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We are excited about your decision to dedicate your child(ren) to the Lord. It is important that you understand the meaning and purpose behind Child Dedication.
WHAT ARE CHILD DEDICATIONS?
Child dedication is the parent’s commitment, before God and their church community, to raise their child according to God’s Word and for His glory.
The goal of child dedication is to help parents recognize that they are stewards of God’s gift of children. It provides an opportunity for family, friends, and church community to come alongside parents as they begin laying a firm foundation of leading their child into a life-long relationship with Jesus Christ.
While parents cannot decide their child’s salvation they have been given the responsibility to lay a foundation through teaching and example that will help their child make that decision at the right time.
BIBLICAL MEANING OF CHILD DEDICATION
Psalm 127:3 says that "Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from Him." As Christians, we are called to recognize that children belong first and foremost to God. God in his goodness gives children as gifts to parents. They not only have the responsibility of caring for this gift, but also the wonderful privilege of enjoying the gift.
In the Bible, we read that people brought little children to Jesus so that he might place his hands on them and pray for them. In the Old Testament Hannah presented her son Samuel to the Lord (1 Samuel 1). In the New Testament, we read that Mary and Joseph brought their baby Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem in order to present him before the Lord (Luke 2). In the same way, Moms and Dads today bring their children, presenting first themselves and then their son or daughter before the Lord.
PURPOSE OF CHILD DEDICATION
The purpose and meaning of baby dedication come to us from Deuteronomy 6:4-7.
First, it commands parents to love God; if they truly wish for their child to one day love and follow God, their lives must be an example.
Second, scripture makes clear that the duty of teaching children belongs to parents.
Finally, the Church makes a vow as well. Parents have first responsibility, but parents need the help and support of the community, especially their Church family.
IS CHILD DEDICATION THE SAME AS INFANT BAPTISM?
Scripture provides evidence that baptism follows an individual’s decision to trust Jesus alone for salvation (Acts 2:41, 8:12, and 10:47–48). In the Bible, we find parents bringing their children to Jesus. He held them, prayed for them, and told us to welcome them. But He did not baptize them and He did not tell anyone else to baptize them. We firmly believe baptism is for those who have made a personal decision to trust Jesus alone for their salvation.
Dedication is not a sacrament; nor does it impart grace or salvation to a child. Salvation comes only through faith in Jesus Christ as each person recognizes their sinfulness and receives forgiveness and eternal life through him and his work on the cross.
If you would like to dedicate your child(ren) to the Lord, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.