Baby Dedication Celebrations are a special time where parents dedicate their child to God with the support of family and close friends, to publicly acknowledge that God has given His children to us on loan and that we as parents commit to raising them in a home that leads kids to a sincere faith in Jesus. This celebration is purposefully during our Sunday Worship services to help families focus on the commitment they are making to raise their children to know and follow God, and to help our church body as a whole see the commitment we are making to doing everything we can to partner with parents on this endeavor. It’s a memorable event that includes refreshments after and celebrates families.
WHY WE DEDICATE INFANTS AT JOURNEY CHURCH
Churches all over the world practice something called “Baby Dedication” or “Infant Dedication” as a statement of faith.
A Baby Dedication is a ceremony where parents make a commitment before God and the congregation to raise their child according to the teachings of Jesus.
“Ceremony” matters. It is not magical, but it is spiritual. The things that we believe and commit to have the power to change the trajectory of our lives. This is why Baby Dedication is important to us as a congregation, we truly view it as something that you aren’t just committing to as Parents, but our entire church is committing to coming along side of you and your child.
AN EXAMPLE FROM THE BIBLE
And she 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.”
– 1 Samuel 1:11
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 he worshiped the Lord there.
– 1 Samuel 1:26-28
SO WHY NO INFANT BAPTISM?
When we look into the scriptures, we see that people practice baptism when they reach an understanding of why and what they are committing to.
Baptism requires a “choice” based on an understanding of who Jesus was- what he lived, died, and rose to accomplish.
As infants are not at a point in their understanding of God to be in a position to make this choice just yet, we practice infant dedication instead of infant baptism. The dedication is intended to be a commitment to raise the chid in such a way that when they reach that age of understanding, that they will choose to be baptized.
Our next baby dedication celebration is scheduled for May 13, 2018. If interested, you can sign up below to receive more info when available, and then read through the FAQ’s and the homework we have for Parents to work through!
In order to prepare for the event, parents are required to attend a Parent Orientation and complete homework (yikes!). No worries, you’ll want to do this homework. Also, you’ll need to submit a candid photo of your children which will be shown during the worship services as well as during the Baby Dedication event.
We recognize that having a supportive network of family and friends is important when raising up a child to love God. That’s why we will provide you with special invitations upon registration. We hope you will widen the circle around your child by inviting those who are important in your life to attend this event.
Yes, there really is homework! We have two videos for parents to watch that total roughly 11 minutes together, with a few questions for you to think through after each one. Ideally, you’ll do this on two separate nights before the dedication celebration, and it’s maybe 15 minutes of time per night. Taking these discussions seriously can help layout how you parent for the next 18 years and beyond, so it’s worth a little bit of time now. You can find the videos and worksheet here!
Watch video 1
Watch video 2
If you haven’t already, register for our next baby dedication celebration below:
1) WHAT IS A CHILD DEDICATION?
A Child Dedication is a ceremony in which believing parents, and sometimes entire families, 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. Many Christian churches practice Baby/Child Dedication instead of infant Baptism.
2) WHY DEDICATE INSTEAD OF BAPTISE?
The word “dedicate” means to set aside or commit to a sacred purpose. The dedication means committing a child to God and God’s purposes. In one sense, this is what every Christian parent wants to do, but in another sense, parents can’t actually make this decision on behalf of their children – as much as they might wish to! Each child will one day have to make his or her own personal decision about whether or not to commit himself or herself to God. Parents can guide, teach, pray for, and lead their children, but parents cannot choose a life path for their child. So even though we speak of dedicating the child to the Lord, dedication is really a matter of parents dedicating themselves to the Lord, and to the work of the Lord in their children’s lives. With that in mind, we see two primary purposes for dedication:
– For parents, joined by their church community, to celebrate the birth or adoption of a child, joyfully thanking God for this new addition to the family and to the church community.
– For parents to commit themselves publicly to raise their child in the nurture and love of the Lord, and for the church to pray for them in their awesome responsibility as parents.
3) IS MY CHILD TOO OLD?
Primarily, child dedication is done up until the child can understand what baptism means and is for. For many kids, thats around 6-8. However, the significance of standing with your church family to dedicate yourself as a parent to raising your children the way God desires is one that we don’t want to deny anyone. We would love to have a celebration with you dedicating your family, even if your kids are 9 or 16, if thats what you desire.