This coming Sunday evening several of our young people will be baptised. This is a significant step in their discipleship, but it is not the final one. I have been more and more struck by the dynamic nature of following Jesus. It is not simply a matter of in or out, but rather near or far. In other words,  while baptism is a significant step in their discipleship, it is only a step. This is not the finish line.

Many of us would know others who have been baptism but have, over time, stopped walking with Jesus and have drifted away from him. Our discipleship can be evaluated only by how close we are moving towards (or away from) Jesus.

These young people are not crossing a boundary where their “in-ness” is now guaranteed, but are taking a step that must be followed by another, and another, and another, and another as they draw close to Jesus.

Their step of obedience, therefore, invites us to ask ourselves how we are going in our discipleship. Are we following more closely than before or have we drifted a bit? I look forward to hearing what God has done in the lives of these young people, but also to how we can encourage them to continue to follow Jesus. And this is a role for all of us - to encourage others to follow Jesus as we continue to follow him!

Marc Rader | Senior Pastor