Pastor Perry Noble of NewSpring Church took to social media on Sunday to announce that 2,335 people had been baptized throughout their 10 South Carolina campuses.
Noble and his megachurch often celebrate large baptism and salvation numbers but he says the church in general needs to do a better job at celebrating God's work, including the name and story behind each individual.
"Over and over again His people are called to celebrate who God is and what He has done," Noble wrote in a blog post. "As His church, we should refuse to be silent when He has been so good … every number has a name, every name has a story and every story matters to God."
He notes that baptisms mark the first day an individual goes public about their commitment to their Christian faith and while it is a major step in a Christian's life, he says there are steps to embrace afterwards as well.
"The best way to know what's next after baptism is to listen to Jesus and do what He says," reads a statement on NewSpring Church. "By reading the Bible and building relationships with other Christians, it becomes easier and easier to hear Jesus' voice and follow Him step by step."
In addition to the baptisms, 75 people committed their lives to Christ during Sunday's sermon. For the new believer, NewSpring has posted online sessions for beginners as a study guide to ease into their Christian lives, beginning with session one, named "You're Just Getting Started."
According to Suzanne Swift, public relations director for NewSpring Church, people are not required to take discipleship classes before they are baptized, as some churches are accustomed to doing.
"However, we do have a one-on-one conversation with anyone wanting to be baptized to help them be sure this is the right next step," said Swift. "Someone could ask Jesus into their life and be baptized in the same Sunday."
NewSpring Church is among the thriving congregations in the Southern Baptist Convention, which in recent years have reported decline in membership and baptism.
According to a LifeWay Christian Resources annual report, baptisms within the denomination have decreased by an average of over 4,000 during the last two years. However, NewSpring continues to defy those figures with the megachurch boasting an average of 40,000 monthly attendees and continuously hosting baptism services.
Noble said he has "caught some flak" in the past for caring about numbers too much and admits that NewSpring hopes to attract more people than they have now because Jesus also cared about attracting multitudes. Their current vision is to reach 100,000 people or more.
"We aren't just about NewSpring being a church of thousands of people," Noble wrote in a previous blog. "We want all churches to be thousands strong because of the potential the church has."