Baptisms is a sacrament. It is a joyous moment for all involved and an opportunity to rejoice in what God has done for us in Christ.
Baptisms and services of Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child are opportunities to welcome new families into your worshiping community, tell them about the meaning of baptism, and explain how it’s just the beginning of a lifelong spiritual journey.
For many families, learning that a baptism is what happens at a christening, is the start of their journey. The Church of England's resources introduce the word ‘baptism’ as the central event at a christening, in the same way that ‘marriage’ refers to a wedding. According to a report by The Church of England, the word most commonly used by families to describe the service of Holy Baptism is a ‘christening’. And, the word ‘christening’ is over ten times more likely to be used in online searches for information and related products like gifts, than the word ‘baptism’. Read more about this on the Church Support Hub and how you can confidently use both words when you’re engaging with families.
According to Church of England research, the biggest reason (by a small margin) that parents gave for wanting their child to be christened was to ensure he or she had godparents. So it is almost impossible to overstate the importance of godparents to families and this should be acknowledged and celebrated.
The national Church of England’s Church Support Hub website offers a wealth of information, ideas, articles and resources to help you with ministry through Baptisms.
A family may decide that the time isn’t right for a Baptism service, and instead choose to have a service of Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child. This provides opportunities for speaking of God’s love and care for every child, perhaps as a precursor to baptism, in a relaxed and more informal style of service. It can be another step on a journey of faith for some families, strengthening their belief.
After the Baptism service – why follow-up really matters
Keeping in touch with people is vital if you want them to return—whether to purchase, visit or give. It’s no different for church.
Following up with people after a baptism service is the best way to encourage them to return to church. Here are a few ideas for how you could do that.