Ensure an excellent experience for your people and your team when you learn what to look out for when making a portable baptismal pool purchase.
The New York Times reported that “baptisms are getting wild” because of the non-traditional nature of the sacrament over the past decade. Whereas historically churches had a built-in baptistry, churches are often built without that structure. These days, it’s not unusual to see baptisms celebrated in a church auditorium with a water-filled horse trough or portable fiberglass unit, or even at a local beach.
The “wild” approach to this tradition is especially important for churches that don’t have a permanent baptistry for recognizing this sacrament for church members. How can a portable church conduct baptisms? What’s the best equipment for celebrating this sacrament in a leased facility or in a venue that simply does not offer a baptismal area?
Portable baptistries are the perfect solution for conducting baptisms in buildings that don’t have a permanent baptistry, whether you’re a mobile church or have a permanent facility.
To navigate quickly to each section, use the links below.
- What are some examples of a portable baptism pool?
- How to Conduct a Baptism in a Portable Church
- How To Choose the Best Portable Baptismal Pool
- 6 Things to Consider When Buying a Portable Baptismal Pool
- Set Up and Tear Down Matters
- Size of Your Portable Baptismal Pool Matters
- Cost Matters
- Durability Matters
- Safety Matters
- Water Quality Matters
What are some examples of a portable baptism pool?
Options for portable baptistries can run the gamut—from a horse trough to a tub with built-in stairs. Here are just a few of the options available to churches:
- Fiberglass Baptismal Tub
- Wood Panel-Covered Fiberglass Baptistry
- Circular Baptismal Pool
- Vinyl, Folding Baptismal Pool
- Galvanized Horse Trough
- Inflatable Swimming Pool
In case you’re wondering which option is often recommended by our portable church experts, it’s the easily-assembled unit from Portable Baptistries. Among the churches we’ve worked with, these lightweight tubs have become a favorite.
For more information, check out this video where some of our church launch experts share the pros and cons of different kinds of portable baptistry options.
PRO TIP: Yes, powerful and portable water heaters are available through many vendors, searchable online. For less than $1,000, you can ensure a toasty experience for your candidates.
How to Conduct a Baptism in a Portable Church
In addition to deciding which portable baptistry is best for your church, there are plenty of other details to consider. We’d like to share a few tips that come from decades of working with churches that have navigated baptisms in a mobile setting.
Towels are Key
Not only will your baptism candidates appreciate a large bath sheet, but it’s also a safety tool! Instead of leaving a trail of water on a tile floor, line the path with towels to minimize slips and reduce the water pools in your church’s bathroom area.
Consider the Best Location
If your stage area doesn’t suit baptisms, simply set up your portable baptismal pool in a different room, like a hallway or a classroom, and broadcast it to the worship area.
Pre-record for Ease and Comfort
Do you have shy candidates? Or a few who are long-winded? Instead of asking baptism candidates to share or read their testimony, consider pre-recording it instead. Not only will this be a comfort to the intimidated parties, but it will also keep the service to an allotted amount of time. In addition, churches can pre-record the entire baptism process to streamline it even further.
Share a Portable Baptism Pool
Know of other portable churches in your area? Consider sharing a baptismal. Assuming it’s not a piece of equipment you use regularly, it could easily be shared among a church or two—or more!
Consider Water Temp
As mentioned before, there are heaters available to help you quickly heat the water inside your portable baptismal pool–both immersion heaters and circulation heaters. Since baptismal pools are typically filled with cold tap water, often through a standard garden hose, a heated experience will be much more pleasant for the candidates and pastors alike.
On that note, remember to consider timing and building heat when you’re preparing for a baptism. For example, if you plan to heat the tub, consider both fill time and heat time when determining the appropriate start time for your efforts.
How To Choose The Best Portable Baptismal Pool
Choosing the right portable baptistry for your church is important to ensure that baptisms are conducted safely and with proper respect. Factors to consider include size, cost, durability, safety, water quality, and ease of setting up and tearing down.
In a portable church context, one of the most important factors, above all others, is that your portable baptismal pool purchase must be easy to set up and tear down so that baptisms can happen anytime, anywhere.
Purchasing a baptistry for your church may initially seem like a quick task to tick off, but if you want to make the correct choice, you’ll need to know what to look out for. This article will have you set in the right direction as you search for the ideal baptismal pool for your church.
6 Things to Consider When Buying a Portable Baptismal Pool
Here are six things you will want to consider when setting out to find your church’s portable baptismal pool.
1. Set Up and Tear Down Matters
This is probably the most important factor for portable churches. You don’t want to purchase a baptismal pool that takes your team a long time to set up and tear down. You’ll want to keep this factor at the top of your priority list and it must be a deciding factor when you need to choose between your top three selections.
