WHAT WE NEED FROM YOU:
BIBLICAL PURPOSE 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 (NIV) 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 publicly, through a child dedication ceremony.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT?
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 be provided with final instructions:
- Families are able to reserve seating in the service for their family members to take pictures.
- Parents will meet our Pastors 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 Chris, Liz and church leaders will then pray over the child and family.
- As the family is dismissed from the stage, a gift will be presented by our children’s ministry department to the child.
AT WHAT AGE CAN I DEDICATE MY CHILD?
Bridge Church 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 opportunity to join in water baptism.
CAN A SINGLE PARENT PARTICIPATE?
Yes! 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, Bridge is committed to supporting single parents in providing a Christian foundation for their child’s upbringing.
DO YOU BAPTIZE INFANTS AT BRIDGE?
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. However, He did not baptize them and He did not tell anyone else to baptize them. Bridge Church 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, Bridge Church 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.