In a bid to boost adult baptism numbers, Lead Pastor Dan O’Dunker of Oceandeep Church commissioned leading waterpark design company WhiteWater West to design and install a waterslide that will provide an unforgettable experience for future baptism candidates.
The church annual survey last year showed that less than 30% of all professing Christians at Oceandeep Church are baptized, with many citing a lack of “readiness” or a self-perceived “immaturity” as reasons for not doing so.
“Baptism will not make anyone a Christian, nor is it something for the so-called ‘mature’ believer only,” Pastor O’Dunker explained, “it is simply an outward declaration of an already-present, inward faith.”
Despite numerous attempts to convey this truth to his congregation, the number of people signing up for the baptism class remained extremely low. But during a pastors’ retreat to “Waterbom Bali,” listed by TripAdvisor as the top waterpark in Asia, O’Dunker claimed to have received a sudden flash of inspiration.
“It was as though the Holy Spirit was present in that tube pipe with me as I was free-falling towards the ground at 60 miles per hour. And as I exploded from the pipe, I saw a vision of a waterslide, almost like I was actually in one, and I knew instantly that this was God showing me the way to get more people dunked.”
“Project Waterslide Baptism” (also known as “The Dunkmeister 3000”) is currently in its final testing phase and features an 84-meter open-top section for meditation, followed by a closed pipe to ensure safety during the 30-meter free-fall and corkscrew sections. The final 25-meter section of the slide is fitted with multi-colored flashing strobe lights to create an atmosphere of joy and celebration, while underwater speakers ensure an optimal level of hype with a custom-curated mix of “baptismal beats”.
The project has received mixed reviews, with some expressing concern regarding the cost. Others have praised O’Dunker for his vision and innovation. In response to his critics, O’Dunker said, “I know what God showed me, and it was definitely a waterslide. Plus, there is now a three-month waiting list for a spot in our baptism class, and numbers don’t lie.”
To accommodate the backlog of baptism candidates, Oceandeep Church is planning a two-month “Summer Dunk-a-Thon” when the project is completed next month.
* This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual events, locales or persons is entirely coincidental. No people or water slides are harmed in the making of this article.