Baptising is Dangerous
Have you ever noticed that many of our practices around baptism seem to be opposite to the way things were done by Jesus and the early disciples…
Baptism is clearly a powerful practice as people have been killed and denominations have been formed because of controversy’s and contested issues related to this topic
But has it occurred to you, as it has me, that there must be something vitally important to this practice and something that scares the hell out of satan and his forces…
Whenever we or those we’ve trained prepare to baptise someone…all hell breaks loose…literally…but why?
It seems to me that More Baptisms = More Kingdom of God advancing…
So how much more so would…More Baptisers (people who actually baptise others) Lead to Kingdom Revolution!
So with that in mind I hope to up the ante with this post…Let the Games Begin…
Try Baptizing Those Who Believe
Are you sharing your faith and your story with people? If so…and they then believe your message as a result…what do you do? If you’ve been a ‘christian’ for a while…maybe you ‘Pray The Prayer’ with the person…although I’ve done that many times in the past (too many times to remember) and still do on occasion…I would rather now baptise people as Jesus’ disciples did (and still do around the world) instead of just leading them in a prayer…
Those who believed were baptised…
So why not try baptising those you lead to faith? (if the early disciples did it…why not continue their pattern and practice)?
Have you ever noticed the common refrain…and they were ‘baptised immediately…’
How long does it take for you to baptise those you are discipling?
Is there a long time gap between the moment they have faith and believe and are actually baptised?
When the apostle Peter preached Jesus (Acts 2:36-41) his words ‘cut to the heart’…and those who heard asked ‘what should we do?’
Peter’s response was
‘Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This promise is to you, and to your children and to those far away – all those who have been called by God’
The result being ‘Those who believed what Peter said were baptised and added to the church that day- about 3000 in all’
Did you notice…? What was the time-lag between those who believed being baptised?
Not long, right?
How can you do the same?
Play the ‘Baptise Immediately’ game- to close the time gap between believing and baptising…see how short you can get the time interval down to…
Baptise Whole Households
Another common refrain…’and they were baptised…they and their households’
As we know, the word ‘households’ in Greek is ‘OIKOS‘ and can refer to the whole of a Persons (Person of Peace) Social Circle (who they live, work, play amongst)…
So when we Find a Person of Peace…we are aiming to Baptise them AND Their Whole Household…
Like Peter did with Cornelius (Acts 10:44-48)
Paul and Silas did with Lydia (Acts 16:13-15)
And with the Prison Officer (Acts 16:29-34)
In birthing new communities of faith…we are wanting to baptise whole Social Circles not just ‘individuals’ if at all possible…
Have you and your team baptised ‘ready-made affinity groups’ recently?
It’s amazing seeing churches birthed in a day as GROUPS are baptised immediately…(Acts 2:41-42)
Let’s get into the practicalities…
Where can you baptise people…? Wherever there’s water…(Acts 8:26-40)
Some of the teams we’ve trained (www.newformsresources.com) love to baptise whole social circles (oikos households) usually in their place (their home or social setting of their choice)…
If you’re by sea, river, or lake- ideal
If the person has a pool- great
We’ve hosted many Baptism Parties where neither of these things were present…
So a bath or an inflatable pool can do the trick just as well
(I think it’s great if the water is deep enough to immerse the person fully- where they go completely under the water then back up to represent death and burial going under the water- and resurrection to a new life when coming up out of the water…For those like me who are a little squeamish about water going up your nose…don’t worry- you are allowed to hold your nose- and for those who are the baptisers…make sure those being baptised know these practicalities- it will help overcome their potential fears)
Even if we baptise the individual first (Person of Peace)…before the rest of their household…we prefer to do it in their place (on their terms and turf) and with their whole circle of influence present…doing that often leads to other members of the household wanting to be baptised there and then or soon after…
We’ve found that ‘Baptism Parties’ always go down well
We usually ‘model’ a few things during a Baptism Party in their place and among their people…mostly, the things we usually do in a regular ‘meet-up’ of a simple community of faith (simple church/missional community)
That way we can say to those present ‘This is what we do all the time…you guys are welcome to join us each week…’ or even better ‘the person being baptised will be starting a group here like this regularly from now on…we will meet at such-and-such a time and you are all welcome…please bring+share some food next time’
One stipulation I would advocate…baptisms should be FUN and easy to replicate…
Those present will be baptising those they know soon enough…
Are You A Baptiser?
By the time the first 3000 were baptised in Acts 2, we know that there were 12 apostles (Acts 1)
If these apostles were doing all the baptising…they would have baptised roughly (all things being equal) 250 people each on that day (that makes for achy arms and wrinkly pruned skin)
But perhaps it wasn’t a special privilege of ‘apostles’ or even ‘leaders’ to actually do the baptising…
If that be true…it could well have been the 120 (Acts 1:15) doing the baptising…in that scenario (again, all things being equal) each person could have baptised around 25 people…
Another possibility is that the first round of people baptised…may have helped baptise the others…
The apostle Paul certainly didn’t feel that he had to baptise everyone as ‘the main leader’…and it appears that most of the other people were baptised by the new believers…(1 Corinthians 1:14-17)
But one thing is clear…baptising others was a practice ALL disciples got to play their part in…not just the special or the few…
Jesus tells us to ‘Go and make disciples…baptizing them’ (Matt 28:18-20)
And ‘Jesus knew the Pharisees had heard that he was baptising and making more disciples than John [the baptist] (though Jesus himself didn’t baptize them- his disciples did)…
Did you get that? Jesus’ disciples were baptising more people than John the Baptiser! (the same guy crowds were going out to from all regions of Israel to be baptised in the river)
Instructions about Baptisms is one of the most Basic Principles of Jesus (Heb 6:2) so…
Are you a disciple of Jesus?
Are you making disciples?
Are you baptising them?
Are your disciples baptising others?
Can it be said in your area, city, region, nation – ‘Jesus’ disciples are baptising and making more disciples than John the Baptist’
Some Dangerous Truth+Dares
Go and Baptise People
Baptise Those Who Believe Immediately
Throw Baptism Parties
Baptise People Wherever Their Is Water Deep Enough and Their People Are Present (if Possible)
Baptise Them AND Their Whole Households
Train Those You Baptise to Baptise Others Immediately
Go! Make Disciples…Baptizing them
What are you waiting for?
How many will you baptise this week? month? season? year?
How many will your disciples baptise?
How many will your disciples, disciples baptise?
Let the Baptism Parties Begin!