With regard to the baptism of infants, what if we didn’t allow parents to select godparents or sponsors for their children. What if the church appointed godparents, whose role would be to remind the parents (and later the children) on behalf of the church that a baptism had taken place. What if the sponsors’ job was to never let baptized children (and their parents) forget that they were now joined to Jesus – that they were members of the household of God – and that they belonged in worship, study, service and fellowship with their brothers and sisters in Christ. Maybe we could even instruct the parents before the baptism, “We’re appointing Joe and Mary as your child’s sponsors. Even if you neglect to remind your children of their baptism, their sponsors will tell them about it – and what it means – repeatedly. Over and over. Forever. It might even get tiresome after awhile, if you don’t really want to raise your kids in God’s family. It’s part of the deal if we baptize your children. Are you OK with that?”

Sponsorship at the baptismal font should not be about who will raise your kids if you die. Put that in your will. It shouldn’t be about paying a special honor to a dear friend or a beloved family member. Buy them a greeting card. And it shouldn’t be about currying favor with important people. Don’t do that at all.