by Rob Campbell
In light of Joelâ€™s post yesterday, let me add some thoughts to the topic of water baptism. My focus will be on the actual baptism process for a local church. Frankly, my church family has not done well moving people from salvation to water baptism. Thankfully, we see people receive Christ consistently, but seeing them experience water baptism has been difficult. Therefore, I asked our Intergenerational Network Pastor, Michele Gooch, to run lead on a more defined baptism process. Iâ€™m happy to report that we baptized twenty people in early September. This is the process that we used in order to see new believers experience water baptism.
ïƒ¼ Establish baptism date three weeks out. Give date to Pastors, administration assistants and technical crew coordinator.
ïƒ¼ Teach on water baptism Sunday morning.
ïƒ¼ Each network pastor contacts their cell leaders with the upcoming date and asks them to plan on discussing water baptism in group this week. Water baptism tracts will be available to HEART groups.
ïƒ¼ If a pastor already has a list of folks asking for baptism, parcel those names out to leaders and ask them to contact them this week in order to discuss baptism.
ïƒ¼ Pastor Rob designates the person who will â€œemceeâ€ the baptismal experience.
ïƒ¼ Baptism is briefly explained on Sunday morning and the date is promoted in the Opportunity Folder.
ïƒ¼ Ask each leader to follow up on the baptism discussion privately with individuals they know have not been baptized. Invite them to be baptized on the upcoming date.
ïƒ¼ Administration assistant contacts setup crew with baptism date. She also creates a simple invite to the baptism.
ïƒ¼ Baptism video is used on Sunday morning, followed by an announcement about the upcoming baptism next Sunday. This baptism video was created by the tech team and I can make it available to those who are interested. Opportunity Folder includes an insert for folks who want to ask for water baptism.
ïƒ¼ Leaders get names of folks to be baptized to Pastors. Pastors forward them to administration assistant for certificates to be made.
ïƒ¼ Darby notifies Michele with names of folks from Sunday morning who request baptism. Those names will be given to whichever leader/member most closely connected to them.
ïƒ¼ Those being baptized are given a simple written invitation so that he/she may invite family, friends and neighbors.
ïƒ¼ Pastors with folks being baptized come ready to baptize or delegate that responsibility and come ready to assist.
ïƒ¼ Designated â€œemceeâ€ pulls the crowd around the water and gets started as soon as possible. People will not stay and join the celebration if we wait too long after Celebration.
ïƒ¼ The technical crew is present to get photos or video.