Like many other aspects of our ministry at Christ’s Church of the Valley, we are very intentional about helping people make the most important decision of their lives, the decision to be baptized. Yes, we have a formal “process” we’ve developed over time.
The Process …
Planning – We plan to conduct monthly baptism services. Why monthly? We’ve found this to be a frequency that works for us. Of course, we do baptisms all throughout the month as people make the decision and are ready. Having something on the calendar, though, forces us to diligently stick to the process.
Teaching – We routinely wrap a series or otherwise include teaching on the topic of salvation and the importance of baptism in the salvation process, calling on people to make a decision to be baptized.
Decision Card – The vehicle for making the decision is a card in the Program (Bulletin). Two weeks prior to a scheduled baptism service, usually as part of communion, we prompt people to read and check the appropriate box on our baptism Decision Card. They are asked to hand the card to an usher on their way out, at the conclusion of the service. We almost always do something, while communion is passed, to create a reflective moment as people consider baptism and the decision they will make.
Baptism Video – One week in advance of a scheduled baptism service we show a video of the previous month’s (or in the video above, last 2 months) baptism service. The video functions as a “testimony” and helps people to experience what it is like to be baptized.
Baptism Service – Twice during each of our 3 services on the day of a baptism service, we remind people that “right after 3rd service there will be a baptism service.” We let them know whether or not they’ve signed up to be a part of it or if they just want to show up to observe, they’re invited to participate. The service itself is informal and celebratory in nature. People are asked to give their names and tell the story of how they found out about our church. Of course, this portion of the service is a testimony, at a minimum for the people attending the service who themselves have not been baptized.
Follow Up – Each person being baptized receives a “congratulations and next steps” e-mail. (This is automated, thanks to Church Community Builder!) The e-mail includes an invitation to our Membership Class as well as a call to serve and join a group.