A Child Dedication service is an opportunity for parents to publicly declare their intent to raise their child in a way that honors God and also give the child the opportunity to eventually have a personal relationship with Jesus. In many ways a “child dedication” service is truly a “parent dedication” service, as parents publicly declare to raise their child in the faith until the child is old enough to make his own personal confession of Christ. It’s also a time for family, friends, and the church body here at First Baptist to say we will partner with you, as best we can, to see that this takes place.
If your heart is in agreement with the purpose and the motive of a Child Dedication, then we invite you to participate. We consider this a sincere promise to God that flows out of your commitment to Jesus Christ.
HOW DOES CHILD DEDICATION DIFFER FROM BAPTISM?
Child Dedication is not infant baptism. It does not indicate or assure salvation. While baptism or christening are a significant rite of passage for infants in a variety of faiths, we believe the Bible teaches that baptism is reserved for those who have already made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ, and are old enough to grasp the role of baptism as an outward symbol of their faith.
DO I NEED TO BE A MEMBER OF FIRST BAPTIST TO PARTICIPATE?
No. Child Dedication is an opportunity for any parents to stand before God and dedicate themselves to raising their child in a Godly environment regardless of church membership.
WHAT IS THE BIBLICAL PURPOSE AND HISTORY OF A CHILD DEDICATION?
The scriptural root of a child dedication is found in 1 Samuel 1:27–28 (NASB), where a godly woman named Hannah prayed year after year for God to give her a child. He answered her prayer and she gave birth to a son, whom she named Samuel. When Samuel was born, Hannah prayed these words:
“For this boy I prayed, and the Lord has given me my petition which I asked of Him. So I have also dedicated him to the Lord; as long as he lives he is dedicated to the Lord.”
In Luke chapter 2 of the New Testament, following the birth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph took the infant Jesus to the temple and dedicated Him.
In both Scripture passages, the parents entrusted their child completely to God.
The writings of Moses found in Deuteronomy 6:5–9 describe God’s plan for how a parent should raise up a child:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments 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. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”
One key step in marking your desire to nurture your child in the ways of God is to dedicate him or her to God publically, through a child dedication ceremony.
AT WHAT AGE CAN A CHILD TAKE PART IN A DEDICATION SERVICE?
First Baptist does not have a set age requirement for child dedication. Parents can dedicate child as an infant, but many parents dedicate children much older than that, often for the following reasons:
-The parent(s) are new believers in Christ and their children were not dedicated when they were infants.
-The parent(s) are having a younger child dedicated and want to have their older child dedicated at the same time.
CAN A SINGLE PARENT PARTICIPATE IN A CHILD DEDICATION SERVICE?
Yes! Child dedication signifies the commitment of parents (including single parents) to do their best to raise their child to be a follower of Christ. Additionally, we highly encourage single parents to dedicate their child as they commit themselves to raise him or her without the presence or partnership of a spouse. The decision to dedicate a child is not dependent upon the beliefs of the former spouse; however, we encourage single parents to discuss child dedication with their former spouse. Ideally, both parents—even if not married—would still commit to the dedication of their child to God. We acknowledge that this is often not possible, and that it takes extra effort for a single parent to raise a child. As a church, First Baptist is committed to supporting single parents in providing a Christian foundation for their child’s upbringing.
CAN PARENT(S) ASSIGN GODPARENTS?
Although the term “godparent” is not used at First Baptist, we do welcome parents to invite friends and family members committed to supporting them to stand during the dedication. The presence of these significant adults symbolizes their commitment to play a supportive role in the child’s spiritual development.
CHILD DEDICATION CERTIFICATE
Parents will receive a Child Dedication certificate for their child.
UPCOMING CHILD DEDICATION:
Sunday, May 8, 2016