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How to Do Student Baptisms from Start to Finish

My friend AC was just licensed as a minister and asked me to walk him through our baptism process since it is his 1st baptism this weekend. Going to be great! Here’s what I sent him:

Fill out a baptism card

Before every baptism service we have cards that students fill out with their basic information, as well as a few questions about their faith and spiritual life. Parent permission is required to be baptized in our high school ministry.

Explain what baptism is

Baptism is a symbol of what God has already done in our hearts. He has made us a new creature, He has washed away our sins. This is only possible through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Baptism doesn’t save you, it is normal water and actually nice and warm on a cold night like this – the water is a picture of the cross (the water and the person form a cross), the death (when the person is put under the water) and the resurrection (when the person is brought back up) of Jesus Christ. Today you are identifying yourself as a follower of Jesus Christ and taking this first step of obedience.

Ask everyone to participate

The baptism isn’t just about one person – it is also a time to celebrate and commit to walking alongside them in community as well. We have several traditions in HSM, one being that we all cheer (and join with the rejoicing in Heaven) when someone comes up out of the water. We also take a moment to pray for the person being baptized as well.

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Josh Griffin is high school pastor at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA. He’s the co-counder of DownloadYouthMinistry.com and host of the Youth Ministry Garage Podcast. He's authored more than 20 youth ministry resources and is the author of "99 Thoughts for Small Group Leaders" with Doug Fields. Josh is a father of 4 who speaks a little, podcasts a little, Twitters a bit, and blogs a lot. You can find him at DownloadYouthMinistry.com!