Grace Baptist Church believes children are a gift from God, and we are very excited that you are investigating child dedication.
Child dedication is a public commitment that you make before God, your church, and your family. The dedication service provides you, the parent(s), an opportunity to express publicly your desire to lead and spiritually nurture your child in cooperation with the Holy Spirit, so your child will develop a desire to love God and love others.
TO HAVE YOUR CHILD DEDICATED AT GRACE:
- We ask parents to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
- We ask parents to be sure their beliefs line up with what we believe.
- We ask parents to be regular attenders of Grace'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 before participating in a child dedication service.
Listed below are frequently asked questions about child dedication. Take time to review them to find answers to any questions you may have. For unanswered questions, feel free to contact the church office at 403-948-3821 or via email.
WHAT IS THE BIBLICAL PURPOSE AND HISTORY OF A CHILD DEDICATION?
The scriptural root of a child dedication is found in 1 Samuel 1:27–28 (NASB). 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 2, 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.
DOES GRACE BAPTIZE INFANTS?
No, 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. Rather than baptizing infants or children, Grace encourages Christian 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.
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 or tell anyone else to baptize them. Grace 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.
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.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT DURING A CHILD DEDICATION CEREMONY?
During the dedication service, parents express vows before God, their family, and the church, declaring 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 affirm the following commitments:
- Believing that your child's name is a gift from God, and recognizing your responsibility as her parents, do you covenant with God today to raise this child to fear and to love the Lord your God?
- Will you pray with them, and for them, will you teach them God’s word and the way of salvation in Jesus Christ?
- Will you instruct them to be a godly follower of Jesus Christ and to live their life fully dedicated to God’s glory.?
- Will you today in the presence of God and this church family commit to these things?