Child Dedication is a very important event for families and for the Church. Whether you’re new to faith or just new to Central Baptist Church, you might have questions about Child dedication. We created this space to answer all your questions about dedicating your child to the Lord at Central Baptist Church.
What is Child Dedication?
We get phone calls and questions about Child Dedication, regularly. More specifically, people are usually asking about when and how they can get their baby baptized. Central Baptist is a church made up of people from all kinds of different traditions and denominations (or none at all). On this page we’ll try to clearly define what American Baptists believes and explain the difference between baptism and child dedication.
Every year, dozens of people are baptized at Central Baptist Church. Everyone baptized at Central Baptist Church are believers – adults, teenagers or elementary aged children – who believe that baptism is the action a person takes after becoming a follower of Jesus Christ. We see this many times in scripture as people believed in Jesus Christ and were subsequently baptized.
Acts 8:12 - But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
Acts 8:13 - Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.
Acts 18:8 - Crispus, the synagogue ruler, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized.
Acts 19:4-5 - Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.
Since we see baptism as something done after making a clear decision to follow Jesus, we do not baptize infants or young children. We sincerely believe that a child conscious of God’s love can make this decision. Statistics say that most Christ followers made a decision to follow Jesus between the ages of 4-14 (84 %). So, we see many kids baptized at our baptism services.
So, what do we do for babies? We obey the biblical command to dedicate them to the Lord. Although this is not a required spiritual practice, we do see where children were dedicated to the Lord in the Bible. In 1 Samuel 1:27-28 we see how Hannah took her son Samuel to the temple to dedicate him to the Lord. Also in Luke 2:21-38 we see Mary and Joseph taking Jesus to the Temple to be dedicated.
We host special dedication services throughout the year, especially on Mother’s Day and the Sunday before Thanksgiving. This is a very special and important service, both for the parents as well as the child. It’s a service where parents present their child/children to the Lord. They’re surrounded by family or friends (or others from the church). Together, they dedicate the child to the Lord.
In the dedication, we’re dedicating several things to the Lord:
- We’re dedicating the child/children to God. Our prayer of dedication is that they will grow in knowledge of God and his son Jesus and that when the child/children are old enough, they would make a decision to follow him. This isn’t the salvation of a child or a “necessary spiritual step,” but rather acknowledging that we want God to be in the life of this child.
- We’re dedicating the parents to God. God has entrusted the parents to spiritually train children. The church is here to help, but ultimately the responsibility is on the parents. So we pray to dedicate mom and dad’s efforts of creating a safe and healthy environment where a child can learn about God and grow in a relationship with him. So, in this dedication, mom and dad commit to do everything within their ability to point their children to God and help them follow him.
- We’re dedicating the friends and family to God. Children are rarely influenced by the parents alone. Family and family friends have significant influence. It is the responsibility of family and friends to hold parents accountable and encourage parents in both their marriage relationship and efforts to spiritually train their children.
So, this is what Child Dedication is about. It’s different from baptism, but still very important for both children and parents.
If you’re interested in having your child dedicated, we require all parents to attend a Child Dedication Class. For more information on the next Child Dedication, or to sign up for the next available Child Dedication Class, register below. If you have further questions, send an email to the Church Office.