Baptism is an interesting subject. Much could be written about it, but I only intend to discuss a few points from Matthew 28:19, which states, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” First, the command was given by Jesus to his disciples. It’s generally agreed that this command is not confined simply to the eleven who happened to be there, but rather to any follower (disciple) of Christ. Therefore, what follows can plausibly be applied to every believer.
Second, baptism is most plausibly believer’s baptism. There is certainly debate about the issue, but the passage clearly teaches the message of the Gospel, and then baptism from those who would learn. The debate need not be explored here, since the point of the article is what follows from these things.
Third, if the command was given to every believer, then, at least on the surface, every believer may baptize other believers (who have not yet been baptized). This would mean ordinary laymen could perform baptisms, or even women. I mention this because throughout my church tradition, only ordained pastoral staff baptize people. However, there is nothing biblically precluding this, and moreover there is nothing inherent in biblical pastoral duties stating only they may baptize (in fact, Philip was not even functioning as a pastor when he baptized the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8).
Now this is not to say church’s traditions should be overthrown or directly challenged. After all, it may be somewhat odd to start having 11-year-olds baptize people in front of the congregation. There’s a distinct sense in which baptism ought to be done within the purview of the local church, and there’s a good practical argument to be made for pastors and deacons to be the primary baptizers. There may be considerations for women baptizing other women, or whatnot. The point is just to say that perhaps baptism should not be restricted quite as much as it is. What do you think?