Take your next step in following Jesus
“And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptised and wash your sins away, calling on his name.” Acts 22:16
What is baptism?
Baptism is an outward sign of the inward change Jesus promises to those who come to him. Water baptism is the outward sign of these inward spiritual realities. It’s a like a wedding ring: a ring it doesn’t make you married, rather it a sign that you are bound to another. So too, baptism doesn’t make you a Christian, rather it’s a sign that you belong to Jesus.
Who should get baptised?
We would love to see you get baptised at Vine Church. They are always a high point of celebration in church life because in it we see God at work.
If you’ve made a commitment to Jesus, we encourage you to get baptised a sign that you belong to Jesus.
If you haven’t made a commitment to Jesus, we would encourage you to first explore who Jesus is and work out where you stand with him. Water baptism is not magic. It does not make you right with God. Only Jesus can make you right with God when you put your trust in him and repent of your sin.
If you are a Christian parent, we would encourage you to get your child baptised as a sign they belong to Jesus.
Baptisms and Dedications for Children
Over the past 2000 years, the majority of Christians have baptised their kids. Although there is no verse in the Bible that tells us we ought to baptise our children, there are a number of reasons to do so:
- We see entire households baptised in the book of Acts when they first believe the gospel (Acts 16:15; 16:33, 18:8).
- Children were baptised into Moses in the Old Testament, so it seems natural that they would be baptised into Jesus in the New Testament (1 Corinthians 10:2).
- Jesus himself said, “Let the little children come to me, for to such belong the kingdom of God.” (Matt 19:14)
Our Lead Pastor, Toby Neal, shares what convinced him of Infant Baptism explaining:
“When I was wrestling with this issue a number of years ago, what convinced me was reflecting on who I believed my children to be. I do not believe they are unbelievers but genuine Christians. From the beginning of their lives we have taught them that God is their Father, Jesus is their Saviour, and that the Holy Spirit lives in them. I realised that if I believe they are Christians, then they too can be baptised.”
It’s for this reason we encourage parents to baptise their kids.
You can read more about the promises you make at you child’s baptism here.
A good friend of Vine Church, Andrew Heard, spoke to his church about the reasons for infant baptism. If you are thinking thinking this through, it would be helpful to watch his talk or read his article.
If you are not a follower of Jesus or you are not currently a regular member of Vine Church we do not feel comfortable with baptising your child as it is inconsistent with the promises you are making on their behalf.
Infant Dedication and Thanksgiving
While we encourage Christian parents to baptise their children, we recognise that infant baptism is a disputable matter among Christians. Driven by the Bible, many Christians believe that only those who can articulate their faith in Jesus should be baptised. While we are convinced otherwise, we seek to respect the conscience of each parent in our church and offer baptism or dedication depending on their convictions.
The first and most important thing to do with a new born child is give thanks to God for His miraculous gift. It is amazing. The second most important thing to do is to nurture their faith in the Lord who gave them life. In a dedication service, we give thanks to God, we commit publicly to the duties or raising our children as disciples of Jesus, and we pray for God’s blessing to be upon them.
You can read more about the promises you make in a dedication service here.
Although it can be daunting standing up in front of church baptising or dedicating your kids, it is a wonderful part of our church life because it testifies to our trust in God and our desire that our kids grow up first and foremost as disciples of Jesus (not as CEOs, artists, doctors, or sportsmen and women).
Ready to get baptised?
We are here to help you take your next step in following Jesus!
Get in touch to find out what baptism might look like for you.
For you were buried with Christ when you were baptised. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead. — Colossians 2:12
Frequently Asked Questions about Baptism and Thanksgiving
Water baptism and public dedications don’t save our children. These are moments we come before the Lord to lay claim to his promise to save our kids.
If, for whatever reason, you missed the opportunity to baptise your kids when they were young, that’s ok. Entrust them to God and encourage them to consider being baptised themselves as they grow into their faith. There is no right age to baptise or to give thanks to God. So talk to your kids about this, and consider baptising or dedicating them now.
We hope this has helped you consider the opportunities before you and to take seriously your role in nurturing your child’s faith. Please get in touch if you’d like to discuss this further or you’d like to set a date to baptise or dedicate your kids.
Sorry we do not. In the baptism service, the church makes promises to encourage the parents and children in raising them as believers. It is impossible for us to make this promise if your family is not connected to our church.
For parents who do not wish to have their children baptised but would still like to give thanks publicly for the gift of their child and dedicate themselves to raising their children to follow Jesus we offer a thanksgiving service. If this is you, please get in contact via the baptism form above. See above for more information on this webpage.
Some people who were baptised as a child but have recently become a Christian want to get rebaptised now that it actually means something to them. While we understand the desire, you really don’t need to get rebaptised. Your first baptism was a real sign of the new life you have just experienced by trusting in Jesus. Nevertheless, if you’d really like to get rebaptised, we are happy to celebrate the life God has given you again.