How do You Baptize?

All ministers should give deep thought and practice to be able to baptize more attractively, beautifully, and more pleasantly in the sight of God and man.

Harold R. Turner, Evangelist Coordinator, North Pacific Union

 


Every working member of God's church loves to see and hear of people being baptized into the full gospel! This is the high light of every Seventh-day Adventist minister and lay member.

However, the mode of baptism is some­times very displeasing and distasteful. All ministers should give deep thought and practice to be able to baptize more at­tractively, beautifully, and more pleas­antly in the sight of God and man.

Some ministers have had the privilege of learning better methods in burying their candidates in this rite, so that there will be no splashing of water nor strug­gling of their candidates. To do this in a pleasant way, one first needs proper in­structions along with practice.

During the Christ Our Hope evangel­istic series, under the direction of the Mit­tleider-Liu team, I had the privilege and opportunity to instruct and demonstrate to the ministers of the Portland area and to those of other fields a method of bap­tism that results in a smooth performance to the glory of God.

I do not wish to take any credit for this mode of baptism. During my years of min­istry in Trans- and South Africa, I learned this from a British minister, M. C. Mur­doch, who was then pastor of Johannes­burg Central Seventh-day 'Adventist church.

Here is the method: Always fully instruct your candidates to have faith in God that He will use you as a minister to per­form this sacred and lovely ceremony in a becoming way. By requesting this, you will give confidence to those who are fear­ful of water and they will willingly place themselves in your care.

Next, teach them the way you wish them to place their hands. Every minister prefers his own way, but if you have a person who may be somewhat fearful and excitable, it would be well that he place both hands into the hand of the one who is officiating, in order to avoid his grasp­ing hold of anything to prevent him from being fully immersed.

Now, ask the candidate to bend his knees (leaving both feet on the floor of the baptismal font) and lean completely back against the minister's hand, which is placed in the middle of the back just be­low the shoulders. The minister must slowly recline the back until the candi­date's head touches the water—then pause for a moment, remembering the water will buoy up the dear soul and you won't have to put forth any effort to hold him up out of the water. Step so that your body is opposite the candidate's head, place a cloth over his mouth and nose, then gently slide him in the water and lift him back up graciously. Just as soon as the nose and mouth of the candidate are out of the water, be sure you release the cloth so he can breathe. After he is upright, dry his face gracefully, speaking appropriate words of cheer.

I have also found it best to instruct the one who is in charge of pulling the cur­tains not to be hasty in closing them—at least wait until the candidate turns to leave the baptistry. Moreover, the sound engineer should also be advised to turn down the volume on the public-address system.

Surely all ministers believe it is best to practice for the communion service. So may we also suggest you do the same for baptism. We suggest you take your wife or a number of ministers to a swimming pool or some suitable place to practice.

It is always proper to thank God for souls who have been baptized, but von will find it is with greater praise to God, and much more pleasing to all, when you give more attention to how you baptize.

May God bless you as you perform this very sacred act.


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Harold R. Turner, Evangelist Coordinator, North Pacific Union

 


August 1968

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