You were baptized, you took the plunge, you got dunked!!
That is so awesome! Just know that the party in heaven for you declaring Jesus your Lord and Savior is just getting started. If you haven’t heard, “there ain’t no party like a Heaven party, cuz the Heaven party don’t stop!”
So after you dry off, finish with all the hugs, and feel the adrenaline wear off…now what? I mean, shouldn’t there be a meet and great with an angel or maybe a lighting bolt tattoo that mysteriously shows up on your left ankle? There has to be some sort of next step or way to remember this amazing event that happened right?
Sure you will get a super duper awesome certificate in the mail commemorating your day, but I think your soul has bigger questions than what kind of frame should I hang this in?
Well to help you with your next steps of faith, I thought I would outline five tangible steps you can take after your baptism.
#5 – Tell Someone About It
I can’t overstate how important this step is in your journey. Telling someone what you did and why you did it is vital to making this experience be more than a cheap bath. It is establishing your testimony. Calm down, I’m not asking you to stand on a street corner and let it rip at the people passing by. I’m simply asking you to tell someone you love what God did in you in a very real and honest way. This may be your mom, dad, brother, coworker, or even child, but telling someone helps to keep the meat on the bones of what you decided to do. I guess I’m saying that the answer to the question, “How was your weekend?” may need a different answer this week.
#4 – Get A Bible
You may already have one of these at home, but if it’s used to level out your broken coffee table that might not be the way God intended you to use it. In all seriousness, find a Bible you can understand so you can start your journey. I recommend to both new and seasoned believers the Life Application Bible. It is the NIV translation and gives you help reading through the Bible when you hit the stick points. You can find it wherever you like, but it’s worth the investment to have a good Bible to use and let it speak to you.
#3 – Find A Reading Plan
After you get your Bible you may need help deciding where to start and a Bible reading plan can be very, very helpful. I recommend a plan called the SOAP reading plan which stands for Scripture, Observation, Application, & Prayer. This approach to reading your Bible provides you a structure to follow when reading. Our church puts out a regular SOAP Reading Plan based on this model which may be helpful. Download it, follow it, dive into it.
#2 – Join A Small Group
You may need to stretch yourself a little bit here. I know that the thought of sitting around talking about the Bible, praying, and meeting a bunch of strangers may sound goofy, but stay with me. Small groups is the way that you will see your faith grow astronomically because you get to see it in real lives. I’d encourage you to join a group at your church and if you are a Parkview person you can go to our Group Finder and it will lead you through finding a group. Getting in community with other believers is one the best ways to keep the fire of your baptism alive and running.
#1 – Keep Going To Church
Finally I would encourage you to stay connected to a church family. There is a growing number of people in the world that feel church is an “option” in their faith. They feel they can connect with God anywhere they want and don’t have to attend a church to do it. I’d agree that God is everywhere, but the fact is that Jesus died FOR the church so I’d say it may be important. Church is where you go to get fed, encouraged, challenged, grow in community, learn to serve, and so much more, but you need to be there to receive the fullness of that blessing. I’m not saying you have to go to my church, but go to A Bible believing and Jesus loving church near you and get plugged in.
*For my Parkview readers you also could consider coming to one of our What We Believe Classes coming up. At the Lockport Campus it is on May 7 and at our Orland Park Campus it is being offered May 18. This is a great class to learn more about Parkview as a church and also find out what your next steps in your walk can be at Parkview.
I hope you still have a smile on your face remembering your moment under the waters of baptism. I pray the joy that God gave you through the gift of the Holy Spirit has permanently changed you forever. I know I’m smiling just thinking of it too.
However, I do know that this type of adrenaline high is impossible to maintain. You need next steps to grow and to keep following God’s path. Take a look at these things, ask questions, get plugged in with a good church, and keep following Christ. Would I also love to see you connect with a seasoned Believer for mentoring, accountability, and to walk through life with? Yes, but these 5 things are great next steps to start with today.
So, I pray that although the water may be dried on your body, that your soul remains drenched with the love God has for you.