In the church planting world, baptism days are one of the most exciting celebrations that are a highlight for both the church and the individuals professing their faith through baptism.
So when our new executive director-treasurer, Todd Unzicker, announced that on Sept. 12, we were challenging N.C. Baptist churches to “Fill the Tank,” the Church Planting NC team was ecstatic about the opportunity to partner with churches across our state for this statewide emphasis to see believers baptized.
Over the next month we will be releasing different resources to help you to prepare for this event. But here are a few ideas to get you thinking about how to best prepare to “Fill the Tank.”
1. Lead the church to begin praying for a harvest.
Summer is a wonderful time to begin praying for the next season. We believe God is at work drawing people to Himself (2 Corinthians 5:19-21), so we must join Him in that work. The North American Mission Board launched an initiative called “Who’s Your One?” to encourage every believer to pray for and share the gospel with the one person God lays on their heart. Challenge church members to pray for their “one.” Imagine the impact on your community if every believer in your church would take up this challenge. When we pray and share, God promises to do His part (Isaiah 55:11).
2. Engage the church to engage the community.
When a church prayerfully devises a process for engaging their community and meeting new people, opportunities to share the gospel increase. Make a plan to get out into the community. Host some block parties, participate in community events by serving, and don’t forget to invite the community using simple door hangers or invitation cards.
If the angels in heaven throw a party when new believers join the family (Luke 15:10), we should as well.
3. Reinvigorate post-summer with a mobilization month.
With younger churches having a tendency to be mobile, August is an excellent month to press the reset button and create a church-wide synergy for the next season. Consider developing a vision series that refocuses the church on who we are and what our mission is. Plan a church-wide day of service where the church does various local mission projects in the community. Or work with your Sunday serving teams to prepare them to engage attendees and first-time guests.
4. Plan a big gospel day.
When I was a church planter, the last Sunday of August was often our biggest day of the year when our attendees would invite the people they had been praying for to church. Plan your best day, your best teams, your best music and your best evangelistic sermon and let’s beg God to save people on Sunday, Aug. 29. And don’t forget to sign up new believers to be baptized on Sept. 12.
5. Plan the celebration.
Baptism day is a big deal, so we should make plans for a celebration. If the angels in heaven throw a party when new believers join the family (Luke 15:10), we should as well. Promote it online, send invitations to loved ones on their behalf, take photos of the moment as well as after to send to participants. Make sure to download the baptism service planning guide for suggested step-by-step instructions on how to prepare well.
We are praying that on Sept. 12 we will see the greatest single day of reported baptisms in the history of our state, and I’m believing our church planters can be difference-makers. As Unzicker told the board of directors, “This is not a publicity stunt or a gimmick. Let’s dedicate this to prayer and ask the Holy Spirit to move in the hearts of people.”
Click here to sign your church up to participate in “Fill the Tank.”