We set dates for weddings, graduations, sporting events and special times with a loved one. So why not set one for youth baptisms? When we set a date for baptism we show that we realize it is an important step in walking with Jesus and we are more likely to give serious attention to preparing for this special event.
In the North Pacific Union, the first Sabbaths in May and December are “Youth Baptismal Sabbath.” (Alternate dates can be set locally.) Why have two baptismal dates in a year? By having two baptismal dates a year there will be many more who are baptized. When a person is baptized they usually think of friends they want to see make the same decision. If there is another baptism already scheduled within the next six months they are often more focused in their outreach efforts. At many baptismal services some watching make a decision for baptism and need to be invited to prepare to be baptized within the next six months or sooner. Some people are ripe for making a decision for baptism now that weren’t six months ago.
As a spiritual leader of young people you have an incredible privilege and responsibility. You can help the young people in your circle of influence catch a vision of what Jesus has planned for their lives and to invite them to take important steps in that direction. One word spoken, one invitation made, one personal testimony shared, one verse of God’s word read can be the turning point in an entire life.
In March Youth Baptismal Sabbath posterswere sent to all churches and schools in the NPUC. A Leaders Manual is available for free on a new resource website www.YouthBaptismalSabbath.org. And Pathfinder and youth leaders, parents, grandparents and teachers are often waiting to be empowered and equipped to begin.
And check out this month’s “What Works For Me” by Pathfinder and Earliteen Sabbath School Leader Marcy Perry from the Meadow Glade Seventh-day Adventist Church (OR Conf). In a six week period she will help prepare about twenty young people for baptism through three powerful weekend retreats.
Put up the poster on your school or church bulletin board, in the Pathfinder room, in Junior, Earliteen and Youth Sabbath School rooms and in each classroom of the church school. Bring the opportunity to the table for action. Some lay leader is waiting to be empowered. Direct them to the website. Give them encouragement. And for heaven’s sake, set a date for a Youth Baptismal Sabbath and watch what heaven does!
Blessings to you,