Why do we baptize? What does it mean? Who is a candidate? What does the Bible say about it? What steps do I take if I want to be baptized?
We practice two ordinances: the Lord’s Supper (or Communion) and Baptism. What is an “ordinance”? Good question! It’s a religious practice which we believe Jesus endorsed for us to do, right on through the centuries since He was on earth. (Matthew 28:19) We baptize by immersion, which means the baptismal candidate is submerged very briefly during the occasion. We have a baptismal tank in the sanctuary which is where our baptisms usually take place.
Baptism is an outward and tangible, public witness to a previous decision we have made to commit our life to Christ. (Acts 8:12-13; Acts 2:41).
BUT WHY DO SUCH A THING IN THIS MODERN DAY?
FIRST, it has great symbolism. It is symbolic of the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. It is also symbolic of a spiritual surrender of one’s life to the will of God and His work in our lives. (Read Romans 6:3-5 and Colossians 2:12).
SECONDLY, it is a means of identifying your life with the Church of Jesus Christ, and the importance of the Christian life itself. (Luke 3:21-22 and Acts 2:41).
WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO BE BAPTISED?
Any person who has made a conscious decision in their life to follow Christ, or be committed to Christ, is a candidate for baptism.
At Wittenburg Baptist we value children. We see that modeled in the life of Jesus Christ and it is one of our core beliefs to value children, to be committed to the family and to strengthen our society by building a strong foundation of faith in children’s lives.
It is our tradition at WBC for parents to present their children to God and to dedicate themselves to raising their children in the knowledge of Jesus Christ and within the fellowship of the church. Our prayer then would be that as children grow in faith and in the knowledge of Christ at some point in their lives, when they understand their need to make a personal commitment to Christ, they would do that and eventually make a public declaration of their faith by being baptized.
Child dedication services are important events and in fact serve as a covenant between parents and children as well as a covenant between parents and the congregation. Parents are committing to regularly attend and be involved in the life of the church family and to raise their children in the church in the knowledge of God and the importance of a relationship with Jesus Christ. Likewise the congregation makes a covenant as well. The church family commits to praying for children and their parents, supporting programs for kids and assisting however they can in the growth and spiritual development of these young and precious lives.
Child dedications services are held when needed at WBC. They are held during a Sunday morning service. During the service the family is asked to come to the front and to respond together to a number of questions by making a covenant before the congregation and God.
Why Consider Becoming a Member?
Wittenburg Baptist (WBC) is a place to search out the reality and significance of the spiritual life. We believe passionately in Jesus Christ; that He leads us to a full understanding of life with God. Many people who attend WBC find this church is a good place to think through spiritual issues and make decisions. We welcome all questions as relevant and all doubts as sincere. We support one another. We are committed to listening to each other’s spiritual concerns and prepared to give answers to the best of our ability, according to the teachings of the Bible.
One can be engaged at WBC and not become a member. It is up to the individual to determine his or her particular relationship to the church community. However, we make no apologies for encouraging people to become members of WBC.
Membership, or identification with a local body of believers, allows us to publicly declare that we are prepared to identify with these particular people in belief and lifestyle. It puts feet on the gospel by saying that individual pursuits are now placed in a community setting. Community life is a core value for the New Testament and is cherished by all who become believers.
WBC offers Membership Classes on a regular basis. The purpose of the class is not to fulfill a set of requirements but to reflect on our Christian experience and look at the practice of the Christian life. Participation in a Membership Class does not commit you to become a member of WBC; our goal is to embrace each other on a common journey and to affirm each other in our Christian walk. When you choose to become a member plans are made to make that commitment clear to the congregation at large because membership is something to be thankful for and to celebrate. We also accept members by transfer from another church based on their Christian conversion, Christian experience & believer’s baptism.