What is a child dedication ceremony?
The child dedication ceremony is an opportunity for the the church family to celebrate the God-given gift that children are to parents. We build the child dedication ceremony into our regular Sunday worship gathering because we view the dedication of children to the Lord as an act of worship.
The child dedication ceremony is not only an opportunity to celebrate as a church, but is also a time for parents to publicly commit to God’s plan. Indeed, the child dedication ceremony is as much for the parents as it is for the child. In the ceremony, parents are acknowledging their need for God’s wisdom, guidance, and strength as they raise their child.
Finally, the child dedication ceremony is a time for the Grace Church family to embrace families and commit ourselves to help them in the wonderful challenge of parenting. We do that through commitments to prayer, biblical teaching, and godly living.
Are there examples of child dedications in Scripture?
We see examples of child dedications in both the Old and New Testament. In 1 Samuel 1, a woman named Hannah yearned for a child. Her greatest desire was to be a mother, but she experienced disappointment after disappointment, and remained childless. She continually cried out to God and, in time, God gave her the gift of a son. When Samuel was born, Hannah said, “For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted my petition that I made to him. Therefore I also have given him to the Lord; as long as he lives he shall be given to the Lord” (1 Samuel 1:27-28). Understanding that the child born to Hannah and her husband, Elkanah, was a gift from God, Hannah stood before God and offered praise and thanks for his gift in their lives.
In the New Testament, Jesus himself was dedicated to God at the Temple by his earthly parents Joseph and Mary (Luke 2:21-40). The dedication was an opportunity for Joseph and Mary to acknowledge that their son was a gift from God, that they were dependent on God’s wisdom and guidance in raising him, and that they needed the help of their faith community to help them be godly parents.
What is the difference between child dedication and infant baptism?
The practice of infant baptism is not found in the Bible. It comes out of history and Christian tradition. Baptism is one of two ordinances given to the church by Jesus (the other is the Lord’s Supper). Examples and directives for the proper practice of these ordinances are found throughout the New Testament.
We believe that baptism is for believers—those who have put their faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins and the hope of eternal life with God. Baptism is 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 through faith.
While the intent of infant baptism might be to identify a child with the Christian faith, baptism cannot secure salvation. In other words, each child must hear and respond to the gospel. For this reason, we offer a child dedication ceremony for parents and their children in order to voice the desire of the parent and church family that this child come to faith in Christ, but we do not want to confuse dedication with baptism, which follows a profession of faith in Jesus. If you have questions about baptism, please arrange a time to meet with a Grace elder/pastor. We are happy to discuss this with you and provide guidance and opportunity to follow Christ according to God’s word.
What do I need to do in order to have my child dedicated in a worship service at Grace?
Register below and attend the required class prior to dedication.
Next Dedication Date:
- Sunday, May 12, 2019