Many churches are in the habit of filming baptism ceremonies and posting the footage online. It can be a creative way to share people’s testimonies and extend the celebration of what God has done in their lives. However, some people are not comfortable with a video of them being posted online for everyone to see.
Teresa Jenkins raised this question in our Facebook group: “We have an opportunity to start putting videos of our baptisms on our website. I’m curious if my communication peers do this, and if so, why or why not?” Here are the replies she received from some of our group members:
“If you’re in a smaller community, it could be a meaningful touch for the person getting baptized. You could provide the video along with the baptism certificate, so they have a way to recall and reflect on the exact moment that God changed everything for them.” – John Caldwell
“We don’t upload them to our website. Weekend attendance of roughly 2000. We can have upwards of 50+ baptisms on a baptism weekend, so there would be some work there on our part to trim and upload in a specific place, and I’m not sure the benefits outweigh the cost.” – James Bailey
“We put videos on Vimeo and share a private link.” – Derek Hanson
“We put videos on Vimeo and share a private link, too. We used to post them on Facebook, as well, with the person’s permission. Since some people come from other religions or their story might reference difficult family situations, we never assume it’s OK to post. We haven’t posted in a while simply because we got out of the habit — but we were talking about doing it again.” – Steven W. Murray
Teresa came to her own conclusion based on these responses.
“As always, thanks for providing such wise counsel, everyone! That’s why I’m part of this group. We decided to share a private Vimeo link with the baptized families. Although the baptism is a public event, we determined that the information shared during testimonies is personal and best shared among the family of believers who have an understanding of the context and meaning of baptism.” – Teresa Jenkins
In summary, sharing baptism videos may be alright in small settings. Use discernment, but some of our group members advise against sharing them publicly. Consider going the same route as Teresa and sharing a private Vimeo link. Also, if your church performs a large number of baptisms each week, there would probably be too many videos to post. If you are going to post baptism videos, that’s great! But definitely make sure that everyone involved is comfortable with it being put online.