At Empower Church, we hold water baptism services roughly two or three times a year. They are simply added to the end of our regular 10AM service.
We inflate and fill up a small pool either inside or outside of the main auditorium. Those who want to be water baptised and have their parent’s permission are asked, one by one to stand in the pool in front of friends, family and the congregation. The Pastor will submerge the person under the water for a moment and help them back up again. Those gathered usually cheer, clap and celebrate this symbolic act before taking a minute to pray for the person.
At Empower Church, we try not to complicate things. We like keeping the message of Jesus and the Christian life simple. And so we define water baptism as a natural, symbolic act that represents an unseen and spiritual decision someone has made – namely, to become a follower of Jesus. It functions as a public confession of a person’s faith and we believe it is an important and powerful part of the Christian life.
In the Bible in Romans 6:3-5, we are shown what each part in the act of baptism means. When a person is submerged in the water of baptism, it represents that their previous life, before knowing Jesus, is being washed away. To speak figuratively, our previous life has ‘died’, just like Jesus did. When a person comes back out of the water, it represents that the person has now been given a new life, a new beginning, just like Jesus when He was resurrected.
It is important for the person being baptised that they understand their decision. It’s not something to be taken lightly, but should be thought deeply about and (in the case of a child) must come with parental consent.
Put simply, no. At Empower Church, baptism is about an individual’s commitment to Jesus, rather than a commitment to a specific church congregation. As mentioned, it is a public confession to the Church about an internal decision that someone has made. Unlike someone becoming a ‘Roman Catholic’ or ‘Anglican’, they will not become a ‘Empowerian’ – pun intended!
In other Christian traditions, parents are encouraged to baptise their children as infants. At Empower we tend to take a slightly different approach. We hold to baptism as being the result of a person’s own decision to be a follower of Jesus. Naturally, this decision cannot be made by an individual when they are an infant. Therefore, if a child has been baptised as an infant, we are more than happy to baptise them again if they are at an age of understanding and can make the decision for themselves.
Am I welcome to watch a loved one be water baptised, even if I am not a believer?
Yes! We love it when parents, friends and relatives are supportive of their someone’s personal faith decisions. People are always welcome, whether they themselves believe or not. For parents, it is a great opportunity to see what your child has been going to and to meet the people that they have been connecting with at Empower Church.
Empower Church actively encourages children and teenagers to discuss their desire to be water baptised with their parents or guardians. As such we require that people under the age of 18 show written permission before we allow them to be baptised. To download a copy of the permission slip, click here.
If you have any questions or would just like to chat to someone about water baptism, please feel free to contact the Empower Church office via email or landline.
Email – email@example.com
Phone – 07 5438 0882