Why Our Pastors are Excited about Baptism Party

With our Baptism Party coming up on November 17, we asked each of our pastors what they were most excited about.

Take a look:

Jay Hendricks:

I'm so pumped for this fall's Baptism Party! This year we're trying something a little different and I think it's going to be an amazing time of hearing stories of Jesus's grace, celebrating through song/laughter/dance/food/clapping, and in the end worshipping King Jesus for all He is!

Our goal for this gathering is to join together as one family proclaiming that we are - reconciled to Christ, reconciled to each other, and forever His by His blood! Hope you will join us for this celebration!

Allen Tipping:

I am stoked about the upcoming Baptism gathering on November 17, because I get to sing, shout and celebrate with my church family. We get rowdy and I love it. We scream, shout and clap every time someone comes up out of the water because it’s a beautiful picture of the Gospel. Baptism is a visual picture of the stories each person is telling; how they were dead in their sins and are now raised with Christ; how they were rescued by Jesus and are now being transformed into His likeness. It’s beautiful.

This Baptism Gathering has the potential to be even better than most because the celebration concludes with a breakfast feast. The 10 a.m. gathering will be followed by Brunch and the 6 p.m. will be followed by Brinner.

 Can you say, “bacon”?

 I am already thanking Jesus for an awesome day of feasting and celebrating His goodness.

Jon Ludovina:

I love the few times a year that we get together as a big family to party. I love the excitement. I love celebrating Jesus’ grace and proclaiming the gospel. I love eating and feasting and joy. It’s a little bit of heaven practice.

 Specifically this year I’m pretty stoked about eating breakfast all day long. The only thing better than eating breakfast at breakfast time is eating it at lunch time and calling it brunch. The only thing better than brunch is eating breakfast again for dinner and calling it brinner. No offense to the other meals of the day, but they are far inferior to breakfast.

 And I’m not talking about your fancy, frou-frou brunch with tea at the country club. I’m talking about bacon. And sausage. And cinnamon rolls. And casserole. And more bacon. And syrup all over all of it.

 Can life get any better? I submit that it cannot.

 Then again… eating breakfast all day with your church family while celebrating Jesus giving people the good life. I stand corrected. Life can get better.

Kent Bateman:

One of my favorite things about Baptism Gathering is hearing how the gospel sets all different types of people free from sin and rescues them into God's family. God started the process of saving me through a Baptism Gathering, so I'm excited every year to get to see and celebrate the stories of more people he's done that for.

Adam Gibson:

As our church family has grown over the years, the times where we can be together at once have gotten fewer and fewer. With something like 900 people in LifeGroups right now, there just aren't many opportunities to be in the same place at once...especially when our Devine Street building only holds about 290.

This all makes me really look forward to the chances we have to get some time with all of us in the same place, such as the Baptism Party coming up. I love hearing Jesus stories. I love getting to welcome new folks and let them hear what Jesus has done in people's lives. I am so excited to for a chance to sing, celebrate, enjoy God's work among us, and eat bacon with my (church) family. 

Brandon Clements:

Every week at the Gathering we preach the gospel from stage. A pastor gets up and expounds on how Jesus is good news for us and what it means to follow Him in everyday life.

One of my favorite things about baptism gatherings is that it is our people do the preaching through their stories. Seeing people open up and transparently share how Jesus has done for them what they could not do for themselves never grows old. The excitement, the screams and applause for those being baptized, a symbol that Christ has raised them to spiritual life--it all gives me chill bumps.

Baptism is telling the truth about us and about Jesus, and that truth makes Him look really good. 

 Michael Bailey:

I'm pumped for the Baptism Party because each one is like that rest stop with a cool overlook when you're driving through the mountains. You park your car, get out, and look at the magnificent view of the land you've just driven through. For me, the Baptism Party is a chance to pause and appreciate the magnificence of where God has brought us over this past season. It's chance for me to sit back and soak in the great view his faithfulness to seek and save us. 

Why Doesn't Midtown Have a Lead Pastor?

If you've ever visited the leadership page on our website, you'll notice that there is no singular lead pastor listed. Since many churches in America do operate with a singular lead pastor, we thought it might be good to explain why we don't. Elders are the leaders of the church who in the Bible are also called pastors, bishops, and overseers (Acts 20:28; Ephesians 4:11; 1 Peter 5:2). Elders are to be men chosen for their ministry according to clear biblical requirements (1 Timothy 2:11-3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9) and a elder’s duties include ruling (1 Timothy 5:17) managing (1 Timothy 3:4-5), tending (1 Peter 5:2-5), giving account (Hebrews 13:17), living exemplary lives (Hebrews 13:7), using authority (Acts 20:28), teaching (Ephesians 4:11, 1 Timothy 3:2), preaching (1 Timothy 5:17), doctrinal instruction (Titus 1:9), and discipline (Matthew 18:15-17).

When the bible speaks of pastors/elders at the local church level, it speaks in plurality. From our best understanding of scripture, it was always the goal for local churches to have multiple qualified elders serving together as a safeguard for both the church and the elders. This protects the church from inappropriately being built around one person, often a charismatic leader. It also protects the pastors from being crushed under the weight of leading a church alone.

The Bible calls Jesus the Chief Shepherd, or senior leader, of the church (1 Peter 5:4). Within Midtown's leadership, we reserve the title of Senior Pastor for Jesus, and with him as our leader, we have worked hard to train up and empower qualified pastors and leadership. Our hope is that, by God’s grace and through a team dynamic, being a pastor of our church will be more of a joy than a burden, and though the weight is heavy it would never be crushing.