What Is Baptism?

We believe that baptism is the action a person takes after becoming a Christ Follower. We see this many times in scripture as people believed in Jesus Christ and were subsequently baptized.

 

Acts 8:12 — But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.

Acts 8:13 — Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.

Acts 18:8 — Crispus, the synagogue ruler, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized.

Acts 19:4-5 — Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.

We see baptism as something done after making a clear decision to follow Jesus. We absolutely believe that a child or teenager can make this decision. Statistics say that most Christ followers made a decision to follow Jesus between the ages of 4-14 (84 %).

 

If your child is younger than 4 or 5 years of age, Child Dedication is probably the appropriate next step as children this age or younger may not be ready to make this significant decision. 

 

The Process

We offer an interactive Baptism Class for parents and their children to attend together on the third Wednesday of each month at 6 p.m., located upstairs in the Kids Building, Room B. During the class, we explain the significance of baptism in a fun, engaging way, and we give parents the tools, resources, and time to lead the conversation about their child’s relationship with God.

If you’d like to attend an upcoming class, email Tina Barnwell to RSVP.

FAQ

Can I have my infant/baby baptized?

  • No, we don’t practice infant/baby baptism. However, we do offer Child Dedication. Click here to read about why Child Dedication is the perfect next step for you and your infant/baby. 

How old does a person need to be before he/she is baptized?

  • That depends. We believe that baptism is something a person does after they’ve made a personal decision to follow Jesus. If a child has clearly made that decision, then they’re probably old enough for baptism. Some kids struggle with fear of the water or doing this in front of a lot of people. We believe that baptism doesn’t need to be a fear that needs to be over come. Because it is a child’s relationship with God that matters most, it takes the pressure off rushing a baptism. When the child is ready is a perfect age for baptism.

Does my student need to meet any requirements for baptism?

  • They need to attend the Baptism Class. We want every child to fully understand why they are getting baptized. Email Tina Barnwell to RSVP.
  • They need to have made a decision to become a Christ Follower. We have found that many children get baptized too early. Either they didn’t understand why we practice baptism or possibly a parent encouraged them to get baptism before they know what it is. Because baptism is something that happens after a person becomes a Christ follower, we expect that children have made that decision before they are baptized. However, this is not a requirement to attend the class. In fact, we thoroughly explain how to become a Christ follower at our Baptism Class and many choose to follow Christ while at the class.

Who will baptize my child?

  • How about you? If you’re ready, we believe that the best possibly person to baptize a child is someone who’s had a great deal of influence on that child. Perhaps that is you. Maybe it’s a grandparent or the child’s small group leader. Otherwise, someone from the NextGen staff will be honored to baptize your child.

What if I want to baptized too? Can I be baptized with my child?

  • Absolutely. Your whole family can be baptized together. If you or anyone else from your family are planning to be baptized with your child, plan on attending he Baptism Class. Although the NextGen Baptism Class is aimed at kids, the material is exactly what adults need to know to prepare for being baptized.

What is the Baptism Class like?

  • This interactive class is about an hour long. We spend most of the class talking about what it means to become a Christ follower. After about 30 minutes, families will have 10-15 minutes do discuss the content with guided questions. It is during this time that most parents will discover if their child/student is ready to be baptized. We find that many parents help their kids become Christ Followers during this break. The remainder of the class is strictly about baptism. At the close of class, we will get next steps on the baptism video shoot and baptism dates.