Do I Have to be Baptized to Come to Your Church?

St. Mark Ministries   -  

Do I have to be baptized to come to your church?

Written by: Pastor Ben Workentine

That’s a great question, and the short answer is no. But we certainly hope at some point after
asking more questions and learning more, that you would want to be baptized. We are reminded
of the blessings of baptism in Galatians 3:26-27 where it says “So in Christ Jesus you are all
children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed
yourselves with Christ”. We are also given the instruction to baptize in Matthew 28:19 where
Jesus said “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the
Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…”

With that said, we would welcome the opportunity to visit with you in person outside, or in the
atrium of our church. We would love to talk before or after a worship service and have a
conversation about what baptism is. Or maybe you’re not ready to walk in our doors so you
send us an email with your questions. Unfortunately there seems to be many reasons why
people don’t enter a church building for a worship service. “I’m not a Lutheran.” “I’m
embarrassed about my past.” “I haven’t conquered my addiction.” “Everyone walking in is
dressed nice and I’m not.” “What will people think of me?” The list goes on. While the question
“How do we become a more welcoming church” is maybe the topic for another discussion, “I’m
not baptized” is certainly one of the reasons someone may not attend.

One of the moments in my ministry that I will never forget was the baptism of 6 people in one
day. There was a small child, a teen, and several adults. All part of the same family. This also
wasn’t the first time any of them had set foot in our church. In fact some of them had attended
for a few years. And yet the Holy Spirit was at work in their hearts well before the moment of
baptism. If you had been present at that moment, you would have seen how important this was
to each of them and that their baptism was something they too wouldn’t forget.

So if you’re not baptized yet and have been thinking about attending one of our worship
services, I hope you stop by soon. You wouldn’t avoid the furniture store because your dining
room is empty. And you certainly wouldn’t avoid the pharmacy because your prescription is
empty. Why would you avoid walking into our church when it’s the very place you would find
someone to baptize you?