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Experience has taught us that proper planning and preparation makes for a God-honouring baptismal service. To make your baptism both memorable to you and a clear display of the gospel, consider the following suggestions, observations, and guidelines concerning your coming baptism.

1. You should have completed the lesson on baptism (the ordinances) in the Basics of Church Membership material. Speak to the elder assigned to the baptism if you have questions or want to review this lesson ahead of your baptism.

2. You should have completed the lesson on the church covenant in the Basics of Church Membership material.

3. You should have had a membership interview with an elder. If you have not yet done that, please speak to one of the elders to arrange a membership interview.

4. You should have signed a church covenant prior to baptism. If you have not yet done so, ask one of the elders to give you a covenant to sign. You will need to have returned the signed covenant before your baptism.

5. On the first week that your name appears in the bulletin for membership, you will be asked to offer a brief biography of yourself and/or your family. That Sunday night, the elder leading the prayer meeting will “introduce” you to the church as a member applicant.

6. At your baptism, you will be asked to give your testimony of salvation to the congregation. The elder baptising you will want to view this before your baptism. Please put your testimony in writing and get it to the elder conducting the baptism at least the week before your baptism. If you are too nervous on the day, the elder will read your testimony for you, but we strongly encourage you to do it yourself. When giving your testimony, please speak into the microphone provided so that the congregation can hear you. Your testimony should include some basic information about the circumstances of your salvation, an acknowledgement that you have repented of your sins and received the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, recognition that baptism is an act of public identification with Christ, and an affirmation that you desire to follow him in a life of consistent obedience.

7. On the day of your baptism, during the closing hymn after the sermon, baptismal candidates will make their way behind the stage. Taking your bag with you. Women may get changed in the first room and men in the second room backstage. If there are many baptismal candidates, the basement may be used as an additional change room. The person who discipled you may go backstage with you to hold your towel. (Arrange this with them ahead of time.) Get changed into your baptismal clothes quickly and then line up in the passageway.

8. The elder performing the baptism will tell you in which order he will call you and then he will go out into the water. When he calls your name then give your towel to your discipler or place it on the floor by the pool. Enter the water carefully, since the stairs can be slippery. The pastor will offer his hand to support you as you enter the water. The water is kept at lukewarm so do not worry about the cold.

9. The elder will say a few words before inviting you to give your testimony. Speak clearly into the microphone.

10. After you have given your testimony to the congregation, the elder conducting the baptism will ask you to confirm that, through baptism, you wish to be brought into formal membership with the church, and to thereby assume all the privileges and responsibilities accorded to a church member, as outlined in the church covenant. Once you have affirmed this desire, the elder will ask the church to affirm your membership before baptising you. The baptising pastor will instruct you where to stand and which way to face. He will ask you to clasp your hands tightly in front of you as if you are praying. He will put his one hand behind your back and will cover your mouth and nose with the other hand. You may want to hold onto his arm in front of you to help him when he pulls you up. He will say a few words and will dip you completely under the water for just a second and then raise you up.

11. As the pastor brings you up stand up as quickly as possible. If you feel faint or weak, tell him and rest for a minute. Once you are steady, exit the pool carefully. Keep a firm footing so that you do not slip on the slick steps. Do not try to towel off while you are standing next to the pool. Go immediately to the change room (don’t worry about the carpet), remove your wet clothes, and dry off. Get dressed as quickly as possible and make your way back into the congregation where you will no doubt find people wanting to greet and congratulate you.

12. Remember to invite your family to the service well ahead of time, but if they do not desire to come then do not force the issue. You may ask someone to take a few photographs or a video discreetly if you wish. Please ask them not to interrupt proceedings.

13. This is what you need to bring with you to the service:

Dark colour, non-see-through clothing. Women may wear one of the church’s baptismal gowns, if they prefer.
A towel.
A plastic bag to put your wet clothing in.
A comb or hairbrush and any other toiletries you may need.
Your written testimony.

If you have any more questions please speak to one of the pastors as soon as possible.