“And it was down with the old man, up with the new
Raised to walk in the way of light and truth
I didn’t see no angels, just a few saints on the shore
But I felt like a new-born baby, cradled up in the arms of the Lord”
- Kenny Chesney/Randy Travis “Baptism”
This Saturday I’m going to have the awesome privilege with our High School Pastor of baptizing two of the guys in my high school small group. At Saddleback Church we usually have the small group leader get in the water and help do the dunking. If there are other students from the small group there we’ll have them get in the water also. It’s an amazing experience and one of my favorite things about being a small group leader.
There is an interesting story to both of the guys who are getting baptized this week. Both of them were raised as Catholics and have parents who still follow Catholic doctrine. They were “sprinkled” as babies so their parents felt there were already set in the baptism department. At Saddleback Church we believe in full immersion baptism. We also believe that it’s a public demonstration of your faith, a decision you make when you are able to understand what it means to be baptized and to make the decision on your own to accept Jesus in your life. One of my guys was not sure his parents were going to be okay with him getting baptized and it’s something that we have talked and prayed about for a couple of months now.
I know how much he wanted to get baptized but I also know it’s important that he honor his mother and father, the Bible tells us to do that too. This student is 18 now and technically an adult, but I also knew it was important to him to have his parents’ approval and he also wants them to be there and be a part of the experience with him. He would bring it up during prayer request time in our group and all of the guys in my group have been praying for him.
Two weeks ago he text me to let me know he had talked with his parents and they gave their approval for him to be baptized and they also wanted to be at his baptism. With these two baptisms, all of the guys in my small group have been baptized. Next year I’ll have all freshmen so making sure that all of them are baptized before they leave my small group will be a big priority for me.
Question: Do you talk about baptism in your small groups? Have you had a one-on-one discussion with students in your group about getting baptized?