- Why a Baby Dedication?
- Who can dedicate a baby?
- What Are You Committing To?
- What are the responsibilities involved in baby dedication?
- Examples of Baby Dedication in Scripture
- Is my child too old to be dedicated?
- What if I am a single parent?
- Can I have a photographer or family friend take pictures of the ceremony?
- What is The Ceremony: Order of Service?
1. Why a Baby Dedication?
We believe that baptism is something done only after a person makes a conscious choice to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior. However, we recognize the importance of making a commitment to raise your child in a Christian manner. A Baby Dedication is a ceremony in which believing parents make a commitment before the Lord to submit a child to God's will and to raise that child according to God's Word and God's ways.
2. Who can dedicate a baby?
We believe that parents are given the responsibility of raising and nurturing a child throughout their life. Parents will answer to God for how they have impacted the life of their child. Because this authority and responsibility lies with the parents, only parents or legal guardians of a child may dedicate a child to the Lord. We ask parents to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as a first step for you to understand what we believe and for us to truly be able to partner with you in the spiritual development of your child. Children are a gift from God.
Psalm 127:3 Yes, sons are a gift from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.
3. What Are You Committing To?
By coming forward before God and His people to dedicate your child, you will be asked by the Pastor to take a few minutes to express your commitment in following God’s Word as follows:
Proclaim your commitment to:
- Serve and Honor Jesus Christ with your lives
- Model His love to your child
- Raise your child up according to God’s Word and way - So that your child may walk in the abundant life that Christ offers, to provide a Christian home of love and peace, to raise your child in truth of our Lord’s instruction and discipline, and to encourage your child to one day trust Jesus Christ as his own Savior and Lord
- Trust God, through your fellowship with believers and loved ones, to receive support, help and accountability to God’s ways
4. What are the responsibilities involved in baby dedication?
Christian parents who dedicate a child are making a promise to the Lord to do everything within their power to raise the child in a Godly way, prayerfully until he or she can make a decision on his or her own to follow Christ. Parents who make this vow of commitment are instructed to raise the child in the ways of God and not according to their own ways. Some of the responsibilities include teaching and training the child in God's Word, demonstrating an example of Godliness, disciplining according to God's ways, and praying earnestly for the child.
-Proverbs 2:2-6 - Train a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.
-Deuteronomy 6:4-7 - "Hear O Israel: The Lord our God is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength. These commandments 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."
-Ephesians 6:4 - "Fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord."
The best thing Moms and Dads can teach their child is the "Fear of the Lord," for Proverbs 1:7 tells us this is "the beginning of knowledge." In other words, the successful application of all that your child learns in life depends on him first learning to fear and follow God.
5. Examples of Baby Dedication in Scripture
And she (Hannah) made a vow, saying, "O LORD Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant's misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head." 1 Samuel 1:11 (NIV)
When God answered Hannah's prayer by giving her a son, she remembered her vow:
"As surely as you live, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the LORD. I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD." And she worshiped the LORD there. 1 Samuel 1:26-28 (NIV)
In Luke 2:22, we read that Mary and Joseph brought their baby Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem in order to present him before the Lord.
6. Is my child too old to be dedicated?
Any child at any age can be dedicated to the Lord.
7. What if I am a single parent?
We welcome single parents to dedicate their children. This would be a time when we would especially encourage grandparents, close friends, or leaders in the church to stand with a single parent and participate in the ceremony. Details about this can be discussed with our Pastor or Children’s Ministry Coordinator.
8. Can I have a photographer or family friend take pictures of the ceremony?
A designated photographer can sit on the front row of the church to get pictures of the actual ceremony. If a flash is being used, we ask that the number of pictures be limited to four. The best opportunity to take a family picture will be before or after the service.
9. What is the Ceremony: Order of Service?
The family will be asked to come to the front of the church. The Pastor will introduce the family to the church and briefly explain the purpose and Biblical foundation of dedication. The North Valley Kids Coordinator will ask the father (if he is present), to briefly share why they are dedicating this child and present any scripture or thoughts they feel God has given them for this baby. The length of time should not exceed 3 minutes. The Pastor will ask for commitments: First – from Parents: “Do you commit to….if so, say “we will”. Response: “We will”. Second – from Extended Family and Entire Church Response: “We will”. Prayer: the Pastor will pray over the child.
Expect the Unexpected: Keep in mind that babies are unpredictable. Some may sleep during the dedication, but others might cry, especially while you're holding them! It is moments such as these that make baby dedications so special. The sacred and the mundane collide - but through it, we see a glimpse of God in the life of a child – so do not fear this, but anticipate it. If you will have toddler-aged children/siblings joining your entourage, you may want to plan ahead and assign someone to be attentive to those children so you can focus on the baby and the Pastor’s promptings. A Certificate will be given to the family and everyone will be asked to return to their seat.