What is baptism?
Baptism is the "next step" after salvation and committing your life to following Jesus Christ.
Baptism is an outward expression of an inward change. It’s a public declaration of how Jesus changed your life. Being baptized shows others that you’ve decided to follow Jesus, and allows them to celebrate this decision with you (Acts 16:31-34). Baptism doesn’t save a person; it’s a symbol and celebration of salvation (1 Peter 3:21). The power that brought Jesus back to life is the same power Jesus uses to change our lives – and that’s worth getting excited about!
Cristie Horn: A Baptism Testimony
Why should anyone be baptized?
Jesus instructs us to be baptized and set the example by being baptized himself (Matthew 28:19-20, Mark 1:9). Obedience to Jesus shows we believe and follow Him. (1 John 2:3). Because Jesus went public about His love for us, we can go public about our love for Him. Being baptized shows that we turn away from a life of sin toward Jesus, the only one who can change us (Acts 2:38-41).
Should we Baptize Children?
As parents, we can help point our children to Jesus, but they are the ones to decide if they will commit their lives to Him. (Romans 10:9)
Any instance of baptism follows a person’s decision to trust Jesus for his or her salvation and commitment to follow Him. (Acts 10:47-48)
Jesus gave His time and attention to children despite it being unpopular. He also instructed adult religious leaders and His disciples to model their faith after children, so He clearly believes children can have authentic faith. (Matthew 11:25, Luke 18:15-16)
How do we decide if our child is ready to be baptized?
- Has he/she made a decision to trust Jesus for salvation? (This is essential.)
- Can they talk about why they want to follow Jesus?
- Have they expressed a desire to be baptized more than just on a day they observed one?
- Have you prayed about it? What sense do you get from the Holy Spirit?
- Ask yourself if your own fears of what others would think are interfering with your decision.
- Once you have helped them understand that baptism is a way to show everyone they plan to follow God, do they understand the need to not hide their faith?
Baptism of children requires a meeting between the child, parent, and pastor. This is for all kids/students up through the 8th grade.
Alex & Sam on Baptism
I'm ready to be baptized! What's next?
- Inform your pastors that you are ready by signing up on the River Church app or on a communication card. Baptisms happen on the first Sunday of each month.
- Write out your “story” or “testimony.” This is part of the work in publicly declaring your decision to be a lifelong follower of Jesus. It is an important part of your spiritual preparation to recognize the work God has been doing in your life and it is the manner at which you can bring others to a relationship with Christ, by knowing how to explain what God has done for you and through you. This may or may not be read out loud at your baptism. Your story should be about 3-4 paragraphs long. It should answer these questions. Email this to Amy@theriver.cc.
*What does Jesus mean to you?
*When did you decide to commit to following Jesus?
*What’s going on in your relationship with God right now?
*What is God helping you with?
*Why did you decide to be baptized now?
- Tell us your shirt size so we can give you a celebration of baptism t-shirt to wear and keep.
- Be sure to wear dark shorts/pants and a dark shirt for your baptism. You will want to bring a complete set of dry clothes for afterwards (including dry socks and undergarments). We will provide you with a towel, but you are welcome to bring one from home also.
- Invite your friends and family. Ask for prayer support leading up to and after that day. When you publicly claim your faith, the enemy sees your seriousness. And he will come your way with discouragement, doubt and all sorts of distractions from your faith. Ask solid prayer people to pray for you for the weeks before and after your baptism to help build up your faith and strength.
- Plan to go to the post baptism celebration meeting on the second Sunday of the month! It is held during the first service on the Sunday following your baptism. We want to help you keep growing spiritually! This time will include celebrating what God has done, learning some Bible basics, prayer tips and more ideas on what to do next after your baptism. If you can’t make it, just email firstname.lastname@example.org and someone will do their best to pass along the information to you.
Attend a Service
Join us at The River to experience a Sunday morning service, and meet some of the staff who will be helping you on the big day.
Invite Family & Friends
Since we are celebrating, and declaring to everyone our new life in Christ we encourage you to invite friends and family to join in on the special event.
On The Day...
Don’t worry about what to bring. Our staff will have you well prepared with the entire process, and you will even get to take home an “I Jumped In!” t-shirt to keep.