On the first Sunday of each month we celebrate with those following Jesus in baptism as a part of worship in our gatherings. Before you RSVP, please take a few minutes to consider what the Scriptures teach about water baptism.
What is baptism?
Baptism publicly identifies us with Jesus and His family. "Jesus told his followers to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Matthew 28v19-20
Baptism follows belief. The pattern in the Scriptures is that baptism follows hearing the Good News and trusting Jesus for salvation (Acts 2v38; 8v12; 9v17-18; 10v47-8; 16v14-15, 32-34). For that reason, we do not baptize infants or young children.
Baptism is intended to be done by “immersion” (going under the water). The Greek word “baptizo” means “to plunge or immerse.” While other traditions might sprinkle, immersion in water best expresses both what the word means and the practice of the early church.
What does baptism represent?
Baptism shows our connection to Jesus in His death and resurrection. "Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin." Romans 6v3-8
As Jesus died and rose again to make a way for our rescue, so we recognize that our “old life” before following Jesus is gone. We are a new people, filled with God’s presence and power to live in a new way.
Baptism is an announcement. While the act doesn’t save, it does announce what has happened. We're telling the community (and reminding ourselves) that we're united with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; we belong to God and His people.
When should we be baptized?
Now! We should be baptized soon after following Jesus, baptism is an important part of our discipleship to Jesus. If you've been following Him for years and have not been baptized yet – don’t be discouraged. Simply RSVP above to be baptized during one of our upcoming First Sunday gatherings.
On a practical note, so that children under 12 have the opportunity to talk through the Good News of what baptism means and to make sure parents feel supported, we ask that they (and the family if possible) meet with Nate Kupish, our Pastor of Young People before being baptized.
A few other common questions
Who does the baptizing? Baptism symbolizes both a person’s new life in Jesus and entry into His community. We celebrate baptism in our weekend gatherings, not in our Communities or in homes, because it is a public announcement to the entire church. The Scriptures don’t dictate who should perform the baptism. Since our elders lead the 26 West Community, an elder or pastor will do the baptisms.
Should baptism ever be repeated? If a person started following Jesus, had a period of rebellion, and then returns – should they be baptized again? The answer is “no.” Baptism is intended to be a one-time experience that marks the beginning of life in Jesus and His community.
If you have questions or would like to meet with one of our staff to talk more about baptism, we'd love to hear from you. Please send us an email at email@example.com and we'll find a time that works for you to connect.