For congregations to thrive and Christ’s mission among us to flourish, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship has entered a season of discovering where God would focus our work together. Take CBF’s online survey about your church and your personal ministry aspirations before Feb. 2.
This devotional is part of a series in January that tells stories of “Bold Faith” written by CBF field personnel and members of a team composed of clergy and laity from across the Fellowship who are leading of process of prayerful discovery that will result in a faithful response. Find out more about this process called Toward Bold Faithfulness.
By Joshua Speight
On January 12th, together my wife and I baptized our youngest daughter, Evelyn. It was a beautiful experience standing in the baptismal water listening as my nine-year-old proclaimed her faith in Jesus to her church family. It was a holy moment of faith that will stay with me—not just because I baptized my daughter; it will stay with me because I stood by her and witnessed her first steps toward bold faithfulness.
As I reflect on Evelyn’s baptism, I continue to think of all the people who came before her and who will come after her to stand in those same waters. I remember my own baptism when I was around Evelyn’s age—fearfully standing in front of my congregation in Texas to proclaim Christ as well. That younger version of myself, and my daughter years later, both took our first steps of bold faith.
As CBF considers how we can move toward bold faithfulness, I encourage all of us to reflect on our own experience in the baptismal waters. To follow Jesus is to boldly proclaim our faith in him.
When we willingly walk into the water and give of ourselves to be submerged in it, we follow the example of Jesus who willingly went into Jordan River and let his cousin John baptize him in obedience to God. Jesus acted boldly and would continue to do on his way to Jerusalem.
As Christians, we are followers of Jesus. Our lives are to reflect that calling. Our baptism experience is not just a memory of our past, it is the first step we took toward bold faithfulness. It is the first step we took giving of ourselves to God’s leadership. And it is our faith, the same faith that led us into the water, that asks us to live boldly and to feel that water surrounding us all the time.
As CBF lives into this new moment of discernment asking God what we are to do and to be, may all of us be patient and willing to be vulnerable to one another. May all of us remember our baptism. May all of ask God to lead us toward bold faithfulness.
Joshua Speight serves as the manager of leadership development for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. Take a step in bold faith alongside him by taking CBF’s online survey at www.cbf.net/survey.
I’ve taken the survey and was impressed with it’s broad scope and thought provoking questions.
As a member of Smoke Rise Baptist Church, I found Evelyn Speight’s baptism truly holy ground.