Whether you’re currently a pastor or you simply grew up in the church, you’ve likely seen hundreds of baptisms and taken communion hundreds, if not thousands, of times.
As a result, these church ordinances and sacraments can often become routine.
That’s why, in this episode of the Hello Church Podcast, we’re sharing a few easy, practical tips to make these church ordinances and sacraments more meaningful for both yourself and your church congregation.
1. Announce Your Baptism Opportunities in Advance
While some new converts to Christianity want to be baptized right on the spot, most people need a little more time to prepare.
Whether your church hosts regular baptism services or you’ll be planning a special event that includes the opportunity to be baptized, let your congregation know well enough in advance that they can make a prayerful decision.
Mention the upcoming opportunity via your Sunday morning announcements, in a church email, in the church bulletin, or even on social media. You might also offer a free resource or guide to help people learn more about baptism so they can decide if it’s right for them.
Tip: Visit FrontDoor.Church to download our guide, “Should I Be Baptized?”
2. Let People Know How to Prepare
Once you’ve connected with those who are potentially interested in being baptized, be proactive in letting them know what to expect and in answering any questions they may have.
For example, you’ll want to let them know:
- What to expect
- What to wear
- What to bring
- Where to go
- When to show up
- If they need to prepare anything in advance
- How the actual baptism will be performed
- Where they’ll go when they’re done
- Where they can put their wet clothes afterward
This will help make the baptism a wonderful experience for all.
3. Share Meaningful Stories
During the baptism service, you’ll want to find ways to share people’s stories, whenever possible.
Some people will be excited to share their testimony in great detail. It can be helpful to let these people know what to prepare in advance and how long they’ll have to share.
Others may be uncomfortable in front of a microphone. They may choose to share their story (or part of their story) with the pastor in advance, who can share from the stage.
Not only will these stories encourage your regular church attendees, but they can also have an incredible impact on the friends and family who are likely to visit that day as well. It’s not uncommon for baptism services to be some of your church’s biggest services.
4. Choose Your Communion Wafers Wisely
Ideally, communion should be a powerful moment of connection between your church congregation and the Lord. Unfortunately, if your communion wafers are stale or taste horrible, it can be a major distraction from that connection.
Your communion wafers don’t have to be the best in town, but you will want to put some care into choosing wafers that don’t offend or distract.
5. Consider The Flow
Next, think through the logistics of passing out communion to everyone in your church.
- How often will people receive communion?
- When (during the service) will people receive communion?
- Where will they receive communion?
- Will the people move, or will you have ushers?
- What type of plate,bowl, or cup will you use?
Even if you’ve always done communion the same way, you might consider if another method would work better for your church, especially if you’ve recently changed locations or grown (or shrunk) in size.
A little pre-planning can help this portion of your service to flow nicely, so your church members can better focus on God, not the logistics.
6. Provide a Clear Explanation
While you and the majority of your congregation likely knows exactly what to do during communion, you may have visitors, new Christians, or non-Christians in attendance who don’t truly understand what you’re doing or why.
For this reason, it can be helpful to give a short explanation, letting people know what they should expect, what it means, and how they should participate.
You might answer questions, such as:
- What does communion mean to your church, and why do you celebrate?
- Is everyone allowed to take communion or only members of your church or your denomination?
- What should people do if they don’t want to or can’t take communion?
- Will they be secretly judged or questioned if they don’t participate?
While the answers to some of these questions might seem obvious to you, they may not be to everyone sitting in your pews.
7. Keep a List of Helpful Illustrations
Sometimes, sharing a short story or illustration highlighting the importance or impact of communion can be helpful. However, these illustrations aren’t always easy to find on the spot.
Any time you come across a story, example, or illustration that would be helpful to share during the communion time, you may want to write it down in a dedicated file.
This doesn’t mean that you have to share an entire mini-sermon every time you take communion as a church, but it is helpful to share these stories on occasion.
Helpful Resource: Should I Get Baptized?
Are you planning an upcoming baptism service? Visit FrontDoor.Church to grab your copy of “Should I Get Baptized?” – a helpful resource you can share with those who may be considering being baptized in your church.