LOUISVILLE, Ky. (KT) – The obedient act of baptism will be on display throughout churches in the Southern Baptist Convention on Sept. 8, which has been set aside as Baptism Sunday.
Kentucky Baptist Convention Executive Director Dr. Todd Gray is asking Kentucky Baptist churches to be part of the celebration.
“We want every Sunday to be Baptism Sunday but this was a day set aside by leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention to be sure we’re emphasizing, at least one day a year, where we’re thinking about baptisms,” he said in a 90-second promotional video for Baptism Sunday.
Increasing the number of baptisms in Kentucky is a point of emphasis for Gray, who became the leader of the KBC earlier this month. He is determined to turn around a disturbing trend when it comes to baptisms among Kentucky Baptist churches.
Baptisms have been on the decline in Kentucky since 1980 from 20,000 then to 12,000 today.
KBC Evangelism Associates Andy McDonald and Kenny Rager are both engaged with the Baptism Sunday event.
“Sometimes a person needs the pastor, a Sunday School teacher or someone else to encourage them one more time to be baptized,” Rager said. “This emphasis Sunday provides a perfect opportunity for that reminder.”
McDonald said it’s important for churches to relay the importance of baptism even to those who are believers but haven’t yet taken that first step of obedience.
“There are likely many saved people connected to our churches who have yet to take this vital step,” he said. “They need our churches to lovingly and clearly call them to know the joy of obedience to Christ and His command to be baptized. An emphasis like this may have a strong impact to that end.”
In the video, which is available to Kentucky Baptist churches, Gray talks about the three groups of people who could be baptized on Baptism Sunday.
-Believers who have not yet followed through baptism.
-Believers who were baptized as a child or through another religious background before they trusted Jesus that should be baptized scripturally.
-Those who have not yet become believers of Jesus Christ.
As a word to the pastors of the Kentucky Baptist churches, McDonald offered some advice leading up to Baptism Sunday.
“In your preaching, clearly explain the importance of baptism and invite the saved to follow Christ in it,” he said. “Make a personal visit to those who need to be baptized, answer any of their questions, and set up a date for their baptism before you leave.
“Recruit other leaders in the church to have the same conversation with those who need to be baptized in their area of ministry (Sunday School/Small Group leaders, children or youth leaders). Preach the gospel at every baptism service and call others who are saved to take this joyful step of faith.”
Gray said he is looking forward with great anticipation to what the Lord will do not only on this special set aside day but throughout the rest of the year as well for Kentucky Baptist churches.
Resources are available at kybaptist.org/baptismsunday.