Dressing Up Your Sanctuary – Part 5
Matthew 28:19 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” NLT
These very words were spoken by Jesus when he commanded us to go out and share the Good News, making disciples or followers of all people, and then to baptize them. During the time that Jesus walked on Earth, baptisms would take place in rivers and other natural bodies of water. Today, there are still some churches that baptize this way. However, in the US, I’d say that most churches have a baptistery in their church building.
As you are building or renovating your church, you may be considering your options of having a built-in baptistery or maybe space is limited so you are thinking a portable baptistery model may be best. Either option can enhance your sanctuary greatly. Growing up in the midst of the Bible Belt in Virginia, where there seems to be a church on every corner, I had only ever experienced having a baptistery built-in, placed right behind the choir loft. In fact, I don’t remember as a child ever attending a church that did not have a built-in baptistery. Anyway, I digress. When choosing a built-in baptistery model, you will have to decide if you want a single or double entry tub. Your choices here will depend largely on the size that you have to work with in terms of the length. Another option you will have with a built-in is that of a viewing window. This is nice so that the congregation can see a little better the happenings when baptisms are taking place. And you even get to choose the color, if you want blue, white or bone.
If your space is limited, you may want to consider a portable baptistery model. These models can come either the tub only, where the tub will subsequently be built in or if you have someone within your church who can build a cabinet for you, or it can be purchased with the cabinet. There is also an optional wheel kit available if the tub will need to be moved to another area of your worship area until needed. There are some churches that purchase the optional communion front which is a plaque placed on the front that reads “This Do In Remembrance Of Me”. This allows your baptistery to serve also as your communion table which could save in having to purchase both pieces.
One thing I will suggest that you consider, regardless of which baptistery model you are considering, is the purchase of the aqua seal. This will be especially important if you plan to leave water in your baptistery tub for more than a couple of days. This will prevent the water from saturating the fiberglass fibers and causing damage.
Did you know that ground or tap water is dispensed at a temperature of about 55° F? While that might feel good to some, there are many that this will be quite chilly. A baptistery heater will help with that and this is what we will cover next time as we are nearing completion of your new sanctuary.