Welcoming The New Addition
Anticipation and excitement fill the air in the days prior to and following a baby’s birth. He/she is the recipient of lavish love and attention and the parents begin to realize the wonderful yet daunting role that they will play in shaping and modeling the young life that has been entrusted to them. As parents your lives are forever changed for the next eighteen or twenty years as you and your child begin an unknown journey through life.
Child Dedication Service
Baptisms, confirmation services, christenings are all religious ceremonies that mark a spiritual hallmark in the life of a child. Many Christian families elect to have a Child Dedication service to dedicate and “give back” or present their child back to God. Parents recognize the great responsibilities associated with parenthood and as Christians they endeavor to raise their child in the instruction and admonition of the Lord. Proverbs 22:6 admonishes parents to” train up a child in the way it should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Parents realize that they cannot complete the daunting task of parenthood without God’s intervention and direction. That belief is the foundation of dedicating one’s baby to God to receive blessing and guidance in rearing the child.
What Is A Child Dedication Service?
Destiny Christian Church believes children are a gift from God, and we are very excited that you are investigating child dedication.
Child dedication is a public commitment that you make before God, your church, and your family. The dedication service provides you, the parent(s), an opportunity to express publically your desire to lead and spiritually nurture your child in cooperation with the Holy Spirit, so your child will develop a desire to love God and love others.
What Is The Biblical Purpose And History Of A Child Dedication?
The scriptural root of a child dedication is found in the Old Testament, where a godly woman named Hannah prayed year after year for God to give her a child. God answered her prayer and she gave birth to a son, whom she named Samuel. When Samuel was born, Hannah prayed these words:
“For this boy I prayed, and the Lord has given me my petition which I asked of Him. So I have also dedicated him to the Lord; as long as he lives he is dedicated to the Lord.” (1 Samuel 1:27-28, NASB).
In Luke chapter 2 of the New Testament, following the birth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph took the infant Jesus to the temple and dedicated Him.
In both Scripture passages, the parents entrusted their child completely to God.
The writings of Moses found in Deuteronomy 6:5–9 describe God’s plan for how a parent should raise up a child:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”
One key step in marking your desire to nurture your child in the ways of God is to dedicate him or her to God publically, through a child dedication ceremony.
Do I Need To Be A Destiny Church Member To Have My Child Dedicated At Destiny Church?
You do not need to be a member of Destiny Christian Church to have your child dedicated in a group or public ceremony at Destiny. We do, however, encourage parents to seek a home church as soon as possible after the Dedication Ceremony. Why? In dedicating your child to God, you are stating that you are willing to partner with God to raise your child in cooperation with God’s intentions. To partner with God, you should also partner with a local church, where you can receive encouragement, support, and wisdom in the raising of your children. Before committing to a local church family, a parent would be wise to decide if he or she agrees with its beliefs and vision, so they can be completely committed in their partnership with the church.
To have your child dedicated at Destiny Church:
- We encourage the parents to pursue a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
- We encourage the parents to find a local church family where they can receive the encouragement and support that they need in raising their children.
- We encourage parents who are living together and who are not married to take steps to acknowledge and surrender to God’s plan for their relationship.
What Can I Expect During A Child Dedication Ceremony?
During the dedication service, parents make commitments before God, their family, and the church, in declaring their desire to raise their child in a God-honoring way. Because parents are the key role models for their children, they play a primary role in the dedication service.Parents will be asked to affirm the following commitments:
- Do you receive this child with gratitude, as God’s gift to you and your family?
- Do you commit to each other to live out your relationship in a God-honouring way?
- Do you commit to each other as parents, to create a stable environment in which your child can mature?
- Do you commit to be parents of personal faith, recognizing your children are more likely to follow God’s path by the model they first observe in you?
- Do you commit to lead a faith-filled home that honors God in all your relationships and in the choices you make in spiritually growing your family?
- Do you commit to be parents with patience, recognizing that with your inherent strengths and weaknesses, your desire to shape your child is a loving act that will require time, prayer, and God in order to produce in your children what He and you hope for?
Does Destiny Church Baptize Infants?
The Bible teaches that Water Baptism follows an individual’s decision to trust Christ alone for salvation (Acts 2:41, 8:12, and 10:47-48). And the New Testament records the baptisms of adult believers only.
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. Destiny Church believes that Water Baptism is for those who have made a personal decision to trust Christ alone for their salvation, once they have the maturity and ability to understand what that means. As a general rule, we require some evidence of salvation, in order to be water baptized.
Child Dedication is not a church sacrament, nor does it impart 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 Christ and His work on the cross.
Instead, in Child Dedication, we partner with parents to receive a blessing for their child and give them an opportunity to publicly commit to raise him or her in accordance with Scripture.
At What Age Can A Child Take Part In A Dedication Service?
While Destiny Church does not have a set age requirement for child dedication, the average age for a child to be dedicated is four to eight months old, although many parents dedicate children much older than that, often for the following reasons:
- The parent(s) are new believers in Christ and their children were not dedicated when they were infants.
- The parent(s) are having a younger child dedicated and want to have their older child dedicated at the same time.
Can A Single Parent Participate In A Child Dedication Service?
Yes! Child dedication signifies the commitment of parents (including single parents) to do their best to raise their child to be a follower of Christ. Additionally, we highly encourage single parents to dedicate their child as they commit themselves to raise him or her without the presence or partnership of a spouse. The decision to dedicate a child is not dependent upon the beliefs of the ex-spouse; however we encourage single parents to discuss child dedication with their ex-spouse. Ideally, both parents — even if not married — would still commit to the dedication of their child to God. We acknowledge that this is often not possible, and that it takes extra effort for a single parent to raise a child. As a church, Destiny Church is committed to supporting single parents in providing a Christian foundation for their child’s upbringing.
Can Parent(s) Assign Godparents?
Although the term “godparent” is not used at Destiny Church, we do welcome parents to invite friends and family members committed to supporting them to stand with them during the dedication. The presence of these significant adults symbolizes their commitment to play a supportive role in the child’s spiritual development.