Why Your Church Should Have a Parent/Child Dedication

Have you considered having a Parent/Child Dedication in your church?  We’ve done this for years in a variety of ways.

We have Parent/Child Dedication three times a year–at Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and early in December.  We place the dedication around traditional family times.  Prior to participating in Parent/Child Dedication, we require the parents to attend two sessions in which we emphasize the responsibility of parents before God.  During the worship services we bring parents and their children on to the platform to face the congregation.  I introduce each family and the grandparents who are present and give a brief charge to the parents.  At the conclusion, our Preschool Minister leads in prayer as the congregation stands in support.  We then give certificates and gifts to each family.

Let me quickly point out that this is quite different from infant baptism.  Because the Bible does not endorse or encourage infant baptism, neither do we.  

Why do we have Parent/Child Dedication and what do we hope to accomplish?

First, in Old Testament times families presented their children before the Lord.  It was their recognition that their child was a gift from God.  Even Jesus was presented before the Lord in this manner (Luke 2:22-24).  Tradition and ritual done thoughtfully and prayerfully provides great benefits.  We want our parents to “show off” their children to family, the church, and to God.  It’s a recognition that everything that we have belongs to God.  It also reminds us that every good and perfect gift comes from God (James 1:17).

Second, we want to rejoice with those who rejoice.  What a great time to welcome grandparents and other family members to our church as they celebrate the blessings of God over their families.  We love families and want to join with them in making this a great family time. 

Third, the parent/child dedication culminates a time of training by the parents.   I let the parents know that I am proud of them for taking their God-given responsibility seriously.  Making a public declaration of their commitment to God helps parents follow through in the tough times.

Fourth, we encourage the parents to see their God-given and life-long obligation before the Lord.  Young parents–and older ones as well–need this reminder.  When you are up to your eye balls in formula, diapers, and dirty clothes, it’s hard to see the ultimate goal.

Fifth, our parent/child Dedication service serves as an opportunity for pre-evangelism.  Many family members don’t attend any church and have never really heard the Gospel.  We take the responsibility seriously to present the message of God in a way that these folks can hear and receive.

Finally, it is a time for the church as a whole to pledge its support for these families.  We put a lot of money, time, and volunteer effort into teaching children–as we should.  The dedication service allows us to emphasize again the importance of ministry to others.

What do you do at your church to bless and help families?

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About Waylon

I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. — 1 John 4:16 (NIV)