You're holding a baby! What joy, excitement, and anticipation! What responsibility, challenge, and cost! So many thoughts and feelings surface as you stand at the trailhead of the path marked parenting. For all the adventures you have ahead, you also have an overwhelming sense of gratitude for the gift you hold in your arms. 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 of God's creative power. This life, with all of its uniqueness and potential, is a gift from God. No person has your child's exact personality, gifts, or fingerprints. What a marvelous thought! 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
Let’s celebrate! Our church body wants to join you in gratitude and joy as we celebrate the blessing God has placed in your arms. Parent-Child Dedication allows the church to partner with you, pray for you, and encourage you as you look forward to all God will do through the life of your child.
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 SUPPORT 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.
Why don't you baptize babies?
The practice of infant baptism is simply not found in the Bible. It comes out of history and church tradition. 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. While the intent of infant baptism is to identify a child with the Christian faith, baptism cannot secure salvation. 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.