How to do "spontaneous baptisms" at your church

Wow… Steven Furtick is getting some bad blog press from some of the watchdog blogs about publishing a resource kit for churches on how to host a ‘spontaneous baptism’.

You see, Elevation Church baptized 2,158 over two weekends recently, giving people the opportunity to get baptized on the spot.

And they’ve published a guide and learning piece showing what they needed to do behind the scenes to make this happen.

Logistics, you might say.

But one blogger finds the document proves that the goal was ‘clearly numbers, and an opportunity to create excitement, get people in the community talking, hence new people keep coming through the doors.’


It’s called being prepared for what God might do.

Whether you agree with the whole ‘spontaneous’ baptism thing that many churches are doing (which I think is probably more biblical than announcing it a few weeks beforehand and asking people to mill it over as we do in most churches), the document is interesting… and it shows the amount of planning and leadership that it takes to be prepared.

In our churches… there are few things that just happen.  Most everything takes a good measure of planning and leadership… even spontaneous baptisms.

What’s YOUR take?



  • Eric Frisch December 12, 2012 Reply

    Most of this is just common sense to me… they had done it before and had great response, so they knew they had to plan for great response again. They put in the legwork to make sure it was a comfortable and exciting experience for the people involved.

    The only issue I have with the whole thing is that it appears they had people planted in the congregation to start the “flow” so to speak… nothing to indicate if those people actually were getting baptized or not, but if they weren’t, that aspect feels pretty tricky to me.

  • Jay Jones December 12, 2012 Reply

    I would say we’re probably the antonym to the “scheduled baptism” model… every service is an appeal to repent, be baptized and receive the Holy Spirit… Spontaneous seems to be the model in the book of Acts.

  • scott December 13, 2012 Reply

    Jealousy rears its ugly head.

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