Posted by: southcentralsec | December 16, 2009

Evangelism Sunday Materials Ready to Go

This year’s Evangelism Sunday materials center attention on the blessings of baptism.  The focus is a special worship service where those who have been baptized are reminded of what baptism means for them.  Additionally, congregations are encouraged to use Baptism Sunday as an opportunity to offer baptism to people in their community who desire it.  Read the article “Let’s Have A Baptism Sunday” to learn how one WELS congregation did this (see below).

“LET’S HAVE A BAPTISM SUNDAY!”

It was just an idea.  At an open forum someone suggested that we have a “Baptism Sunday.”  This person proposed that we hold a special worship service where those who have been baptized would be reminded of what baptism means for them and baptism would be offered to anyone in the community who desired it.

Although a simple idea, the suggestion of having a Baptism Sunday raised many questions.  Would anyone respond to our offer?  If someone did respond, how would we prepare adults who desired baptism?  What if someone just showed up and asked to be baptized?  What kind of worship service would we have?  What would we ask of any parents who might bring their children to be baptized?

With prayer we carried out our plans for a Baptism Sunday.  And we got 11 requests for baptism from non-members.  We baptized nine in our Baptism Sunday worship service.  Six children ranging in ages from infant through age four and three adults received the cleansing water of Holy Baptism on that day.

How did we do it?  After we picked the date for our Baptism Sunday, I began to speak to our prospects about it.  I would simply say, “Did you hear?  Our church is having a Baptism Sunday?”  We also ran a public service announcement in several local papers, which brought us requests for baptism from the parents of three children and one adult.  The members of our congregation began to tell their friends and relatives as well.  The word spread and within a few weeks our list of requests for baptism doubled and tripled.  Since these were all non-members, I went over a basic Bible study on baptism with all of them.  To the parents who requested baptism for their children, I also stressed the fact that baptism was just the beginning.  I reminded them that God has given them the responsibility to raise their children in his Word.

The follow-up continues.  We have one family in Adult Instruction Class.  Some of those who were baptized have been back to attend worship.  All of the children who were baptized have been added to our cradle roll and will receive regular invitations to Sunday school and Vacation Bible School.

“Let’s have a baptism Sunday!”  What an idea!  What a result!  Give thanks to God with us!

Pastor Mike Otterstatter

Here are the resources:

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