Parent/Child Dedication: Why Do It?
Parent/Child Dedications are a very meaningful part of our church life and worship services. We
acknowledge that parenting is a high calling. The parents experience an insuppressible joy and a renewed sense of total dependency on God. And when parents think of the legacy they want to leave for their children, they feel the need to dedicate themselves to God daily. Parent/Child dedication is a service where we gather as a church body to celebrate these milestones in the lives of he parents and to commit to support them in their faith journey.
Parent/Child Dedication and the Bible
There is no command or any biblical president for observing Parent/Child Dedications, in fact the term is not found in the Scriptures either. We know that a person can dedicate to the Lord only one human being – yourself; there is no ritual or ceremony that could substitute for a personal choice to follow Christ or guarantee a child’s salvation. And though we use the name Parent/Child Dedication, in fact parents’ dedication would be a more accurate name for our celebrations in Crossroads.
To What Are We Committing?
We are acknowledging that we are dependent on God to give us the wisdom, the patience, and the stamina that we will need to be an expression of God’s love for our children. By doing this as a part of a Crossroads gathering, we are acknowledging God’s intention that our children be bonded with the family of faith from the beginning. We commit ourselves to raising our children in a way that will help them to take their next steps of faith in their own relationship with Jesus. The parents tell in front of witnesses that they dedicate themselves to God as they raise their children.
Parent/Child Dedication FAQ
1. What is a Parent/Child Dedication in Crossroads?
- Parent/Child Dedication is a special time of prayer and commitment during a worship service.
- Parent/Child Dedication is a statement of commitment to raise your child in a way that honours God.
- Both parents and the whole community are making a promise to create an environment in which the child can flourish; we are passing on a heritage of faith.
2. What is a Parent/Child Dedication not?
Parent/Child Dedication is not a substitute for baptism. We have decided, as a church, to save baptism as a step to be taken after a person has made his or her own faith commitment. (Acts 2:38; Acts 2:41; Acts 8:35-38; 1 Peter 3:21; Romans 6:3-6).
Parent/Child Dedication doesn’t replace an individual’s personal decision to follow Jesus. We know that each of these children will need to choose Jesus for themselves when they are ready. (Romans 10:13; 1 John 1:9; John 3:16; Galatians 2:16; Ephesians 2:8)
3. Do parents have to say anything at the dedication?
We ask the parents to introduce themselves and their child to the congregation. If parents have something special on their hearts to share with the church, we want to give them this opportunity. Some parent(s) might like to read a short Bible text (1 - 5 verses) as a reminder of God's promises, words of blessing or to express their hopes and dreams for their child. Other parent(s) might choose to share a special testimony of how they experienced God's hand through their child's life. (Colossians 3:16; Hebrews 10:24-25).
4. Do parents need to prepare anything for the dedication?
First of all, the parents prepare their hearts. When the parents stand in front of the church family, they tell about the commitment they have already made in their hearts, to dedicate themselves to raising their children in Christian faith.
The parents need to be ready to introduce themselves, and if there is anything else they want to share with the church (see question #3), they need to prepare that as well.
5. How to sign up for Parent/Child Dedication?
The next Parent/Child Dedication service will be on October 22, 2017. Parents can apply by filling out this form at least 3 weeks before the dedication date.
When we receive your application form, we will contact you.