Frequently Asked Questions regarding Child Dedication:
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, 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: "I asked the Lord to give me this boy, and he has granted my request. Now I am giving him to the Lord, and he will belong to the Lord his whole life.” And they worshiped the Lord there."
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.
The writings of Moses found in Deuteronomy 6:6–7 describe God's plan for how a parent should raise up a child: "And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. 7 Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up."
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.
Do I need to be a Journey Church member to have my child dedicated here?
You do not need to be a member of Journey Church to have your child dedicated, but we do strongly encourage parents to make that decision, or dedicate their child through their own church. Why? In dedicating your child to God, you are stating that you are willing to partner with God and the church to raise your child in cooperation with God's intentions. To partner with any church, a parent would be wise to decide if he or she agrees with its beliefs and vision.
When you choose to become a member at Journey, you are stating that you agree with our beliefs and vision, and that you want Journey to be your home church. To have your child dedicated at Journey:
- We ask parents about their own personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
- We ask parents to be sure their beliefs align with Journey’s Doctrine.
- We ask parents to be regular attenders of Journey’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.
We are open to having conversations with anyone regarding the above statements.
What can I expect during a child dedication ceremony?
During a child 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, they play the primary role in the service.
Parents will be asked to affirm the following commitments:
- Do you receive this child with gratitude, as God’s gift to you and your family?
- Do you commit to each other as parents, creating a stable environment in which your child can mature? Will you make a covenant to strengthen your marriage relationship?
- Do you commit to be parents of personal faith, recognizing your children are more likely to follow God’s path by the model they first observe in you?
- Do you commit to lead a faith-filled home that honors God in all your relationships and in the choices you make in spiritually growing your family?
- Do you commit to be parents with patience, recognizing that with your inherent strengths and weaknesses, your desire to shape your child is a loving act that will require time, prayer, and God in order to produce in your children what He and you hope for?
If you have registered to participate in a scheduled public or group child dedication service, you will receive an email approximately two weeks before the date of the service with information regarding what to expect, including the service order and times.
Does Journey baptize infants?
The Bible provides evidence that baptism always follows a person's decision to trust Christ alone for salvation (Acts 2:41 & Acts 10:47-48). The New Testament consistently records the baptisms of people who have first believed.
Journey 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. Based on maturity, children will vary in their understanding, but Journey Church baptizes the children who have demonstrated a clear faith in Jesus and a willingness to follow Him.
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 & children who do not yet understand, Journey Church 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 the Bible.
At what age can a child take part in a dedication service?
While Journey does not have a set age-requirement for child dedication, many children are typically young babies. It is common, however, to dedicate children who are much older for the following reasons:
- The parent(s) are new believers in Christ and their children were not dedicated when they were infants.
- The parent(s) are having a younger child dedicated and want to have their older child dedicated at the same time.
Can a single parent or legal guardian participate in the service?
Yes! Child dedication signifies a commitment by parents, whether married or single, to do their best to raise their child to be a follower of Jesus. We highly encourage single parents to dedicate their child as they commit themselves to raise that child without the presence 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, Journey is committed to supporting single parents in providing a Christian foundation for their child's upbringing.
Can parents assign godparents?
Although the term godparent is not commonly used at Journey, we welcome parents to invite friends and family members committed to supporting them to stand with them during the dedication. The presence of these significant adults symbolizes their commitment to play a supportive role in the child's spiritual development.
For any other questions or inquiries, please contact our office at 603-664-0550 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.