THEREFORE, GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES OF ALL THE NATIONS, BAPTIZING THEM IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER AND THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT. MATTHEW 28:19
At Christ Church, we believe in the importance of baptism for infants, children, and adults. We encourage children to experience God’s grace from infancy but, if you or your kids have not yet been baptized, we invite you to do so at any age.
We offer three methods of applying water in baptism:
• Affusion - Pouring a little water on the head at a font.
• Major Affusion - Pouring a pitcher of water over a head while sitting in a water tank.
• Immersion - The full body of an individual going underwater in a water tank.
If you were baptized as an infant and are yearning for a chance to celebrate as an adult, we invite you to consider an Affirmation of Baptism.
1. Complete the Baptism Teaching Series.
2. Fill out a short Baptism Request form.
3. Receive a phone call from our Baptism Liaison, Patty, to work out all the details.
4. While waiting for the call:
a. Select a preferred Baptism Sunday date and a backup date.
b. Estimate the number of guests who will attend.
c. Decide on water distribution method: Affusion, Major Affusion or Immersion.
5. Have questions? Contact Patty: email@example.com.
Baptism is, indeed, a one-and-done deal, when God adopts you into his family and gives you his family name. However, that baptism is meant for everyday as we embrace our place in his family.
Unfortunately, sometimes our faith is not carefully-cultivated and faith in God fades along with our place in his family. Other times we get mad or run away. Some of us go so far as to openly reject the family name and forget God altogether, severing all ties and forsaking our baptismal rights.
But then, like a prodigal child, we begin to miss God, his family, and our place in his family and we feel his ever pervasive call to come home.
In any case, there is no need to “re-adopt” you because you never stopped being part of the family. But, it is time for you to take your place in the family once again, reestablish those ties, and rebuild your relationship with your Father. We missed you! Welcome home!
If this sounds like your story (and in order to keep nagging guilt or questions of belonging at bay), it can often be meaningful to affirm your place in God’s family. Yes, you really belong here, even after wandering astray. You are, indeed, part of this redemptive family and, for you, we invite you to consider an AFFIRMATION OF BAPTISM. It looks and feels just like baptism, and it serves as a really firm reminder of your original adoption and your place in God’s family. It’s a powerful way to say you are glad to be home, and you are formally taking your place in God’s family!
Here at Christ Church, baptism is less about WHAT, WHEN, AND HOW (logistics) and more about WHO AND FOR WHOM…
As a multi-denominational church, we respect theological dissonance that sometimes results in different preferences - even in baptism. Christians have long-debated what baptism is and how it is properly done. At Christ Church we all agree on, and therefore stress, the God of baptism (who He is and what He is doing) and the way baptism brings faith into the life of the recipient and congregation. As such, we can accommodate more water or less water, baptize at any and every age, etc. We trust that, regardless of logistics, baptism will foster faith and faithfulness in Jesus.
We have three options for methods of applying water in baptism: AFFUSION (the pouring of a little water on the head of an individual at a font), MAJOR AFFUSION (sitting in a tank of water while a pitcher of water is poured over a person’s head), and IMMERSION (the full body of an individual going underwater in a water tank).
We are able to accommodate people’s method preferences because we believe what matters most is not the method, but that baptism is both water and God’s word.
Faith is always personal, but never private. Since baptism is your adoption into God’s family, it always happens as a part of worship on Sunday mornings. That said, if you are nervous about public spaces, we recommend getting baptized at our 8am Chapel Service as there are fewer family members gathered there than in our other services.
We do not practice baby dedication, nor do we force parents to baptize infants. We respect and honor your preferences for your child. If you would like to wait to have your child baptized until they are of a specific age or experience, we will be ready, waiting, and excited! That said, you will hear a consistent, gentle invitation to consider baptism for your child as one of the crucial faith steps in the life of a growing Christian. As a multi-denominational church, we seek to strike a balance of respecting a parent or guardian’s particular beliefs while also appreciating the practice of infant and adult baptism.
We will love you regardless of whether you are baptized or not. And, God’s redemptive work can be a part of our lives with or without baptism. We will also be consistent in inviting you to embrace it and its wonderful place in the life of a Christian. We may be daring enough to ask, “Why wouldn’t you want it!? It's so wonderful!”
