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Questions about Child Dedication?
1) What is the Biblical purpose and history of Child Dedication?
The scriptural root of a child dedication is found in 1 Samuel 1:27–28 (NASB), where a godly woman named Hannah prayed year after year for God to give her a child. He 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.”
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.
2) Do I Need to be a Member to have my Child dedicated?
You do not need to be a member of Thrive Chapel to have your child dedicated in our service. We do encourage parents to make sure they are calling Thrive Chapel their home church. Why? In dedicating your child to God, you are stating that you are willing to partner with God and the church to raise your child in cooperation with God’s intentions. To partner with any church, a parent would be wise to decide if he or she agrees with its beliefs and vision, so they can be all-in in their partnership with the church.
When you choose to become a member at Thrive Chapel, you are stating that you agree with our statement of beliefs and values, and that you want Thrive to be your home church. For more information on membership, visit the Next Steps page under our Grow menu tab. To have your child dedicated at Thrive:
- We ask parents to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ
- We ask parents to be sure their beliefs line up with Thrive Chapel’s statement of beliefs
- We ask parents to be regular attenders of Thrive’s weekend services
- We ask parents who are living together and who are not married to take steps to acknowledge and surrender to God’s plan for their relationship as they prepare to participate in a child dedication service
We are open to having conversations with you on any of the above statements. If you are interested, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
3) What can I expect during a Child Dedication service?
During the dedication service, parents agree before God, their family, and the church, affirming 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 arrive 30 minutes before their scheduled service to provided with final instruction:
- Families are able to reserve seating in the service for their family to take pictures
- Parents will meet our Pastor on the stage as our children’s ministry coordinator introduces the child’s name to the congregation
- We encourage family members and friends to take the opportunity and capture pictures while your family is on stage
- Pastor Sean will then pray over the child and family
- As the family is dismissed from the stage, a certificate and children’s bible will be presented by our Thrive Kids department as a gift
4) What am I committing to when I dedicate my Child to the Lord?
- Do you receive this child with gratitude, as God’s gift to you and your family?
- Do you commit to each other as parents, creating a stable environment in which your child can mature? Will you make a covenant to strengthen your marriage relationship?
- 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?
5) Does Thrive baptize infants?
Scripture provides evidence that 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. Thrive Chapel believes 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.
Child Dedication is not a sacrament; nor does it impart grace or 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.
Rather than baptizing infants or children, Thrive Chapel encourages parents to dedicate their children. This is a ceremony in which parents formally call upon God’s blessing for their child and publicly commit to raise him or her in accordance with Scripture.
6) At what age can a Child take part in a Child Dedication service?
Thrive Chapel does not have a set age requirement for child dedication. We believe it is never too late to gather your family and focus your faith together for growth. If you are new to serving the Lord, now is as good a time as any take this moment.
7) Can a single parent participate in a Child Dedication service?
Absolutely! 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, Thrive Chapel is committed to supporting single parents in providing a Christian foundation for their child’s upbringing.