A high school student was recently baptized by immersion at our CRC church. A galvanized steel horse trough held the water, which the church custodian had labored before the service to fill with just the right mix of hot and cold. The young man, wearing running shorts and a T-shirt, climbed into the tank and sat down. On the first dunk the top of his head remained above water, so the pastor dunked him a second time for “complete coverage.” As he climbed out of the tank, the congregation spontaneously broke into loud applause. It was a joyous, moving occasion.
Another high schooler, who had been baptized as an infant, was deeply moved by this immersion baptism. She told her dad that she wanted to be baptized like that. She wanted a baptism that she could truly remember, rather than just imagine.
Some friends and I we were talking about this, and we wondered how profession of faith might become more of a five-senses experience and less of a public speaking engagement. Short of rebaptizing a person, what rituals and practices might add even deeper meaning to this tradition?
Would it, for example, be possible for a pastor to scoop a handful of water out of the baptism font and pour it over the head of a person making profession of faith while saying, “Remember your baptism?” (Or would that be considered rebaptism?)
Alternatively, would it be possible for persons making profession of faith to cup the waters of the baptism font in their hands as the pastor prays that they will use those hands to serve Jesus every day of their lives?
Churches are doing many creative things to make a person’s profession of faith a day to remember. Faith Formation Ministries (FFM) has gathered dozens of those ideas in the Professing Our Faith online toolkit. This helpful resource (and other toolkits like it) is available to your church free of charge—your ministry shares at work!
What profession of faith practices has your church developed? How are you encouraging people of all ages to profess their faith in Jesus Christ? Comment here or email FFM at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can add your ideas to the toolkit and share them with other CRC churches.