Why child dedication?
Child dedication has its roots in the biblical precedent (Luke 2:22, Mark 10:13-16) of families presenting their children before the Lord with gratitude and a desire that their children would belong to God and glorify him with their lives.
Child dedication is distinct from infant baptism, which some churches practice as a way of marking a child’s salvation or inclusion in God’s covenant community. Child dedication does not cause a child to become a Christian or ensure that they will trust Christ in the future; rather, it marks a commitment on the part of believing parents to do everything they can to lead their children towards faith in Christ.
Who can participate in child dedication?
Child dedication at Sunrise is for parents who have trusted in Jesus Christ and who have made Sunrise their church home, as evidenced by their affirmation of our beliefs and their consistent participation in the life of the church.
Single parents are welcome (and encouraged!) to participate, but we ask that parents who are unmarried and living together take steps to pursue obedience to God’s good plan for families before participating. In families where only one spouse has trusted Christ but the other is supportive of the believing spouse’s intention to raise their children to know Christ, the unbelieving spouse is welcome to join their spouse and children at the front during the dedication. Any questions on this can be directed to Pastor Brett Wendle, firstname.lastname@example.org.
All parents who participate in child dedication at Sunrise will be invited and strongly encouraged to attend a dedication orientation which will take place in the weeks preceding the dedication. This will both give important details regarding the dedication and provide an opportunity for parents of small children to explore together the foundations of Christian parenting.
What will happen at the child dedication?
In the course of the Sunday morning service, all participating families will be invited to the front of the theatre. A pastor will briefly explain the meaning of child dedication and the high call of Christian parenting, and he will ask the parents to respond affirmatively to four questions:
- Do you affirm that you are trusting the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior?
- Do you acknowledge that this dedication of your child is not a saving ordinance or act, but that your child will need to trust Christ as his/her Savior through a personal decision, when he/she is old enough?
- Do you promise, with God’s help, to raise your child in the training of God’s Word and the community of His church, to pray for him/her, and to set an example of Christ’s love through your marriage?
- Do you promise to hold out to them both God’s high standard and His gospel of grace, that they might see their need for a Rescuer and understand His Rescue plan at an early age?
Following their affirmations, one question will be put to the congregation:
- Do you promise, with God’s help, you will support these parents with your prayers, assist them through service, and encourage them through loving words & faithful counsel?
Then the pastor will dedicate each child to God, speaking a prayer of blessing over each. Parents will be presented with two books (one for their own parenting and one to read with their children) and a dedication certificate, and they will then be dismissed to return to their seats.
What’s my next step?
If interested in participating, please fill out this Child Dedication Participation Form. A pastor will be in touch with you shortly.