WHAT IS A PARENT/CHILD DEDICATION?
You're holding a baby! What joy, excitement, responsibility you feel! So many thoughts and feelings surface as you think of all that lies ahead. You want to give your best and be your best for this baby. You want to do it right, and for all these reasons and many more, you are considering taking part in a Parent-Child Dedication service.
A Parent-Child Dedication is made of several important ingredients. First is the recognition that the child you hold is not yours, but God's. God is the author of life. Your baby is not an accident, mistake, or even the outcome of your choice. The baby you hold today is a miracle and a gift from God. No person has your child's exact personality, gifts, or fingerprints. No wonder the Psalmist declared. . .
"For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mothers womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well."
- Psalm 139:13-14
AN OPPORTUNITY TO CELEBRATE!
In I Samuel 1, a woman named Hannah yearned for a child. Her greatest desire was to be a mother. Yet, she experienced disappointment after disappointment, and remained childless. She continually cried out to God and, in time, God gave her the gift of a son. When Samuel was born, Hannah said, For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted my petition which I asked of Him. Therefore I also have given him to the Lord; as long as he lives he shall be given to the Lord. Understanding that the child born to Hannah and her husband, Elkanah, was a gift from God, Hannah stood before God and offered praise and thanks for His gift in their lives. A baby dedication is also a celebration of the gift you have received from God. The church is the best place to celebrate the arrival of babies because it is a gathering place for worship. We want to join you in gratitude and joy as we celebrate Gods gift placed in your arms. We want to embrace you and the challenge that lies ahead, praying for you and encouraging you as you look forward to all God will do through the life of your child.
Yes, a baby dedication is a celebration of Gods gift, but there is more…
A COMMITMENT TO GOD'S PLAN
A Parent-Child Dedication is not just about the child; it's about the entire family. Standing in a church and celebrating the gift of your child is the first step, but following Christ and seeing His wisdom in the rearing of your child is the journey. The dedication service is as much for the parent as for the child.
Following Hannah's grateful expression of praise to God, the Bible says Hannah and Elkanah worshiped the Lord in the temple. They publicly declared their commitment to honor God's plan for their child and serve as partners in the task of honoring God in their home.
A TIME FOR YOUR CHURCH TO COMMIT TO SUPPORTING YOU
God has not left you without instructions for parenting, and He has not left you to do this task alone. When our church comes together for a Parent-Child Dedication, we're not simply celebrating the gift of a child and the commitment of a parent. We're embracing our responsibility to support families by teaching God's Word, serving one another in love, training up disciples of Jesus, and pointing others to Christ.
Frequently Asked Questions:
At what age can a child take part in a Parent-Child Dedication service?
Our primary focus is on children from birth to 18 months. However, we deal with each family on an individual basis. Adoption after this time and other situations may arise and we prayerfully desire to navigate this on a case by case basis.
Can a single parent participate in a Parent-Child Dedication?
Yes. We want to do all we can to encourage your walk with Christ. Single parenting is double-duty in child-rearing. Our church desires to be part of your extended family. We hope to provide compassionate support, spiritual growth, and a variety of ministries to enable you to succeed in parenting your child in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. If you want to participate in a dedication service and would like the support of your parents or another family member, we would gladly discuss this matter with you prior to the service of dedication and provide guidance on how they can take part in the service with you.
Can the biological parents participate in a Parent-Child Dedication service if they are not married and living together?
No. While we honor the life of each child and encourage parents married and unmarried to embrace the importance of spiritual commitment for children, a baby dedication service is intended to reflect the teaching of Scripture on family life. If a couple is cohabitating we ask you to consider marriage as your next step.
Our goal in ministry is to meet people where they are in life, to lead them to Gods grace and truth, and to help them discover life abundant in Christ and His church.
Why don't you baptize babies?
Baptism is one of the two ordinances (baptism and the Lord’s supper) given to the church by the Lord Jesus Christ. Examples and directives for the proper practice of these ordinances are found throughout Scripture.
Baptism is for believers — those who have put their faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. Baptism is only seen in the Bible when someone receives Christ and confesses Him as Savior and Lord. Baptism pictures the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, symbolizing life before Christ and a new life in Him. Each child must hear and respond to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
For this reason, we have a service of dedication to Christ for parents and their children, but we do not confuse this dedication with baptism, which follows a profession of faith. If you have questions about baptism, we will be glad to discuss them with you and provide guidance and opportunity to follow Christ according to His Word.
Do you provide reserved seating for grandparents and extended family?
Yes. We would not want your family to miss this important event in your life. A great seat hopefully will mean some great photos too.