“Do WE Baptize Too Soon” —- The Saga of April the Giraffe”

    

     “Now I hope everybody shuts up and forgets that Giraffe” — anonymous quote.

     “Such a big build up and now it’s over” — anonymous quote.

     ” I wonder if we baptize too soon. We get them wet and they sit around and don’t grow. Or they don’t come to church” — anonymous paraphrase.

     Matthew 28:19  GO to the world….MAKE disciples…BAPTIZE them…TEACH them…. (paraphrased)

     My first experience with “urgent”  baptism went like this. My new BEST friend exclaimed, “You aren’t going to the right church! You are lost! A satellite could fall on your head! You have to get baptized NOW!” He was all over it! Invited to youth group. During and after football practice. Between classes at school. So, I studied what he wanted me to. Read a tract. And was baptized! Sadly, he soon moved on to another sinner. No more interest. No more friendship. No mentoring. No discipleship. No encouragement.

     April the giraffe won’t know but the fact remains. She is old news. Soon forgotten. No more cameras. No more intense interest….

     No. We don’t baptize enough or too soon. We DON’T go to the world enough. We DON’T make disciples. We DON’T encourage, disciple, mentor or nurture enough.

     What is the solution?

     GO! Get out of your comfortable box and spend time with other believers outside of the church building. GO to a cookout, a service project or a sporting event. GO on a mission trip and make forever friends with people around the world! GO on a business trip and learn how it is done in Topeka! GO need door and talk to your neighbor.

     MAKE DISCIPLES! Tell others what Jesus has done for us. Yesterday, today, tomorrow and forever. Teach and mentor. Share time in a multigenerational relationship. Be a big brother of sort to a teen or a younger coworker. Encourage a senior. Serve the community happily and let God shine through your efforts.

     BAPTIZE! Believe it or not, if others see your commitment, they will ask questions. Hearts will change. Many have asked me over the years, “should I be baptized?” I answer, ” I believe so. Would you like to read about why?” Let them take the initiative. When they  proclaim, “why wait?” Baptize them. Simple. YOU baptize them.

     TEACH! If you don’t want people who sit around and don’t work or are uncommitted, you have to TEACH a better choice. Think about laundry and your kids. If you don’t allow them the opportunity, they will never do the laundry. TEACH them to use the washing machine.

     Great growth can occur through a community event. Lessons are learned while cooking, sharing a meal or cleaning up! Memories are made, commitment is strengthened and nobody is left out of forgotten.

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