Baptism Sunday Resources

Celebrate Baptism

J.D. Greear, president of the Southern Baptist Convention has challenged every Southern Baptist church to participate in Baptism Sunday this year. Lead your church to celebrate baptism and encourage people to commit their lives to Christ on Baptism Sunday, September 8. The resources on this page will help you and your church members prepare for this special emphasis.

After observing this special Sunday, send video and/or photographs from the service to us at evangelism@namb.net. With your permission, we would like to use the video and photos on our social media channels to celebrate what God is doing.

Watch as WALK Church in Las Vegas celebrates its 100th baptism

Why Baptism Sunday?

J.D. Greear, pastor of Summit Church, makes the case for why your church should use Baptist Sunday on Sept. 8 as an evangelistic opportunity. Greear and Johnny Hunt, NAMB senior vice president of evangelism and leadership, also answer questions pertaining to baptism in a series of seven videos included in the Frequently Asked Questions below.

Who’s Your One 40-Day Devotional

Engage church members in praying and having conversations with their “one” for 40 days leading up to Baptism Sunday, beginning on July 30. The devotional also is available on the YouVersion (Bible) app.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why plan a baptism service on Baptism Sunday? (Video)

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A person who’s just been baptized may have taken their first step of obedience in a life of discipleship, and our churches must prioritize helping them to grow in their faith. Follow up individually with every person to make sure they understand their next step in following Jesus and to ensure they are connected with someone in your church who can continue to disciple them.

Prepare your pastors and baptism counselors to respond to these people by affirming their desire to be baptized and letting them know how glad you are to have this conversation with them. Explain to them that the act of baptism is just a symbol—it’s meaningless if it does not represent authentic repentance and faith in their life. Let them know that they’ve taken a courageous first step, and you’d love to talk with them a little more before they get baptized. Be clear that you are not saying “no,” but simply “not right now.”

Baptism Sunday is a day for SBC churches to celebrate together professions of faith in response to evangelism. God is using evangelistic efforts to prepare a harvest of new believers, and churches across the convention are encouraged to call for people to respond to God’s call for salvation and then to take the first step of obedience by being baptized.

To be sure, immediate response baptism calls have been used as a gimmick by some churches. But we also know that every baptism recorded in the New Testament is spontaneous and immediate—there was never a gap between when a person trusted Christ and when that person was baptized. We shouldn’t discard the biblical pattern become some have manipulated or misused it.

We need to be concerned that everyone who comes forward to be baptized understands the gospel and the significance of what they are doing, and we should have pastors and counselors available to talk with them. But baptism is the first step of obedience, not the sign of having reached a level of spiritual maturity. We should be equally concerned that we are not creating extra-biblical barriers to obedience.

At the core, the invitation to be baptized is a call to respond to Jesus by surrendering to His commands. Start by clearly articulating the gospel and how to respond in faith to that news—don’t assume even those who have grown up in church understand that. Explain the symbolic nature of baptism as a public symbol of a commitment to follow Jesus, in the same way that a wedding ring is a symbol of a marriage commitment. You may want to proactively address common objections to baptism (see additional FAQs on this page).