, and others to graciously invite children, teens, and adults to affirm their baptism with a public profession of faith.


  • Daily relationship building. Build strong relationships with the children and teens in your congregation so that they will be open to ongoing conversations about their faith journey.
  • Weekly opportunities to remember our baptism. In the Reformed Worship article The Wetter, the Better, Ron Rienstra calls for continual reminders of baptism in worship.
  • Annual sermon series. Consider an annual sermon series on professions of faith in the Bible or what it means to be a committed Christian. Finish the series with a service of recommitment and an invitation to make a public profession of faith. This service plan by Ryan Faber includes a focus on renewing our commitment to God and renewing our baptismal promises.
  • Young adult coffee time. Each year, invite the young adults in your congregation who have not yet publicly professed their faith to join you and an elder or two for an informal coffee time to talk about public profession of faith as a milestone that blesses the entire church community.
  • Lenten reflection. Invite the congregation, especially those who have not publicly professed their faith, to use Lent as a season of reflection on their faith commitments.
  • Children’s professions. Children's Profession of Faith: A Guidebook for Pastors and Elders is a helpful resource that outlines a suggested four-step procedure for children’s profession of faith, provides helpful tips for meeting with the child and his or her parents, and gives ideas for preparing for the public profession.
  • Children's messages. Whenever there is a profession of faith in your congregation, invite children to consider making this faith commitment.
  • Regular faith-sharing opportunities. Incorporate testimony regularly into worship services. Building a practice of sharing faith stories will help lay the groundwork for public professions of faith. See our Faith Storytelling toolkit for ideas.
  • Networking. Ask your ministry colleagues about their best practices, and share your own with them.


  • Coffee duty. Use your church’s coffee hour to develop authentic relationships with the young people in your congregation. The simple question “What was the best and worst part of last week for you?” can give you excellent insight into what makes them tick. Lesli van Milligen’s article "Coffee Time: Keep or Toss? 3 Ways to Form Faith During Coffee Hour" has additional suggestions for using coffee time for faith formation.
  • Elder visits. Elder visits provide an excellent time to encourage those who have not yet professed their faith to do so if they are ready. If your church is not in the habit of conducting elder visits, invite people in your district out for an informal coffee to talk about the joys and challenges of their faith journey. For more, see 10 Ways to Talk with Someone About Their Faith and 10 Ways to Be a Caring Elder.

Children’s Ministry Leaders

Youth Leaders

  • Informal conversations. During youth group gatherings, make mental notes about who might be ready for profession of faith. Talk with them one on one to encourage them to reaffirm their baptism. Ask about any fears or doubts that might be preventing them from professing their faith.
  • Annual high school meeting. Each year, meet with the high school juniors or seniors in your church and talk about the milestone of profession of faith. Talk about the importance of making faith commitments, and describe your church’s process. Encourage them to consider taking this step before they graduate, if they are ready to do so. Invite them to affirm their baptism in the presence of the people who have loved and guided them throughout their lives. Discuss the opportunities available for them to give their time, talents, and resources to the work of Jesus Christ in your local context. And consider inviting students who have already professed their faith to tell what the experience meant to them.
  • Storytelling help. Help teens discover different ways to tell their faith story. For ideas, visit Faith Formation Ministries’ Faith Storytelling toolkit. Working on this as a group helps “prepare the soil” for a public profession.
  • Intergenerational interaction. Because faith grows in community, be intentional about forging connections between the youth group and adults in your congregation. Visit our Intergenerational Church toolkit to learn more.

Friendship Groups


  • Background reading. If you have questions about children and profession of faith, read Nurturing Your Child's Faith: Leading Your Child to the Lord's Table.
  • Family devotions. If your young child is ready to take the initial steps toward profession of faith and participation in the Lord’s Supper, get a copy of You're Invited. This booklet offers a week of kid-friendly family devotions on the meaning of communion.
  • Open conversations. If your teen is delaying making a public profession, have an open discussion about the reasons why. Ask questions and listen well. Remember that having doubts is a sign that your teen is taking faith seriously. Share how other people’s public testimonies have blessed your faith life. Express your deep longing that your teen will affirm his or her baptism to your church family.