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When children are baptized in the Reformed Church in America (RCA), parents or guardians promise "to instruct these children in the truth of God's word, in the way of salvation through Jesus Christ; to pray for them, to teach them to pray; and to train them in Christ's way by your example, through worship, and in the nurture of the church." Likewise, the congregation promises "to love, encourage, and support these brothers and sisters by teaching the gospel of God's love, by being an example of Christian faith and character, and by giving the strong support of God's family in fellowship, prayer, and service."
Thus begins a partnership among the family, congregation, and denomination. This article will direct our attention to the role of each of the three partners—parents, church, and denomination—in order to discover how the full partnership can be made more effective. Because parents are the primary faith nurturers, the home may be regarded as their child's first seminary. The congregation also holds a responsibility to encourage and educate children and their parents in the Christian faith. The denomination's role is to provide the best resources available, and to equip and support the church's ministry with children.
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