Want to have your child dedicated?
Click on the button below to indicate your interest to Pastor Joel.
What is child dedication?
Child dedication is not a biblically mandated practice. It is a voluntary act in which parents commit themselves publicly to raise their son or daughter “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Standing before the congregation, you will ask fellow believers to encourage you and hold you accountable for fostering your child’s spiritual life. Dedicating your son/daughter does not confer special grace on him/her nor does it make him/her a Christian. It is not akin to Catholic baptism or Jewish circumcision or dedication (Luke 2:22-24). Child dedication focuses on your role as parents. It is a wonderful time for followers of Christ to reflect on the next generation and the responsibility we all share to encourage their godliness.
Who should have their child dedicated?
If we agree that dedication is primarily parents’ publicly dedicating themselves to raise their children in the nurture and love of the Lord, we’ll agree that these three things should be true of the parents:
- They should be committed Christians. They should have reached a point of believing the Good News – that God invites them to be part of His kingdom, family and mission in this world. They have confidence that Jesus lived and died to pay for their sins and rose from death to give them a new life, that God loves them, and that they can have a growing relationship with God as a free gift of grace. They shouldn’t just be Christian in name – but rather, Christians from the heart, with a sincere personal, committed faith. (If you aren’t sure how to become a committed Christian, please speak with a small group leader or staff member – any of us would be glad to help you take this important step.)
- They should be involved in the church – either as committed members or as people preparing for membership.
- They should take seriously their responsibility to raise their children with a strong spiritual foundation. They should be committed to having their children in church, and even more importantly, to making God a part of their daily lives. There are two beautiful passages that describe this type of parenting, one from the Old Testament, and one from the New Testament:
- Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commands that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up... Deuteronomy 6:5-7
- In the future, when your son asks you, "What is the meaning of the stipulations, decrees, and laws the Lord our God has commanded you?" tell him: "…The Lord commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the Lord our God, so that we might always prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today. And if we are careful to obey all this law before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness." Deuteronomy 6:4-25
- Parents do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4
What does child dedication involve?
We have child dedications as a part of our regular services. Joel will speak briefly about child dedication, read portions of Scripture
related to parenting, and ask you a few questions. The questions will be similar to these:
- Will you pledge to support and love your son or daughter by providing the opportunity for him/her to grow up in the family of faith, with the hope that he/she will some day confess Christ as his/her own Lord and Savior?
- Will you, to the best of your ability and with God's help, provide a loving family environment in which he/she can grow in love, loyalty, and obedience to God?
- Will you encourage your child to grow in faith, so that he/she might later be received into the fellowship of the church by baptism, fully partaking in the work and worship of the church?
The appropriate response to each question is “We will.” Pastor Joel will then pray individually for you and your child. While he does, He will invite your family members in the congregation to stand. Joel will also give you a dedication certificate following the service.
What is the maximum age a child can be dedicated?
A child is generally capable of making a personal spiritual decision for Christ around age seven, so that is the maximum age for dedication.
What should we wear for the dedication service?
You are welcome to wear whatever you would like. Parents and children have worn anything ranging from casual clothes to formal dresses or suits.