Baptism & Membership
If you have any questions about Baptism or Membership, please click here to email Pastor Matt.
So you want to be baptized?
First things first: that’s awesome! For the last 2,000 years baptism has been a defining marker of being part of the community of Jesus followers! By taking this step you are putting yourself in the midst of that incredible story of redemption and renewal that God is writing in history. So to say we’re excited that you’re considering this step is quite an understatement.
This document is meant to give you a high-level overview of our church’s baptism process and set you off in the right direction. Our hope is to make this as rich an experience as we can!
Share your Story: To get the process kicked off, we want to take you out for coffee! No seriously (unless you don’t like coffee, in which case we can stretch the rules and let you order a different beverage). A council member, or member of our staff team, will connect with you to get to know you better, hear a little about your faith journey, and hear your heart around being baptized. If you have a preferred pastor or council member, maybe someone you already have a relationship with, we welcome you connecting with that person for this part of the process. Don’t worry, the rest of us won’t take it personally. If you don’t know any of the staff or council members well enough to make a specific request, no worries. We’ll be more than happy to pair you up with someone awesome! Coming out of that meeting, that individual will then recommend you to church leadership for baptism, or may suggest other growth steps for you before entering the baptism process.
Once that discernment has taken place, there are seven steps we want to journey through together with you:
- Select A Mentor: After you have been discerned for baptism, we want to encourage you to find a mentor for the duration of this process. This would be a current member of our church who is a little further along in their faith journey than you and would be willing to walk with you as you prepare for baptism. Their commitment would be to pray for you throughout the process, attend the various classes and meetings with you as they are able, and to be available to talk with you about the process and your journey through it.
- Fill out the application form: Once you've been discerned for baptism, click here to fill out the application form.
- Participate in a Baptism Class: Baptism isn’t just about jumping into the tank. Baptism is a deeply significant and rich sign in the Christian faith. We think it matters that when being baptized, you have a good understanding of what you’re doing and declaring. The purpose of this class is to help you, as a baptismal candidate, more fully understand the significance of this step you are taking.
- Participate in a Membership Class: The bible doesn’t conceive of the notion of a solo Jesus follower, and neither do we! When you say “yes” to following Jesus you are saying “yes” to being part of the community of Jesus followers. The two are inseparable; they go together like peanut butter and jelly. This class will help you understand more about what it means to live as a committed part of Jesus’ church.
- Participate in a Christianity 101 Class: Baptism is not a “one and done” event. It’s simply a signpost that is part of a much larger, lifelong process, that we call discipleship. Don’t just take our word for it; that’s what Jesus meant baptism to be! In Matthew 28:19 Jesus was clear that those who would follow after him would make a practice of baptizing disciples! Baptism isn’t the goal; discipleship is, and baptism plays a role in that process. So in order to help make baptism part of that discipleship journey, we will invite your participation in a four session class which covers some of the important, foundational tenets of the Christian faith.
- Meet with the Deacons: The deacons are a group of people in our church who help give leadership in providing pastoral care, both for people within, and outside, the walls of our church. Part of their caring mandate is to come alongside you as a baptismal candidate; to hear your testimony, to encourage you, and pray for you. Think of them as our church’s official welcoming committee as you approach the date for your baptism.
- The Celebration: Of course, all of this activity surrounds our public celebration in which you will be baptized and officially enter the membership of our church. We schedule a number of those celebrations throughout the course of the year and look forward to you participating in one of those dates that suits you. All the details for what needs to be done in preparation for that event are talked about as you engage in the process outlined above. So don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Sound good? We sure hope so.
So now what? Now you get that free cup of coffee! Email Pastor Matt at email@example.com to let him know that you want to be baptized and he’ll help you get underway!
Did we mention we’re excited about this? We are!
If you are 13 and under and wish to be baptized - please complete the Believer Baptism Worksheet for Children and Youth before submitting your baptism application.
Living as a Christ-follower was never designed to be a solo experience. As different parts of a physical body need each other, so we need each other as well. Committing to one particular community of faith gives us the opportunity to be known and know others, to be cared for and care for others, to be served and serve others. We are blessed by your desire to join our faith community at South Abbotsford Church. We anticipate God’s blessing as together we enthusiastically commit ourselves to encourage an atmosphere of belonging and connectedness in our church family. We also desire that you have the conviction that God has called you and God wants you to serve Him through the ministries at South Abbotsford Church. (2 Corinthians 5:14-21)
For those seeking membership at South Abbotsford Church, it is a requirement to be baptized as a believer, even if baptized as an infant. For more information about the MB Confession of Faith – please click here.
If you wish to become a member, click here to fill out the form.