June 09, 2015

When and Where and How?

1 Corinthians 1:10-17

Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel...

—  1 Corinthians 1:17

Len doesn’t remember his baptism. It took place when he was a few months old. His parents had left their church because of an ugly disagreement between church members. They had recently begun attending another church nearby. So in this new congregation, where his family barely knew anyone, Len was baptized. Reflecting on it years later in a book on baptism, he found it more than a little ironic: a child was baptized “in the unity of the body of Christ” at one congregation because of some rather heated disunity in another church.

I remember the first baptism service at Granite Springs Church. Our church was 11 months old, meeting in a dilapidated warehouse. We began holding worship services with excitement and enthusiasm, but also with some fear and trepidation. Would anyone come? Would anyone be changed? But on that Sunday, 23 people were baptized. Entire families were baptized together. So were adults who had never been to church before coming to Granite Springs. Toward the end of the baptismal line a mom was baptized, and then her youngest son, a model of patience. Then it came time to baptize his older brother, and he tried to make a break for it. But amid smiles he too was baptized.

Each baptism is beautiful. But what really matters isn’t the when, where, or how. What’s important is the gospel that baptism represents. God claims you as his own!

Lord, we are baptized into your name. Lead us past ob-stacles to your grace. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Kevin Adams

Dr. Kevin Adams has served as a church planter/pastor in the Sacramento, California, area since 1991. He and his wife, Gerry, began Granite Springs Church in Lincoln, and this congregation has helped to nourish several other church plants. Kevin also serves as a director of the Sierra Leadership Network, a training program for new church leaders.

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