Sun is out. Weather is warm. That means it’s time for baptisms at Ignition Church! I hope you’ll make plans to join us this weekend as we celebrate the new thing Jesus is doing in His church! Even if you don’t know the people being baptized, I still want you to be there. Hearing their stories is always so encouraging…
It can remind you that you’re not alone in your struggles. It can lift your perspective to see that God is still alive and active today. It’s the good news of the Gospel in living color – and we all enjoy receiving some good news!
We go all out in celebrating baptisms at Ignition because it doesn’t get any bigger than this.
This is our scorecard – the only one Jesus gave His church, “go and make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” This is the Super Bowl, the Finals, the Grand Slam, the Grammy’s…you get the point. This is what counts.
And we intentionally design our baptism celebration to clarify what Jesus meant when he said “go and make disciples, baptizing them…” There’s a little word in there – disciple – that Jesus attached to baptism. Simply put it means living, loving, and looking like Jesus. Baptism is not just a formality or odd church tradition where babies get sprinkled in dresses and baptists don their swim trunks under robes, it is designed to put disciples making disciples on display.
Over time, what disciple and make disciples means have gotten pretty mucked up. To save you the history lesson, I’ll just put it like this: The bar of disciple has been lowered to praying a prayer and sitting in a seat on Sunday, while the bar of making disciples has been raised to preaching sermons, teaching classes, completing curriculums.
Make sense? The world points their finger at the church and calls us a bunch of hypocrites – people who just sit in seats and hear about Jesus but don’t live or love like Him. And the people in the church just sit there and feel unqualified because they don’t know enough or aren’t gifted enough to teach or preach. The system is broken! The bars are set in all the wrong places!
When Jesus said what has become known as The Great Commission, “go and make disciples,” the bar positions were the exact opposite. Disciple meant follow me as your Master in order to become like me. And making disciples meant inviting your neighbor to follow you as you follow Jesus. See, most of the twelve disciples couldn’t read and all of them had failed out of the rabbinical school, so they couldn’t complete curriculums or teach.
When we celebrate baptisms, we are resetting the bar.
Those who are being baptized are baptized not by a church professional, but by the person who invited them to follow them as they follow Jesus. Thereby lowering the bar of making disciples to where Jesus set it – share your life with those around you. And inherent in the invitation to be baptized is the understanding that you can and will baptize others as you invite them to follow you as you follow Jesus, thereby raising the bar of what it means to be a disciple.
This is how we change the world. How we “fulfill the Great Commission” and put points on the scorecard. By empowering every person in their everyday. Not everyone is gifted to sing or preach or teach (chances are your network doesn’t want you to sing or preach at them) but that doesn’t mean Jesus can’t work in and through your life!
You were meant for this! To play in the Finals, to win a Grammy. To follow Jesus and lead others to follow Him. To be a disciple.
If that seems a lofty concept, too great to be true, then I challenge you, come and witness the extraordinary thing Jesus is doing in these ordinary people’s lives.
See you this Sunday!