I don’t have any proof, but I imagine that when ministers see someone tall join a baptism class they frown a little. They know that in a few weeks, they’ll be up in front of everyone in the church trying to do that awkward “tall person baptism.” You know exactly what I’m talking about. The tall person tries to bend a little, folding up their height so the minister can dip them in the water. Then the minister, doing their best American Gladiators groan, pulls them out of the water and we all collectively breathe a sigh of relief.
Fortunately, I’ve created five easy ways that we can fix this problem.
I think in the seventies you were forced by law to hold baptisms in lakes. And everyone watching had to wear those really long, kind of hippy shirts and have mustaches. At least that’s what I got from my parents’ photos, but times have changed. Outdoor baptisms aren’t that popular anymore, but if you have someone tall getting dunked then you should reconsider mother nature. Go to a lake in your area. On the night before the event, dig a small hole in the sand where you expect to be standing. Then when you baptize Andre the Giant you can have them stand in the hole. Problem solved.
2. Sweep the leg Johnny, sweep the leg.
The responses to the kicking old ladies in the face post have been hilarious but also made me think. Maybe we don’t do nearly enough leg drops and kung-fu type moves in our services. So next time you have someone really tall, sweep their leg and when they fall you can catch them and baptize them. It’s a little trickier than the first tip but you won’t have to dig a secret hole in a lake in the middle of the night, so you’ve got that going for you.
When I was a kid we used to sneak up behind people and put our knee behind their knee. Something about touching that area of the body makes people kind of crumple. Just stand to the side of the person and when it’s time to get them wet, extend your knee.
4. Get a ringer
Find the tallest person in your church and ordain them. Then when someone tall wants to get baptized just have the new minister do it. We needed this person a few months ago when Jon Barry, a former NBA player, got baptized. The North Point minister did a great job with Barry, who is doing commentary for the NBA playoffs on TNT right now, but I still think a tall ringer might have done even better.
This one is a little complicated. Did you ever do that game where someone gets on all fours behind somebody else? You push the person standing up and they fall over when their legs come in contact with the person on all fours? I’m not saying you should do that but if your church has SCUBA gear, another minister could hide out in the baptismal pool. Then you could push the person over and catch them when they fall. Just something to think about.
Am I the only one that thinks these things during church? Probably.