We’re excited that you are considering getting baptized! In fact, we believe it to be one of the most important things that you can do in your lifetime. Baptism is essentially an outer declaration of an inner transformation. That is to say, it’s a public act which symbolizes how Jesus has, is, and will continue to change you from the inside out. So we’re thrilled to celebrate that with you!
Join us for baptism at Heartland on Sunday, September 19 at 9 or 11 AM. Our Baptism class will be a Zoom call on Sunday, September 12 at 6:00 PM. You will be sent a link to the course after registering.
You may have some questions about baptism–things like what it means, or maybe just what to expect at Heartland’s baptism. For details on the most frequently asked questions we receive on baptism, click the toggles below. If you need additional info, just contact our office at (913)341-5820. They’ll be able to help connect you with someone who can provide answers.
Baptism is a public declaration of an inner transformation that God is bringing about within you. Just as you make a public vow as part of a wedding ceremony, in baptism, you are publicly declaring before your family and friends that you are vowing to follow Jesus with your entire life. (You can read about how Paul’s baptism made such a declaration in Acts 9:17-19)
In being baptized, you are also identifying with the death and resurrection of Jesus. When you are lowered into the waters, symbolizing burial, you declare that you are no longer living for yourself. And when you are raised from the waters, symbolizing resurrection, you are declaring that your life is now alive for Jesus and his purposes. (To read more about this please see Colossians 2:12-14.)
Lastly, in being baptized, you declare that you are choosing to lock arms with God’s community of believers–that his church is now your spiritual family and that you will serve in solidarity alongside them in unity and love. (Read more about this in Acts 2:41, 1 Corinthians 12:12-14, and Colossians 3:12-14.)
At the celebration, we’ll gather as one large group for some worship and a welcome. Then we’ll break into smaller groups–and there we will ask you to give (to your group) a 1-2 minute public testimony of your faith in Jesus and how He is changing your life for the better. (Not sure what to share? Don’t worry–we’ll help you with this!)
Then we’ll head to the baptism tanks on the deck, and we’ll invite you (and your family and friends, your community group, etc) to gather around, where we’ll ask you two questions: “Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior?” and “Are you agreeing to follow Jesus all the days of your life?” If you say “Yes,” then we’ll say, “In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, we baptize you.” Once said, we will gently lean you back, immersing you fully into the water, then lift you back up.
After that we celebrate! We’ll huddle together, pray and high-five as everyone else cheers from the shore. After you are baptized, you are free to go or stick around and cheer on others being baptized after you.
When preparing think of a day at the park or beach. We will gather in the Backyard at Heartland, where there is some theater style seating. We recommend bringing a lawn chair or picnic blanket, hat, sunscreen, bug spray, sunglasses, etc.
If you are being baptized we recommend you wear a swimming suit under shorts and a t-shirt. We will have a Heartland baptism towel for you that you can keep as a memory of the day! Restrooms are located in the building, so you can bring a dry change of clothes if you’d like.
If you are being baptized and you have friends/family coming to the baptism from another church where the Sunday dress code is not as casual as Heartland’s, please be sure to let them know that dress for this event is casual.
If you have additional questions or concerns, please let us know – and we’ll look forward to seeing you in the Backyard!
We encourage you not to have specific expectations. Some experience a powerful emotion, others feel nothing at all. Some describe it as the most meaningful thing they’ve ever done in their life, others wonder what the hoopla is all about. Either way – the validity of your declaration is not based solely on emotion but on what you are declaring with your heart, mind, soul and strength. (See Luke 10:27-28)
Now, this doesn’t mean that nothing happens. When you publicly declare, you are – in essence – crossing over a line in the sand. In doing so, you are opening yourself up to Him and more boldly inviting the Holy Spirit to move in and through you. As a result, it is impossible for you not to change! But, don’t fear, you won’t become some unrecognizable person, some “Christian robot” type that’s pumped out from a church assembly line. No, you’ll become more of you – who God designed you to be. If you’re funny now, He’ll make you even funnier. If you’re intelligent now, He’ll expand your mind beyond reason. If you’re a pistol, He’ll give you new bullets. (See Philippians 1:6; Colossians 1:27-28.)
If you are reading this, it is likely because of a decision your child has made for Jesus to be their forever friend! We are so excited! You have done a great job as their primary faith-shaper! We want to make you aware of some things we frequently hear at the adult baptism: “I was baptized as a child but really didn’t understand what it meant. Baptism was really important to my parents and I wanted to please them. I had several friends being baptized and wanted to join them. My church required baptism.” In reflecting on these testimonies and desiring the very best for you and your child, we believe there are several reasons why it is wise for kids to wait until they are 12 years old to get baptized. Here are our thoughts:
We recognize baptism is a defining moment in a child’s faith journey.
We love what Reggie Joiner says, “Faith and character develop over time.” We want to give kids the time they need for their faith to develop before they take the important step of baptism.
We think baptism happens best when it is an expressed desire of an individual, not because a family is doing it together.
We are also influenced by Willow Creek’s perspective that, “the symbolism of Baptism requires a more adult level of cognitive and developmental readiness.” They reference Proverbs 20:25, “It is a trap to dedicate something rashly and only later to consider one’s vows. This issues a significant caution against the danger of making a vow before adequate knowledge, forethought, and reflection have been given Our goal is to prevent young people from making a premature commitment they may not fully understand.”
Michelle Pemberton, Heartland's Children's Pastor puts it this way, “I wanted my daughters to choose the right time to be baptized. I believe the Holy Spirit guided them to make their profession of faith. I want it to be a stake they put in the ground. When Amy decided she wanted to be baptized at 15, it was powerful. After experiencing a life changing missions trip to Mississippi, her faith became her own and she was baptized at Heartland’s churchwide baptism that August.”
Ultimately, parents are the primary faith-shapers for their children and we trust the parents to know if this is the right time for their child to be baptized. If you have any questions, CLICK HERE to send an email. If, after praying about it, you have decided the time is right for your child to be baptized, please sign up using the event link on this page.