The very 1st step in obedience as a believer, a follower of Christ, is to be baptized. Christ set the example for us. When we read about the birth of the church in the book of Acts we find that the early Christians believed and were baptized.
Since baptism is such a major moment in the life of a believer, the opportunity to make your followship a public declaration, how come it becomes an afterthought or a "tag on"?
Yesterday I once again attended Blue Ridge Community Church in Lynchburg, Va. This church has exploded in the past several years in growth. BRCC is making an impact in their community. They are reaching the lost, they are meeting needs in their community. Blue Ridge is far from traditional. The moment you pull onto their campus you can see that they are intentional in what they do and they know why they exist as a church.
This is the first church I've attended that take baptism to a different level, not just incorporating it into the service they build the entire worship experience around baptism. Both times I have attended a baptism service they have had a couple folks share their story. The impact is more powerful than a sermon preached by a pastor following a baptism because real people sharing their real story, their encounter with Christ, is powerful. You can check out BRCC's baptism service here, I'm sure they will have it posted and available on video on their podcast page soon. Yesterday over 40 new believers were baptized! BRCC has baptism services like this several times a year. (BRCC's team of volunteers have a system down to a science, something to behold)
Yesterday's baptism worship experience for me and my family was extra special because we got to hear my brother's story and watch him be baptized. An awesome time for our family.
One of the coolest things they do is baptize in a tank that is placed near the front of the stage and then family and friends can gather around the tank on the stage to be a part of the moment in the life of this new believer. The baptizee is baptized by a friend or family member or pastor who has played a role in their faith walk. Again a powerful witness to show the church that it is our responsibility to share our faith and the love of Christ with those we come in contact with.
How does your church "do" baptism?
Is it time to perhaps re-think, evaluate and change so this important step in the life of a believer can have an impact on those who perhaps are on the edge of taking a huge step of faith by trusting in Christ as their Savior?