Spontaneous Baptisms!

I was really thrilled that we had baptisms planned for our recent Grace Church 10th birthday party. I love it when we baptise people; it’s a great sign that God is at work in both them as individuals and in us as a church!

A watershed moment

If you’ll pardon the pun, baptism is a watershed moment:

  • It’s a public declaration that we belong to Jesus and our life is now in him. “If anyone is in Christ they are a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come” (2 Cor 5v17)
  • It’s a sign that our old life has died with Jesus and that we have a new life in him now, “We were buried with Jesus by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” (Rom 6v4)

Lots of fun, lots of water and the thrill of a life changed forever!

Extra trunks…

In the run up to the party David Thompson made a suggestion: “Why don’t you publicly ask on the day, after you’ve spoken, if there are any other people who want to get baptised right now?”

I’d never done that before, but I don’t mind taking a risk so we came up with a plan: spare towels, extra swimming shorts and some Grace Church t-shirts … and I would make the ask at the end of the talk. Would there be that extra person who would respond right there and then?

On the day I was delighted with the response. Two baptisms became six baptisms in the space of three minutes. God must clearly be doing something among us.

So here are some photos of those baptisms:

Going under

And Rob’s was more eventful than the others (bottom left photo). As David and Andy baptised Rob, David somehow slipped down the slope towards the deep end. Rob came back up fine, but David somehow disappeared under the water … which got the biggest cheer of the whole day!

I’m sure it was nothing personal, and I’m pleased to say we now have David back safe and dry!

And if you want to get baptised next time, just let us know! We’ll try not to follow you under …

20:20 Vision

It’s currently my privilege to be a part of Guy Miller’s “UK Hub Team” for the Commission Group of churches. This means that as well as having the opportunity to give support to the leadership teams of some Commission churches in our area, I also attend the UK Team meetings.

I was in Bournemouth for two team days recently and it was exciting to look at ways to move forward with our 20:20 Vision for our UK Churches. It’s a privilege to meet with such a gifted team, and Guy incorporated in a few newer faces for the second day too. There is some really excellent stuff going on at the moment: church plants, church adoptions, new multisites. Commission is on the move!

Our UK goals?

  • 100 churches in the UK by the end of 2020
  • 1000 baptisms between now and then

This will happen through the different contributions of many different people, applying their various gifts, as Jesus directs us.

Personal contribution:

Outside of the prayer times, my personal contribution to the two days consisted mainly of:

Malcolm Kayes - Steve Petch Blog

Malcolm Kayes, leader of the Coign Church, Woking – a Commission Church

  • Drinking too much tea
  • Debating with Malcolm Kayes (pictured!) who’s wisdom and experience is a joy to be around
  • Making a profound over-statement (Jo has warned me about this sort of behaviour before – maybe more than once)
  • Apologising for making a profound over-statement
  • Explaining what I really meant by my profound over-statement
  • Drinking more tea

It’s a good job our progress is not going to depend on me … although I have no doubt that Grace Church will have a continuing part to play.

With that in mind, let’s all get involved … and if you haven’t booked in for Westpoint 2016 yet, click on the link to find out what it is and why you should be there (*tip* turn your sound on!)

Westpoint is always a great chance to have fun all together which is so good for us as a multisite church, and it gets us to connect into the wider world of Commission which is our family of churches.