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6/24/2009

When Someone Comes to Jesus

[NOTE: Thanks to my friend and co-host Dale Jenkins for giving me the idea for this post. Check out the post that led to this one by clicking here.]

The preacher has concluded with the famous words, "As we stand and sing." Everyone has put a Bible in the seat and has stood to sing "Just As I Am" or "I Am Resolved." The preacher (or some of the elders) are standing at the front while the congregation sings.

Then it happens.

A soul in need of a Savior steps out into the aisle, walks to the front and states that he/she needs to be baptized for the forgiveness of sins.

At other times, it happens, too. Many times, we baptize folks late at night or during the daytime. Folks come to Christ at all times of the week.

Here's the question for this post: what do we do to make it a truly special moment?

We talk of baptism as a special moment (in fact, the greatest moment) in an individual's life. Then, when someone is ready to put Christ on in baptism, we often act like we've never seen it happen before. We need to (1) be prepared, and (2) make this a moment that will never be forgotten.

Here are some suggestions:

1. Sing, sing, sing. If you are a song leader, have some songs that are appropriate for baptisms ready. Don't be fumbling around in the index if it takes a couple of extra minutes for the candidate to get ready. Sing many songs. Some I have used in the past include "Victory in Jesus," "I Am Crucified with Christ," "A New Creature (Buried with Christ)," "O Happy Day," "Jesus is Lord," and "Nothing but the Blood." There are many others. When the baptism is completed and the new Christian is back with everyone else, songs like "God's Family" are encouraging.

2. Pray for the person and for others who are lost. What a perfect opportunity for an elder to pray as a shepherd! Here is one of the greatest moments in the life of an elder. Let one of your shepherds lead a poignant prayer for this one becoming a Christian. Also pray that others may see this example and that it may help encourage another (or more) to be buried with Christ.

3. Don't be stiff! Far too often the new Christian comes back from being baptized and we just sit there and watch him or her walk in and sit down. Stand up! Go to him or her! Hug! Celebrate! This is not a moment to sit back and be stiff. This is one of the main reasons the church exists. Heaven is rejoicing, why aren't we?

4. Don't be in a hurry to leave. What a glorious time to sing together more or to have a prayer session. I've heard of congregations that had a baptism around midnight and never went home until the next morning! That's the right attitude. This is truly a time to bond as a church family.

There are four broad suggestions. What does your congregation do to make this a special moment?

1 comment:

Wayne Gordon said...

We put a lot of emphasis into celebrations; birthdays, anniversarys, holidays. Why wouldn't we celebrate THE most important event in the life of another? That individual needs to know they are loved and everyone is excited for them and with them. If the angels in heaven rejoice, then should we not follow that example and rejoice also?