What is Baby Dedication?
- It is taken from the story of Hannah in the Bible. Hannah was barren and past child-bearing years. She fervently prayed everyday asking the Lord to give her a son. She told the Lord that if he did bless her with a son she would "give him back to the Lord" and diligently raise him to love and serve God. God did just that- blessed her with a son she named Samuel. Hannah gave him back to the Lord, teaching him to serve God all the days of his life.
- It is a commitment of the parents to do all that is in their power to teach their children about Jesus in hope that when they are old enough they will choose to follow Him and serve Him.
- It is the parents placing themselves in the humble position of accepting the guidance and direction of other Christians as they seek to nurture their children to come to know Jesus.
What Baby Dedication is Not.
- It is not salvation. Baby dedication is not a means by which a child can go to Heaven. Salvation is an individual matter. When the child is old enough to understand that they are sinners, realize they cannot make themselves perfect enough for Heaven, and need Jesus to take their sins away, they then accept salvation as a GIFT from God, not something they earn by going to church, being good, etc.
- It is not a means by which a child becomes part of the church. The "universal church" is simply all Christians (those who have believed in Jesus to forgive their sins) all over the world. The "local church" is the specific group of Christians that you worship Jesus with. Being part of a local church does not mean you go to Heaven nor does it grant you any special rights.
- It is not Baptism. Baptism is simply a public profession of the fact that you know you are a sinner, cannot be perfect enough for Heaven, and therefore need Jesus to forgive your sins so you can spend eternity with Him. Baptism is an individual choice a person makes after they have understood and accepted salvation. This happens at any time in a Christian's life, but usually right after a person has asked Jesus to forgive their sins and have decided to follow Him.
- I imagine different churches do things differently, but this this is how our church does it. We take a short "class" with the director of our children's ministry as they explain baby dedication and the importance of parents being the ones who teach their children about Jesus. It's not the job of the church, the Christian school, or anyone else.
- We all gave two pictures of our children that they put into a slide show. During the Sunday morning service, they called each family up with their child, announced the child, their birthdate, and read the Bible verse(s) that the parents chose for their child.
- Then our Pastor read five commitment statements that if we agreed to we answered "We will."
- Then our Pastor called family and close friends to come up and gather around each family to pray with them as they committed to teaching their children about Jesus.
- Do you desire to dedicate your child to the Lord and publicly commit to parenting them in a way that honors God?
- Do you promise to raise your child in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord” through instruction and discipline that is defined by God’s Word? (Ephesians 6:4)
- Do you promise to lead your child to an understanding of salvation and his/her need for Christ Jesus as their Lord and Savior?
- Do you promise to work diligently and consistently to instill in your child an understanding of God and His Word? (Deuteronomy 6:4)
- Do you promise to conduct your home in a way that models Christian love and heart-felt commitment to Christ and his instruction? (Psalm 127:1)
Here are the Bible verses we have chosen for Mekonen.
From the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in cthe inheritance of the saints in light.
We received two gifts from our Pastor at the Baby Dedication.
These are great resources I'm sure you'll love!
The Big Picture Story Bible
The ESV (English Standard Version) Children's Bible