WHAT IS BAPTISM?

At Christ Church Manchester, we are big fans of baptisms. They are a time when we can join with people and celebrate what Jesus has done in their life.

Baptism is a public profession of faith. When a person chooses to follow Jesus, something has happened in their heart, their sins are forgiven and they are made new. However, this was never meant to be a private thing. Jesus is building a community across the world, and by getting baptised we are identifying ourselves with Jesus and his people.

Baptism itself doesn’t make a person a Christian, but it is a symbol of what God has done for them. In particular, it is a symbol of three things:
 

  • A symbol of cleansing – When Saul met Jesus on the Road to Damascus and his life was changed from an opponent of Christianity to a follower of Jesus, he was instructed to go to a man called Ananias for further instructions. Ananias said to him, “Rise and be baptised and wash away your sins, calling on his name.” There is something in baptism that symbolises our sins being washed away and our hearts being cleansed before God.
  • A symbol of new life – When somebody goes down into the water and is brought up out of it again, it is dramatically acting out the death and resurrection of Jesus as he went down to the tomb and came out again. Baptism symbolises that our old self has died with Christ, but that we have been raised to new life in him.
  • A symbol of the Holy Spirit – The word baptism didn’t start as a religious word, but was an everyday word for something getting submerged (for example, to dye a cloth you would ‘baptise’ it). One of the promises the Bible makes about Jesus is that be would baptise us in the Holy Spirit, and as we are baptised in the water it is a symbol of God immersing us in the presence of his Spirit.
When we do baptisms at CCM, we gather together from across all the sites of our church in Manchester. We usually do this on a Saturday morning, and it tends to be a fun and joy-filled occasion.

The service itself tends to last for about an hour. It will kick off with a bit of sung worship, and then somebody will give a short talk explaining what baptism is all about. After this, we invite each of the people being baptised to come forward one by one and to share their testimony, telling the story of what Jesus has done in their life to bring them to this point where they are getting baptised. Then come the baptisms themselves, where the people take turns to get into the water with two others who will baptise them, lowering them under the water and then bringing them out. Everybody gives a huge round of applause, and then while people are getting dry we sing a few more songs and then have a chance to pray for and encourage the people who have been baptised.

Following the service itself, we eat together, usually doing a bring and share lunch and have lots of time to hang out together and enjoy each other’s company.

BAPTISMS AT CCM

BAPTISMS AT CCM

When we do baptisms at CCM, we gather together from across all the sites of our church in Manchester. We usually do this on a Saturday morning, and it tends to be a fun and joy-filled occasion.

The service itself tends to last for about an hour. It will kick off with a bit of sung worship, and then somebody will give a short talk explaining what baptism is all about. After this, we invite each of the people being baptised to come forward one by one and to share their testimony, telling the story of what Jesus has done in their life to bring them to this point where they are getting baptised. Then come the baptisms themselves, where the people take turns to get into the water with two others who will baptise them, lowering them under the water and then bringing them out. Everybody gives a huge round of applause, and then while people are getting dry we sing a few more songs and then have a chance to pray for and encourage the people who have been baptised.

Following the service itself, we eat together, usually doing a bring and share lunch and have lots of time to hang out together and enjoy each other’s company.

WHEN IS THE NEXT ONE?

The next baptisms will be on Saturday 4th May 2019 at 11am at Kingsburn Hall, Burnage, M19 1RS

We will be baptising seven people: Dan Raine and Matthew Winterbottom (both City Centre), Jess Carter (Ladybarn), Esther Simmonds (Kingsway) and Amy LockettSarah Wallace and Matipa Mukondiwa (all Fallowfield).

After the Baptisms, there will be a bring and share lunch. If you are coming from CCM Fallowfield, City Centre or Gorton, please would you bring savoury food. If you are coming from CCM Ladybarn or CCM Kingsway could you bring sweet food. Thanks!

WANT TO BE BAPTISED?

Baptism is a public declaration of faith in Jesus Christ, so the very first step would be to examine the claims of Jesus for yourself and reach the point where you are ready to put your faith in him. A great place to examine these claims is the Alpha Course, or alternatively you could start going along to one of our sites and find out about Jesus there.

If you have put your faith in Jesus, then thinking about baptism is exactly the right next step. In the Bible, when somebody believed they got baptised straight away, and this is a great thing to do once you have become a Christian. We would encourage you to get involved in one of our sites and to bring it up with your site leader, who will be able to advise you on your next steps and make the arrangements for your baptism.