Monday, April 20, 2015

Hey Pastor, Quit Baptizing People!

Sounds sacrilegious.

But hear me out.

Jesus, in his final words in Matthew, lays out this plan for how this thing he has ushered in is going to go viral. Not through some million dollar marketing scheme. Not through some military take over.

Instead through a mustard revolt.

Go and make disciples. Baptize them in the trinity. And teach them.

Who was Jesus talking to? It must have been the paid, hired ministry professionals with Bible college degrees and seminary educations. Right? I mean I look at most of our churches and that's who is doing the majority of the discipleship and the majority of the baptisms.

No? That wasn't who Jesus was talking to? It was his disciples? Every day, ordinary followers of The Way?

It's interesting.

Pentecost was the moment that the Holy Spirit was placed into the hands (and hearts) of the masses.

The Reformation was the moment the Bible was placed into the hands of the masses.

I think it is high time we put discipleship there too.

Last week a beautiful thing happened at our 2 year birthday. Laura and Sam were baptized, taking ownership of their faith. It was awesome! I got to give them a hug when they got out and meet with them to hear their stories! Great stuff. But I did not do the baptizing. Laura was baptized by Deb and Sam was baptized by Zoe. The cool thing? A year before that on our 1 year birthday, Deb and Zoe were baptized! Deb was baptized by Shaina. Zoe was baptized by Sheridan.

One of the things I am most proud of regarding C3 is that a number of unchurched/dechurched folks are finding their way back to faith and they are finding that way in large part because people are investing in them relationally. My hunch is that changed people change people and it is a blast to see that hunch being proven right.

I assume that the reason pastors do the baptizing is related to the fact that they know what they are doing and they've presumably done it before or they are the only ones actually invested in making disciples.

But there is nothing more beautiful than an every day disciple investing Christ into another every day disciple and being able to publicly help them take ownership of their faith.

Out of the 30 or so baptisms we've celebrated at C3, I have had the privilege of baptizing about 5 of them, mainly because they were people I had meaningful connection to. The rest have been baptized by others in C3 who have been invested relationally in their story.

Pastors, everything you do and say aids in creating some type of culture.

What kind of culture do you want to create when it comes to baptism? One that gives others a vision for what discipleship can look like in their own life or one that says you've got it covered?

Don't let discipleship bottleneck at your desk.

Make disciples who make disciples who make disciples.

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