Frequently Asked Questions about Baptism
How can I learn more about baptism and what it means?
- We recommend you download the pamphlet linked below that includes information sure to help you understand the purpose and significance of baptism as we understand it here at Crosswinds.
- The pamphlet is brief. If you have more questions or would like to meet with someone to discuss your questions regarding baptism, please email Jodie Tey at email@example.com to set up an appointment to talk with Jodie Tey, Pastor of Spiritual Formation.
When and where is the next baptism?
- At Crosswinds, we do something called “rolling baptisms.” This means that whenever we gather a group of 3 or more people (children, students, and adults) who want to be baptized, we put a date on the calendar that works for those involved and we baptize them! Of course, we also announce this date to the congregation just in case there are others who would like to participate.
- Baptisms are held after second service in the courtyard. The baptism tank is located in the courtyard by the grassy knoll.
- After the baptism event, we celebrate in the lobby/courtyard with cake. Those who are being baptized are encouraged to invited friends and family to the event and celebrate with them afterward in the lobby area. That said, everyone who calls Crosswinds their church home is welcome and encouraged to attend the baptism events.
What do I do if I want to be baptized?
- If you are interested in baptism, please download the baptism packet above and review the content to decide if baptism is the next step for you.
- Then contact our office, either by phone: 925-560-3800 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org so you can talk with a pastor about your next steps in preparing for the baptism event.
What is a testimony and how do I prepare one?
At the baptism event, we ask each person to give a brief sharing about why they are deciding to be baptized. This sharing is called a “testimony.” Think of your testimony as a brief story rather than a speech. It is simply a short story about what brought you to the place to decide to be baptized. Some people say a few sentences. Others speak for a few minutes. The choice is yours. You can share whatever is one your heart. We do ask that people keep their stories to 2-3 minutes.
Many people have a fear of public speaking which might prevent them from taking this crucial next step in their spiritual journey. Please do not let the testimony element be a “deal breaker” for you. We can help you and work with you on this. Many people write out their testimonies and read them before they are baptized. This seems to help and alleviate the anxiety of sharing their story.
If you would like help preparing your testimony, please download the document linked below that will guide you through writing your testimony.
Do you ever do “spontaneous” baptisms?
Sometimes during a service, we will open up the baptism event to anyone who wants to participate, even if they have not spoken to a pastor. During these services, many people will just decide on the spot to “go home wet” – they decide during the service that they want to be baptized, though they weren’t planning on it. We love this!
What should I wear/bring on my baptism day?
· Please make sure you wear something that does not become a problem once it gets wet. Men typically wear swim trunks and a shirt. Women typically wear a swimsuit with light-weight shorts & t-shirt over the top. If it is a “spontaneous” baptism day, those who decide to “go home wet” will be baptized in whatever they’re wearing. We do have a supply of shorts and t-shirts in various sizes that people can choose from if wearing their own clothes is not an option.
· When it is your turn to be baptized, we suggest you remove your shoes. Your bare feet offer the best traction on the slick surface.
· Please bring a towel with you and a change of clothes. If you forget your towel or you decide to take part in one of our “spontaneous baptisms” we have extra towels on hand.
· Remember to remove your cell phone, wallet and keys from your pockets! You can leave them with a friend or put them with your belongings if you brought a bag.
What happens on the baptism day?
- There is usually a pre-baptism meeting between first and second service (10:30-11:00 am). During this meeting, one of our pastors will walk people through the logistics of the baptism from start to finish so that there are no surprises at the event. This is also a good time to get last minute questions answered.
- The baptism event itself takes place after second service in the courtyard. Once the third service is over, a countdown clock will display the remaining minutes until the baptism events begins.
Who can baptize me?
Our entire pastoral staff is available to baptize individuals: Carole Taylor, Chris Coli, Kim Bonilla, Jim Matthews, Jodie Tey, Joshua Colburn, Danielle Owens, or Ed Burton. You may also invite your small group leader or important family members/friends to be in the tank with you.
Can my child or infant be baptized?
At CrossWinds, we wait until our children are old enough to believe and understand the true meaning of baptism before we baptize them (typically 7-8 years old). In the Bible, Jesus taught children and prayed for them. But He did not baptize them or command others to baptize them. We believe that children are already under the protection and grace of God until they reach an age when they understand that they are sinners in need of God’s forgiveness. We do conduct child dedications, which is a covenant between the parents and God on behalf of the child. The parents promise to raise their child in the faith until the child is old enough to make his/her own personal decision. Children who express a desire to be baptized are required to take the class “Knowing for Kids” which is offered through our children’s ministry department. This class is a one time, one hour discussion where our children’s pastor partners with parents to help kids understand two foundational biblical concepts: salvation and baptism. We frame the discussion on these concepts with the following questions: “How can I be friends with God, both now and forever?” and “Why should I be baptized?” For this class, we ask that at least one parent attend with their child. For more information on our next class, please visit the Crosswinds website or contact Danielle Owens at email@example.com; 925-560-3848.
Can I be baptized if I’m not a “member” of Crosswinds?
- Crosswinds does not actually have “membership” – we are happy to baptize anyone who has made a decision to trust Christ.
- If you have a church home elsewhere, we do encourage you to be baptized there, surrounded by your church family. However, you are also welcome to be baptized here by one of our pastors.
I have limited mobility; can I be baptized?
- At this point, our options for when and where we can do baptisms are limited. Please let us know your situation and we will work to accommodate a celebration for you. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can my friends/family/spouse be baptized alongside me?
- Yes, certainly! We often baptized entire families together as well as couples and/or parents and children.