Wednesday, August 16, 2006

100 Baptisms!

Tonight, at church we baptized for the first time in our lake, err pond, err wet-bottom retention area (according to building code). We had 88 people signed up (we hadn't had a baptism since May) and then Cal invited anyone else who wanted to be baptized to come forward and we had almost 15 more, bringing the total somewhere over 100. I got to baptize two people. One was a lady who I didn't know, but who had recently gone through a divorce. Her husband wouldn't allow to attend anything but a particular church where she was never really fed. She started coming to Northwoods in January, and although she became a Christian in her youth, had never been baptized. What an awesome privelege to enter into this moment with as the sun was setting on the horizon. And I also got to baptize Ryan. How awesome! I play softball with Ryan every week and have gotten to know him a little bit over the course of the last year. It's so exciting to see "twentysomethings" totally give their lives over to Jesus! I'll add pictures to this post when I get them!

5 comments:

Ryan said...

thanks charlie

Eric T. said...

here's something i came to learn recently.

to question.

and i question the lake baptism.

although there hasn't been a baptism at nwoods since may, why so many this time?

are people just wanting to be baptised b/c it's in a "real" body of water?

"oh yeah... the lake! i want to be baptised in the lake!"

...even though some of those people might have already been baptised recently.

that was my initial response, but i know there are some who actually did it b/c they felt it was right for them, and ryan's post really cemented that for me.

ckd said...

Why so many?
Typically, at Northwoods, by God's grace we often see between 20-30 people baptized per month. So that is leading to some of the numbers.

I also know that some people have been "holding out," because for them, it feels more "authentic" perhaps to be outdoors.

I also know that for everything that happens in life, some people have pure motives, others do not. I'm sure that last night was really real for some people...the woman I baptized, and the community of people she does life with were all in tears! And then I'm sure that somewhere in that crowd were people who were just going through the motions.

I guess, I figure that my job, is to preach the gospel and baptize and take people at their word when they say they believe in Jesus, and let God take care of all the motives.

But I understand your questions...I used to be more skeptical about stuff like this. I've just felt more released in recent years to be faithful in carrying out the great commission in the best way I know how...

thanks for the questions.

one last thing...as a practice, we don't baptize people multiple times, unless they claim that they don't believe that they were actually Christians the 1st time (we do get a lot of people who were baptized as infants, for example).

Honestly, I really don't care about the number 100, per se, but just that's it's exciting to be part of a church where adults lives are being changed. I used to work at a church that in the 4 years, I was there saw maybe 20 adults baptized. And as far as last night goes, as far as we know, there were none that were "rebaptized," just because it was in a lake.

Beth B. said...

my dad was baptized last night and i know that for him it felt more authentic since it was outside and in God's creation. nature is one of the biggest ways he connects to God and to have the opportunity to be beaptized in the lake was exciting for him.
it was awesome to see so many people come out of the water in tears. much more than usual for some reason or another. very moving service.

JGanschow said...

I thought it was a beautiful and moving experience for all those invovled. It gave a glimpse of what it must have been like to see the congregation gathered at the river years ago. Awesome.