Here are some important things to look at:
- Check if one person can set the pool up or if it will need a team.
- Note the level of ease with which it will come together.
- Will it need a plug point for a pump?
- Are there steps in the setup that can easily go wrong and will mean that your pool is easily broken?
Additionally, the quick dismantling of your portable baptistry after the service ensures that no part of the equipment is left behind or lost in storage or transport.
Get the scoop: 11 Insider Tips Ministry Leaders Want You To Know Right Now
2. Size of Your Portable Baptismal Pool Matters
Choosing the right size of portable baptistry is important. When making your selection, make sure it’s large enough to comfortably fit your intended number of participants as well as any accompanying individuals, such as parents or pastors. Too small of a pool could cause discomfort, while too large of a pool may require extra effort in setup and tear down. Consider your space requirements when deciding which size will best suit your needs.
In addition, keep the weight of the pool in mind if you plan to transport it between locations; some portable baptistries can be quite heavy and may require multiple people to move them. Here’s what one church member had to say about the subject:
“Our church needed something light-weight and easy to store away when not in use, the portable baptistries were exactly what we were looking for.”- Matt
By investing in a small and lightweight unit, churches—both portable and permanent—will have the flexibility to provide an engaging baptism experience no matter where it is celebrated.Whether you’re a mobile church or permanent, choosing the perfect portable baptismal pool for your church is essential. Before investing, consider safety, water quality, and ease of use. Click To Tweet
3. Cost Matters
When considering the cost of a portable baptismal, it’s important to factor in the quality and durability of the product. While cheaper models may be more economical in the short term, if they are not as durable as other options, you may need to replace them more often. Imagine the disaster if a baptismal unit springs a leak in the middle of your Sunday service. On the other hand, let’s not.
Depending on your budget, there may be additional features that can add value to your purchase, such as built-in filtration systems or temperature control solutions. Consider all aspects carefully and make sure you are getting the best value for your money.
4. Durability Matters
You need to consider durability when choosing a portable baptistry. Plastic units are typically lightweight, easy to set up and transport, and cost-effective, making them ideal for portable churches. However, plastic pools may not offer the same durability as metal portable baptistries.
Metal units tend to be heavier and require more setup time than plastic ones, but they offer superior strength and rigidity when compared to plastic models. They also tend to last longer due to their increased durability.
There’s no wrong choice; it’s a matter of knowing your typical use case.
Need a quick how-to? How to do Baptisms in a Portable Church
5. Safety Matters
It’s also important to consider safety when buying a portable baptismal because there are some things you need to watch out for. Here is a list of some important safety precautions:
- Make sure that the pool has an adequate drain system, so that water does not accumulate or stay stagnant inside the pool.
- Ensure that the pool is safe for children of all sizes.
- The pool should have adequate support and stability to prevent tipping or sliding during use. For rollable units, locking caster wheels are a must.
- Check for any sharp edges or corners that could prove dangerous and ensure that the material of construction is strong enough to hold water.
- Be sure to read through all manufacturer warnings and instructions thoroughly before setting up and using the pool.
- Keep unattended children away from the filled unit. This is where a plastic or wooden top will come in handy as another level of security.
Above all, does your portable baptistry come with the apparatus people will need for getting into and out of the unit? If not, consider buying a pool ladder or a portable ramp, perhaps even a stability rail. Another useful item for your baptistry would be a non-slip surface to lay down if your pool doesn’t have an in-built one. Whatever avenue you choose, make sure individuals are safe to enter and exit the unit.Baptism is an exciting and important milestone in a believer's life! Churches should aim at investing in a good quality portable baptismal pool and ensure that the experience is safe and meaningful. Click To Tweet
6. Water Quality Matters
Water quality is an important consideration when it comes to owning a portable baptistry. Impurities and contaminants in the water can cause health issues and skin irritation, as well as damage to the pool itself.
Before purchasing a portable pool, be sure to research the recommended water quality maintenance standards and make sure that any products you use in the pool will help maintain good water quality. Check if the pool you’re looking at will help you keep it clean in some way (filters, drainage system, etc.), or if it will end up being a difficult process for your team to keep it clean and looking good.
ACE YOUR PORTABLE BAPTISMAL POOL PURCHASE
Purchasing a portable baptismal pool is an exciting time and can bring great joy to any church. Aside from the important points we’ve discussed above, it’s a good idea to make sure to invest in products and practices that will maintain your pool and ensure a positive experience for all who enter the water.
Taking the time to choose the right baptismal pool for your portable church will mean that you can be confident that your baptismal experience will be safe and meaningful for everyone involved!
Need help navigating your portable church setup and gear choices? We’d love to help. Book a free consultation call with one of our experts today.