Do You Ever Have the Itch to Baptize?
Posted on November 21, 2009
This past Sunday we had an amazing number of people make the decision to follow Christ. I watched as hundreds of people flooded the altar areas of our different campuses. And as they were standing down front, I suddenly got an itch to baptize. I hadn’t planned it. We didn’t know it was going to happen. But it did. And it was amazing.
Quickly, our team got everything together for that spontaneous baptism (our staff motto is: I’m always ready to do anything, everything or nothing!) And after preaching, I ran up to my office, threw on a pair of shorts and a tee shirt, and bolted to the baptismal area.
While running out of the building (out of excitement), I cut through one of our flower beds (ignoring signs), bounded down the hill and began to baptize. What an incredible experience! Tears of joy, laughter and applause cut through the crisp fall air as so many young people at the zenith of their lives went public with their decision to follow Christ and do a 180 in their lives.
However, several days later, I began to have a horrendous itch on the back of my legs that looked strangely like poison ivy. I thought, “Where did I come in contact with this demonic plant?”
Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. It was in the flower bed (that I shouldn’t have cut through)! I walked away from this ordeal with itchy legs and two powerful reminders.
First: always follow the itch to baptize!
So many of the church numbers lists are focused on attendance. But really, we should follow the number of baptisms. This is what it is all about. It’s great to know who’s showing up. But the bigger question is: who are you reaching?
The second moral: stay out of the flower beds!
In other words, God has a path set for you and he's posted signs along the way. Walk where you are supposed to walk. If we walk on HIS grass and stay out of HIS beds, we won’t have to deal with the poison ivy that may be there, the poison ivy we were never intended to deal with in the first place!