Meaningful and Organized: Baptism Weekends at Life.Church

Baptism is one of the most memorable moments in the life of a believer. They’ve made the decision to follow Christ, and they’re ready to show the world what God has done. It’s a beautiful symbol of dying to their old life and being made into a new creation.

Since it’s such a special occasion, we want to make sure that we do it right. We hold Baptism Weekends once a quarter, and our Operations Team provides guidance to each of our campuses. The goal is for baptism events to be meaningful and organized. We’re intentional about the relational and operational components of baptisms—here’s what it looks like:

We encourage our staff and volunteers to bring their best. Like any event, our baptism weekends present unique logistical challenges. So we plan well and cultivate in our teams a sense of excellence that honors God and inspires people.

We coordinate every detail. To make sure the event runs smoothly, everyone on the volunteer baptism team has a role to play. Guest Services members are responsible for greeting and check-in. Hosts are assigned a few baptism participants each and stay with them from check-in through baptism. Logistics members fulfill duties like ladder holder, line coordinator, safety, and towel distribution. Photographers capture each special moment. At the hub of everything is the Event Coordinator who pulls everything together.

Another helpful detail that keeps things organized: those being baptized are given dark blue baptism shirts (that won’t show through when wet) to wear in the pool, and those doing the baptizing have black baptism shirts.

We prepare each person for baptism. At some point before the event, we require each participant to attend a meeting that covers the theology of baptism and the logistics of the event. This often occurs about 30 minutes before the service, but some campuses hold them on an evening the week before. During this time, we make sure each candidate understands salvation and baptism, has accepted Christ, and knows what to expect from the baptism event.

We foster a spirit of celebration. Joy is at the heart of baptism, so from the details leading up to the event (emails, phone calls, baptism meetings) to the baptism itself, we keep everything upbeat and fun in nature.

We have essentials and liberties. It’s not a requirement that only pastors do the baptizing. We want baptism to be a meaningful experience, so participants are allowed to choose friends or family to baptize them. We do, however, require each baptizer to be a follow of Christ, to have been baptized themselves, and to attend the baptism meeting with the participants. In addition, either a pastor in the pool or the person baptizing is required to say, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”

We encourage follow up. It’s our goal that everyone who signs up for baptism gets plugged in at a campus or online, joins a LifeGroup, finds a place to serve, and more. Those who are under 18, for example, are connected to our NextGen ministry. Ways to follow up include sending hand-written notes, scheduling a coffee date, making a phone call, or setting a time to meet at church the next week.

Baptism is a huge step in being a fully devoted follower of Christ, but it’s really just the beginning of joining the fullness and community of a life lived in Jesus.

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