"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit..." - Matthew 28:19
At Harvest, we believe that Christian baptism is a public declaration of and identification with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection, signified by immersion in water.
Harvest offers a baptism class that explains the basics of baptism and gives an opportunity to ask questions in the larger group as well as individually with a pastor. If you want to proceed and be baptized after the class, you will be informed of the next steps as well. Childcare is provided for birth-5th grade if you want to attend the class. See below for the dates when these classes are offered, and for which campus.
Baptism is an outward symbol of the inner transformation that took place when you gave your life to Jesus Christ through faith. It’s a picture of your salvation and a statement or outward sign that identifies you as a follower of Jesus Christ and no one else (Acts 10:48, Gal. 3:27).
THERE ARE FOUR REASONS TO BE BAPTIZED:
- Jesus was (Mk. 1:9)
- Jesus commands that we should (Mt. 28:19-20)
- The apostles taught it (Acts 2:38)
- The early church practiced it (Acts 2:41, 8:12)
Baptism is not required for salvation—we are saved by grace through faith, not works (Eph. 2:8-9). But it is a part of growing in your walk with Christ, just like learning the Scriptures (Mt. 28:19-20).
If baptism is a symbol of your unity with Christ, your release from the grip of sin, your cleansing from sin, and your new life in Christ … then it’s meaningful only for believers.
SOME COMMON OBJECTIONS
"I don't think I'm ready"
If you have received Christ and want to follow Him, there's nothing left to do. You're ready as soon as you know you have a responsibility to fulfill before God, and understand what you're doing.
"I have some areas in my life that I want to see changed."
In every case of baptism recorded in the Bible, it seems people were baptized first before they had a chance to get their lives in order. God will bless your obedience by giving you the strength to change in other areas.
"I'm fearful of water."
Peter sank when he took his eyes off the Master. Put all your fears in God's hands. He will take care of you. No one has drowned while being baptized! Read Matthew 14:28-33. If Christ expected Peter to take such a step of faith, what do you think He requires of you?
- After committing your life to Christ by accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Again, the example in the Bible is faith (belief), then baptism,
- As soon as you understand what you’re doing and appreciate the significance of the event, and
- When you’re capable of giving a believable, public profession of faith (Acts 8:34-38).
For children, the timing varies from child to child based on their understanding, ability to give a credible testimony, and maturity. We think it’s best that they wait at least until 6th grade. To rush it could give a child a false sense of security and risk diminishing its impact in their life. There’s much lifelong joy and strengthening of faith with a vivid memory of baptism.
Child dedications happen a couple times a year at Harvest. If you have a child you are considering dedicating, learn more here.
First, you give a brief testimony of your life before Christ, how you came to Christ, and how He’s changed you. You don’t have to be a polished speaker, just overflowing with the love of God and a desire to glorify Him.
Second, you’re immersed—you’re laid back under the water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Third, you rejoice!
ASSUMING YOU'VE EMBRACED JESUS AS YOUR SAVIOR AND LORD:
- Set your fears aside (ask God to help you).
- Sign up for our next baptism class.
- Complete a Baptism Application (link above).
- Baptisms will take place on varying weekends during regular service times.
- Pray that God will be glorified in your baptism.
- Then publicly proclaim your allegiance to Christ on the day of your baptism!