Community Life Church
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Child/Parent Dedication @ Community Life Church
Why Children Should Be Dedicated
In view of this responsibility, baby dedications are actually family dedications. The entire family needs to be lifted up in prayer so that family members will be empowered to keep their responsibilities.
The Bible gives us an example of dedicating a child to the Lord through the account of Hannah in 1 Samuel 1:11, 26–28. Unable to have children, Hannah wept before the Lord because of her condition. As she was weeping, she made a vow to God and said, "O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a man child, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life . . . " (1 Samuel 1:11).
God honored Hannah's request and gave her a son, Samuel. Hannah kept her vow and dedicated (which means "to set apart") Samuel to the Lord.
Do You Baptize Infants?
No, instead we perform a Parent/Baby Dedication service. In this service the parents pledge to raise the child in a Christian environment, the child is dedicated to God and prayed for, and the church pledges its support to the child and the parents. When the child is old enough to make its own decision, she or he may decide to accept Jesus as Savior and be baptized. For us it is important that becoming a Christian is a decision each person makes and is old enough to remember.
Responsibilities of a Christian Parent
Christian parents are to do all they can to "set apart" their child to God until that child can make his or her own choice regarding a relationship with Jesus Christ. By dedicating a child to the Lord, parents make a vow to raise their child in God's ways and not their own. They commit themselves to this promise and must do all they can to keep it.
The responsibilities God has entrusted to Christian parents include continuously praying for their children (Job 1:5), instructing them in the way of the Lord (Proverbs 22:6), setting a godly example (Proverbs 20:7), and disciplining them as the Lord would discipline us (Proverbs 29:15,17; 13:24). These responsibilities can only be fulfilled in Christ's strength (Philippians 4:13).
As a parent, your devotion to God—or lack of it—will make a resounding impression on the next generation. May your legacy be a Godly legacy.
Questions for Parents to Ask Before Dedication @ Community Life Church
As parents express their desire to dedicate their children to God, there are several questions they should ask themselves:
1. Since dedication of children is a Christian act of giving children to God for his glory, the most obvious question to ask is, "Are we Christians?" As a couple standing before God dedicating their child to him in a Christian church, their life should show the characteristics of Christ. Sometimes people bring their babies for dedication or baptism because it is "the thing to do." God is honored by hearts that genuinely desire to please Him without regard for what others think.
2. The next question is "Are we serious about this dedication?" Parents should ask themselves if they really want to see their child serve God. Would they like to see their child become a preacher, a Christian businessman, a missionary, or a common laborer for Christ? When Hannah, the mother of Samuel the prophet dedicated him to the Lord, she promised to give him up to serve God in the temple (1 Samuel 1-2:11). Dedication of children to God means handing them over to God to do with as He pleases.
3. Another question that is appropriate to ask at the time of your Baby’s Dedication is "Are we willing to oversee our child's Christian development?" Scripture tells us that we are to train a child in the way he should go (Proverbs 22:6). This includes meeting together regularly as Christians to spur one another on to love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:23-24). Dedication of children to God is a promise to model a Christian lifestyle to the children worshipping with a church family regularly. In a sense, a Christian Dedication of a child is a dedication of the parents to be godly role models.
4. A final question to ask is, "Are we, the parents, in agreement on this?" A pastor cannot really dedicate someone else's baby to God, because the baby does not belong to the pastor. The parents have been made caretakers of their baby. Only they can dedicate the child to God. It is important that they are committed to their baby’s dedication.
If it is your wish to follow the example of Godly parents who throughout the ages presented their children to God in dedication; if you understand that your child is a gift from God and that God will hold you accountable for your child's spiritual growth; if you promise to pray for and with your child, to instruct your child in the things of God, to teach your child to read God's Word, and to do everything in your power to bring your child to a knowledge of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; if you believe it is a great privilege to offer a child back to the Creator, and wish to stand before God and the Church to dedicate your child to God, then the Leadership team at CLC would love to assist you in doing so.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions and to sign up for the next Child Dedication service at Community Life Church