Confirmation is a valuable and meaningful Faith Step in a young person’s faith journey. For those baptized as infants, confirmation creates the opportunity to publicly affirm your baptismal identity. It is a moment where you publicly appreciate and acknowledge your baptismal identity as a child of God. While your baptism was done as an infant (without your cognizant consent), this present act affirms what was given and done so long ago. It is, therefore, deeply tied to our understanding of baptism and is the continued outworking of our baptismal journey. Click the button to learn more about Confirmation at Christ Church.
The Bible has many passages that refer to and explain baptism. However, pulling out individual chapters and verses doesn't allow us to see the full picture of baptism as it's presented throughout scripture. The meaning and significance of baptism is woven throughout the entire fabric of the Bible including the Spirit of God hovering over the waters at creation, Moses leading the people of Israel through the waters of the Red Sea in Exodus, the major and minor prophets calling God’s people to remember who they are as God's children, the New Testament rich with baptismal examples at the birth of the church, letters and visions at the end of the Bible describing a new life in Christ.
Further, we are blessed with other meaningful writings by Christians throughout time that describe what baptism has meant and how it has been done worldwide. As an example, there is The Didache - the earliest written record describing Christian worship (including baptism) during the second and third centuries A.D. This document, and others like it, help us understand baptism within the legacy and practice of the worldwide church throughout time.
That said, we've collected some specific biblical passages that deal with baptism.
12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. 13 They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Jn 1:12–13). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. 15 So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” 16 For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. 17 And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Ro 8:14–17). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
4 But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. 5 God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. 6 And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” 7 Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Ga 4:4–7). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
5 God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. 6 So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. 7 He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. 8 He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Eph 1:5–8). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
1 John 3
1 See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him. 2 Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. 3 And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (1 Jn 3:1–3). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Mt 28:18–20). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
1 Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? 2 Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? 3 Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? 4 For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. 5 Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. 6 We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. 7 For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. 8 And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. 9 We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. 10 When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. 11 So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus. 12 Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. 13 Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. 14 Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Ro 6:1–14). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
6 And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. 7 Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.
8 Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. 9 For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. 10 So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority. 11 When you came to Christ, you were “circumcised,” but not by a physical procedure. Christ performed a spiritual circumcision—the cutting away of your sinful nature. 12 For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead. 13 You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. 14 He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. 15 In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Col 2:6–15). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
3 Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other. 4 But—When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, 5 he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. 6 He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. 7 Because of his grace he made us right in his sight and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Tt 3:3–7). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
1 Peter 3
18 Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit. 19 So he went and preached to the spirits in prison—20 those who disobeyed God long ago when God waited patiently while Noah was building his boat. Only eight people were saved from drowning in that terrible flood. 21 And that water is a picture of baptism, which now saves you, not by removing dirt from your body, but as a response to God from a clean conscience. It is effective because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (1 Pe 3:18–21). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
12 But now the people believed Philip’s message of Good News concerning the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ. As a result, many men and women were baptized. 13 Then Simon himself believed and was baptized. He began following Philip wherever he went, and he was amazed by the signs and great miracles Philip performed.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Ac 8:12–13). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
36 As they rode along, they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “Look! There’s some water! Why can’t I be baptized?” 38 He ordered the carriage to stop, and they went down into the water, and Philip baptized him.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Ac 8:36–38). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
“Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road, has sent me so that you might regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Instantly something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he got up and was baptized. 19 Afterward he ate some food and regained his strength.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Ac 9:17–19). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
Then Peter asked, 47 “Can anyone object to their being baptized, now that they have received the Holy Spirit just as we did?” 48 So he gave orders for them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Afterward Cornelius asked him to stay with them for several days.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Ac 10:46–48). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
15 She and her household were baptized, and she asked us to be her guests. “If you agree that I am a true believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my home.” And she urged us until we agreed.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Ac 16:15). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
33 Even at that hour of the night, the jailer cared for them and washed their wounds. Then he and everyone in his household were immediately baptized. 34 He brought them into his house and set a meal before them, and he and his entire household rejoiced because they all believed in God.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Ac 16:33–34). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
8 Crispus, the leader of the synagogue, and everyone in his household believed in the Lord. Many others in Corinth also heard Paul, became believers, and were baptized.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Ac 18:8). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
16 What are you waiting for? Get up and be baptized. Have your sins washed away by calling on the name of the Lord.’
Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Ac 22:16). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
1 Corinthians 12
13 Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (1 Co 12:13). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
27 And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Ga 3:27). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
22 let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Heb 10:22). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
If you would like to learn more about baptism, we recommend reading "Baptism: A User’s Guide" by Martin E. Marty. Publication: Minneapolis, Augsburg Fortress Press, August 2, 1996.