This past week Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC started a series called “Follow.” Before I get into this post I just want to say I have benefited from the ministries of Elevation Church via Elevation Worship and the preaching/teaching of their lead pastor Steven Furtick. The more I listen to Steven Furticks preaching the more I see a man who has a passion for God’s Word and a passion to see people come to Jesus. He truly is a role model and a Christian leader I look up to. His church is doing awesome things in the city of Charlotte and this past week as they started their new series they did “spontaneous baptisms.” Basically, the challenge is to follow Christ and Steven Furtick asked people to decided to follow Jesus and on the spot get baptized. I absolutely love this! Before I go on watch this video that was on Steven Furticks blog showing what took place this past week. Be encouraged as you see people decided to follow Jesus!
There are two things I love about this video and about the “spontaneous baptisms” they are doing at Elevation Church. First, it is sad that baptism has fallen on hard times in our culture. Baptism is sadly not preached and taught as much as it should be. If you read in the Bible you will see that baptism is an outward act displaying an inward reality. It is a way to show others Christ has saved you and you are now identifying with Him in His death, burial, and resurrection and will follow Him the rest of your life. I am encouraged to see Elevation Church clearly teaching baptism Biblically and making it a huge deal because it should be! Secondly, I like the fact they are doing “spontaneous” baptisms. It seems that most churches today have baptism classes and things you have to go through before you get baptized. I am not against that, but is that really following the model the Bible gives us. In the book of Acts we see that when someone accepted Christ they were immediately baptized. In Acts 8:35-38 we see that Phillip shared the Gospel with Ethiopian eunuch and the man asked “what prevents me from being baptized?” Phillip responded and said that he had to be saved first. Then the next verse records Phillip baptizing the man. We do not see a class or a few sessions taking place here, we see someone getting baptized as soon as they accept Jesus. I am not against baptism classes, honestly I would probably do them, but I do think we need to remember all that needs to be done before someone is baptized is them accepting Jesus.
My goal in this blog is not to stir up controversy about baptism. It is an important doctrine that needs to be protected and uplifted in our church today. I regret that I waited so long after my salvation to get baptized, but we need to encourage people to take the “first step of obedience” as soon as they are saved. I hope you are encouraged by the video and what Elevation Church is doing for God’s kingdom. You can read more about the baptisms and series on Steven Furticks blog here.
Steven Furtick and Elevation have put together a kit that gives your church everything they need to do “spontaneous baptisms.” You can find that here.