pool-liner2Today we had some baptisms at Gateway. I think it was the most fun I’ve ever had at a baptism service… and I really love baptizing kids!

Gateway Church doesn’t have a built in baptismal. In Texas, a lot of churches actually build them outside. They’ll build a fountain or other water feature that can be used as a baptismal throughout the year. For some reason, we don’t have one, so once the weather warms up, we bring out a big pool and baptize as many people as we can. Today it was just over 100! Woo Hoo!

This week I met with several families. It’s so important to me to meet with kids before they get baptized. I feel it’s:

  • A great opportunity to connect with a family.
  • A great opportunity to clearly communicate salvation and baptism to a family

Well, there were about 60-70 people pre-registered to get baptized. The service was set to end about 15 minutes early and after it dismissed, people came out to the pool to get it done. We had enough people in the pool that entire families could be baptized all at once. It was like a synchronized swimming deal. Awesome!

There are two things I really liked about the way Gateway does baptisms:

It had a family and community feel

Rather than have it be a formal moment in a worship service, it was a rowdy, uncut and group event. People were gathering around friends and family members to share in the “experience.” Husbands and wives, families and friends were getting baptized together. For many people it was a shared and relational experience. I love it.

It was “New Testament” -just do it now- style

There were many people who had pre-registered to be baptized. But there were a lot who were jumping in. John Burke, our Senior Pastor, shared an evangelistic message today and people were encouraged to respond and if so, go get baptized. We provided towels, so people were climbing in with all their clothes. I heard about a guy who got baptized at this last year who jumped in with his nice clothes, wallet, watch and shoes. Someone told him that he could take some of those things off. He replied, “Most of the decisions I make every day are motivated by money… today I’m following my heart.”

So, it was baptism Gateway style. We’ve got another baptism scheduled in July. I can’t wait!