1. What is baptism?
Baptism is an important step in following Jesus. It symbolises our death to sin and burial of our old life, and our resurrection to new life in Christ - just as Jesus died for our sins, was buried and rose to life again. Being baptised doesn't "guarantee" our salvation, but it is a way of publically showing our love for Jesus and acceptance of Him as our Saviour by obediently following his command to be baptised in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:18-20).
2. Who can be baptised?
Anyone can be baptised, as long as they (or in the case of children, their parents), are personally followers of Jesus and members of His church. For more information on being a follower of Jesus, click HERE.
3. Do we have to be members of a church in order to be baptised, or for our children to be baptised?
Yes. You must be a personal follower of Christ (i.e. a Christian) in order to be baptised, or to have your children baptised. This is because you will be making vows before God and the church congregation to follow Christ and raise your children as Christians. If you are not members of a church but would still like to give thanks to God for your children, we recommend a Thanksgiving service, as this does not include major vows or baptism.
4. Does the baptism need to occur in the church?
In the case of the baptism of children, yes - it must occur during the church service. This is because the child becomes a member of the church and is symbolically welcomed into the church family. A thanksgiving service for the child may be performed anywhere and at any time.
Adult baptisms generally tend to be by immersion (i.e. the submersion of the whole body beneath the surface of the water) and may take place within the church or at other locations, such as by the river or at a pool. Often this is quite a personal service and there is a lot more flexibility in the structure. Shortly after their baptism, they will be formally welcomed into the church community during one of the church services.
5. Are there any requirements we need to complete prior to the baptism being performed?
Prior to the baptism being performed, you are required to meet with a member of the Nativity ministry team to discuss arrangements and also to view a 30 minute DVD that provides an overview of the Christian faith. This most commonly occurs at your home.