Culture At Large

Are outdoor baptisms dwindling?

Jerod Clark

I have to take issue with a recent article in the USA Today talking about how outdoor baptisms are dwindling. The fairly poor sourced story admits there are no stats kept on outdoor dunking. Plus the quotes the paper used seem fairly general. There’s a seminary professor saying there aren’t as many. And there’s a Southern Baptist publisher saying most churches have indoor baptisteries. The whole article feels forced and a touch made up to me.

The main reason I have objections to this article is the fact that I feel like from my personal experience, I’ve heard about more outdoor baptisms this year than I have in the past. Park Community Church in Chicago recently had a baptism event in Lake Michigan. National Community Church in Washington, D.C. just had “Baptism as the Bay” at Sandy Point State Park. Just a few weeks ago, I was spending time on the beach and watched two people get baptized in Lake Michigan. And my own church is having a baptism event later this month. While church leaders were looking at doing it in a natural body of water, the decision was made to build our own outdoor baptistery on campus.

There are four examples I know about in my own life without doing any research.  How about you? In your communities have you heard of any outdoor baptisms recently? Or am I alone on this one?

Topics: Culture At Large, Theology & The Church, Faith