Here are some answers to some of our more frequently asked questions regarding Baby & Child Dedications.
1. What is Child Dedication?
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6. Does this ensure salvation for my baby/child?
As Parents we cannot decide our child’s salvation for them. Each individual must make their own decision about their relationship with Christ. When a child becomes old enough to understand the concept of sin and their responsibility for that sin before God, they are then ready to make a decision about salvation. This age of understanding is not a pre-determined age, it is when the child has a true understanding and is able to express that understanding of their faith in Jesus as their Savior, even in a childlike way (Matthew 18:3, Mark 10:14-15, Luke 18:17).
Parents can, however, lay a foundation by their teaching and example that will help a child be ready to make that most important decision.
7. Is it the same as baptism?
This dedication is not a Baptism, and it does not impart salvation to the child. Baby Dedications are viewed as a confirmation between the parents and the church to raise the child in a Godly way until the child is old enough to make his/her decision in accepting Christ as his/her personal Savior. The dedication of Children is taught in the Bible. As a baby, Jesus was dedicated by his parents. Jesus also bestowed blessings on the children. (Mark 10:16)
10. What does my baby/child have to wear on that Sunday?
There is no requirement or custom that we adhere to at The Hills. Some families take this opportunity and dress up their child in a nice dress or suit. This is a special day in the life of your child to be remembered (and photographed).
16. Who should I invite?
Everyone. Especially close friends and family. Grandparents and any other family members will be recognized as vital roles in the life of this child.
17. How does the actual dedication work?
During the "Meet & Greet" families will come up to the front. It can be just parents and other kids. Grandparents or other influential people in your child's life are also welcome to join you at the front. (Parents will have time to get their kids from the kids classrooms if necessary). Once the Meet/Greet is over, families will remain standing while the congregation is seated. Families will face the pastor. The pastor will read several scriptures about parenting and then provide a few words of admonition. Then she/he will say, "Parents, by coming forward before God and his people, do you hereby declare your desire to dedicate yourselves and your son/daughter to the Lord? If so, please respond by saying - we do." Parents will respond with "We do." She/He will then speak to the congregation and charge them as a community to provide support and prayer. The dedication will conclude with a prayer of blessing. Each family will receive a small gift and then return to their seats.
On the day of dedication, we will meet with the parents 15 minutes before the service in order to explain where everyone will stand and to talk through the dedication time.
20. Can parent(s) assign godparents?
We do welcome parents to invite friends and family members committed to supporting them. The presence of these significant adults symbolizes their commitment to play a supportive role in the child’s spiritual development. The godparent or godparents make profession of faith for the person being baptized (the godchild) and assume an obligation to serve as proxies for the parents if the parents either are unable or neglect to provide for the religious training of the child, in fulfillment of baptismal promises.
3. As a Parent, What Is Expected of Me?
Dedication is a public expression of faith and commitment on the part of the parents and of blessing on the part of God through His Church. This act by the parents is a prayerful declaration of their stewardship over God’s gracious gift to them.
One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him. When Jesus saw what was happening, he was angry with his disciples. He said to them, "Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it." Then he took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them. Mark 10:13-16
Child dedication is more than a ritual. It’s a commitment on the part of parents to honor the will and the Word of God. As a part of this dedication, parents are asked to:
Recognize that your children belong to God and have been born to experience His love and to serve Him.
Pray daily for God’s direction in your lives and in the lives of your children.
Faithfully participate in worship with your children.
Teach your children the truths of God’s Word in your home.
Anticipate and seek to gently lead your children to personal faith in Christ.
And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Deuteronomy 6:6-7
5. What kind of commitment am I making?
When you present your child to God in the form of a child dedication, you are publicly recognizing that your child belongs to Him and that you will raise the child in a home committed to experiencing and loving Christ. Deuteronomy 6:5-7 says this, “And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.” As Christian parents, you are committing to teaching your child the truth found in God’s word. You are also committing to be a Christ-like example and to lead your children to a personal relationship with Christ.
18. Are there any requirements?
Since we adhere to historical essentials of Christianity found from cover to cover in the Bible, we invite Christian parents who are married (man and woman) to present their children to the Lord as a couple. Due to the commitment being made in a child dedication, unmarried couples are unable to participate. If you would like personal guidance with this, please contact Marc Rondeau at firstname.lastname@example.org.
19. What if I am not married?
A single parent is welcome to present his or her child to the Lord individually, provided that they are committed to doing their best to raise their child to be a follower of Christ.
22. Who is invited to the platform?
To make the dedication sentimental to each family, we would like to invite the immediate family of the child to join him or her on the stage during this event.
8. Do I have to be a member of Quest Church to participate in Baby Dedication?
No, Baby Dedication is open to both regular attendees and members.
9. Can I bring my child to the orientation class with me?
Yes, you may bring your child.
12. What should we expect from the Child Dedication class?
You will receive valuable information on what it means to bring your child up with Christian beliefs, along with practical application to help you navigate your journey with your child. Your child will receive a Jesus Storybook Bible and a certificate to celebrate this important occasion. Parent(s) will receive video resources.
14. 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 Jesus 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, Christ Fellowship is committed to supporting single parents in providing a Christian foundation for their child’s upbringing.
21. How many people can I invite?
Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other special people are encouraged to attend. We want you to feel free to invite as many of your family and friends as you'd like.
11. What should we wear for the dedication service?
You are welcome to wear whatever you would like. Parents and children have worn anything ranging from casual clothes to formal dresses or suits.
13. How long does the dedication last?
The ceremony itself is rather short, lasting a few minutes.
15. What is the age limit on Baby Dedication?
Newborn to Preschool.
2. Who should have their child dedicated?
Child Dedication is primarily parents’ publicly dedicating themselves to raise their children in the nurture and love of the Lord, we’ll agree that these three things should be true of the parents:
1. They should be committed Christians. They should have reached a point of believing the Good News – that God invites them to be part of His kingdom, family and mission in this world. They have confidence that Jesus lived and died to pay for their sins and rose from death to give them a new life, that God loves them, and that they can have a growing relationship with God as a free gift of grace. They shouldn’t just be Christian in name – but rather, Christians from the heart, with a sincere personal, committed faith. (If you aren’t sure how to become a committed Christian, please speak with a small group leader or staff member – any of us would be glad to help you take this important step.)
2. They should be involved in the church – either as committed members or as people preparing for membership.
3. They should take seriously their responsibility to raise their children with a strong spiritual foundation. They should be committed to having their children in church, and even more importantly, to making God a part of their daily lives. There are two beautiful passages that describe this type of parenting, one from the Old Testament, and one from the New Testament:
Deuteronomy 6:5-7, Deuteronomy 6:4-25, Ephesians 6:4
4. Why do we have Dedication for children instead of baptisms?
We believe that baptism is an outward expression of an inward confession from the scriptural basis found in the book of Acts. Baptism is a personal and powerful decision. Young children under the age of accountability are unable to declare this change. This is why we give our families the opportunity to dedicate their children.