Baptism is a big part of who we are—and not just because it’s in our name. We believe that baptism is ground zero for an obedient, faithful life of following Jesus.

If you know Jesus as your saviour, but have not yet been baptized, we’d love to help make it happen. Here’s what the process looks like at Emmanuel:

1. Understanding What It's All About

Start by reading, watching or listening to the following three messages, which will help you review what baptism is and how it connects to the gospel.

This has been a rich morning so far. We’ve sung together, celebrated the Lord’s table together, and then soon, we’re going to watch 5 people get baptized. I thought that…

There is nothing we can do to earn this salvation. Jesus earned it for us, freely paying for it all in our place, and God offers it to us as a free gift. All we “do” is let go of our idols and treasured sins, and reach up to receive this gift with empty hands, trusting in Jesus and all that He has done. The Bible calls this response “repentance” and “faith,” and it is a work of God in our hearts. Because Jesus is king, and because He sends His Holy Spirit to fill and empower His people, trusting in Him will always result in a transformed life.

What does the Great Commission have to do with the church?

2. Getting in Touch

Talk to one of the elders, or send a note to the church office to let us know you’re interested in being baptized. We’ll have a conversation with you and, if there’s no reason to pause, we’ll work on picking a date.

3. Preparing Your Testimony

When people are baptized at Emmanuel, we look forward to hearing their testimony. Please know that this doesn’t require having an impressive “zinger” of a testimony. There’s no such thing as a boring testimony when we remember that all of our stories are essentially the same: the son of God became a man to die in our place, and His Holy Spirit has caused us to be born again in Him.

And that’s really the point of a baptismal testimony: simply showing the congregation that you understand the gospel, have believed it for yourself, and that your life shows the evidence of having been born again. As you prepare a testimony, we encourage you to aim for 5 minutes or less, and to include these pieces of information:

  • A brief introduction of you and where you are from (if new to Emmanuel)
  • Briefly share how you came to believe the gospel for yourself. This part should demonstrate that you understand what the gospel is. For example, “I came to believe that Jesus died on the cross for my sins when…”
  • Share some evidence from your life today that you have been born again. (i.e. “in the past year God has given me a desire to know Him more and has been helping me obey and follow Him…”)
  • State why you’d like to be baptized

Please send us a copy of your testimony a couple of weeks before the baptism, or as soon as possible thereafter.

4. The Day of Your Baptism

You’ll need two sets of clothes. You can either wear one set of clothes to church, change into your baptismal clothes before you are baptized, then change back into your other set after you are baptized, or you can come to church already wearing the clothes you are going to baptized in, then change into your second set after you are baptized.

The clothes you wear for your baptism should be selected with care.

  • Avoid wearing jeans if at all possible. (They get very heavy and restrict movement when wet). Man-made fabrics (polyester, nylon) allow the water to drain quickly, don’t cling quite as much, and allow better movement.
  • Don’t wear a t-shirt, low-cut shirt or dress, tight-fitting shirt or pants— baggy is better. A sweatshirt is a good option. Wear darker coloured clothing.
  • Undergarments need to be worn. All undergarments should be skin tone or white in colour.

Other details for the day of the baptism:

  • Leave your towels and clothes in the bathroom for easy access after you have been baptized.
  • Bring a plastic bag to take your wet clothes home in.
  • Bring two towels- one to dry yourself and one to stand on in the washroom (so you do’t slip and the floor doesn’t get too set.)
  • Plan to meet with the pastor performing the baptism 15 or so minutes before the service starts.

When it comes time to be baptized, you’ll step into the tank, and share your testimony with the congregation. Then you’ll be asked three questions:

  1. Do you believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and are you now trusting in Him alone for the forgiveness of your sins and the fulfillment of all God’s promises to you, even eternal life?
  2. Do you forsake Satan and all his works and all his ways?
  3. Do you intend with God’s help to obey Jesus’ teaching and follow him as your Lord?

Then the pastor performing the baptism will immerse you under the water, bring you up again, and then pray for you. Then you’ll leave the tank to get changed into dry clothes, and re-join the service.

Posted by Chris Hutchison