Yesterday was an amazing day at Christ’s Church. We baptized 45 people!
It was the largest baptism service I’ve ever participated in and a very emotional experience for me.
The baptism service was the highlight of a day in which we emphasized God’s plan for salvation. The Preaching Team developed this series, “FAQ” with a vision for a decision day about half-way through on which we would ask–and answer–the question, “Who Says I’m Lost?” We know, in every church, there are people who believe in Jesus, but who–for some reason–have never been baptized. Our goal for this weekend was to present the Gospel message and emphasize the importance of baptism as a part of our response to that message.
We baptize people almost every week. I’ve been here 6 months and I’ve already heard Dennis present the biblical plan of salvation countless times in a variety of services. Frankly, because of my misconceptions about mega-churches, I was surprised in my first few weeks here to hear the Gospel presented so powerfully and so often.
Before coming to Christ’s Church I was not a big fan of “Baptism Days.” I have always encouraged baptism as an immediate response to a person’s profession of faith and I thought that “Baptism” days delayed something (baptism) that should not be delayed, but my thoughts on this have changed since being here. We (Christ’s Church) emphasis baptism as an immediate response.
We want people to respond to the Gospel immediately (like we see throughout the book of Acts), but we’ve also found that a special “Baptism Service” always results in a large number of baptisms. I think there are several reasons: 1) It creates positive peer pressure (i.e. “everyone getting baptized . . . join us!”); 2) Some people are nervous about going through a baptism by themselves and enjoy not being singled out; 3) A baptism service–because so many people are involved–gives people an opportunity to respond to the Gospel in a way that doesn’t make them feel self-conscious about their age, appearance, or anything else that could be used as justification for postponing baptism.
In each of our four services this weekend we talked about the fact that without Christ we are lost and without hope, but in Christ we can find salvation.
Dennis’ (our Senior Minister) message was really good, but it was nothing fancy. He simply presented the Gospel in a clear and unapologetic way . . . and the people responded in a big way.