Dedicating children to the Lord is an expression of the desire and commitment of the parents to raise their children to come to know the Lord. The parents declare this commitment by presenting their child before the church along with their family members, close friends and if desired godparents for the child. Dedication is an acknowledgement that our children belong to the Lord. It is also a public commitment to raise the child according to God’s Word.
Just as Jesus’ parents brought him as an infant to the Temple in Jerusalem for consecration to the Lord (Luke 2:22), Christian parents bring their children for a prayer of dedication before the Lord. This dedication is not about salvation of the child, but a public expression and declaration of the fact that they do belong to the Lord, as well as a public declaration by the parents they will seek to do everything in their power, as God gives them wisdom, to see that the child grows up to respect and honor God, and to love and serve Jesus Christ as their Savior. This dedication is more than a ritual. It is a commitment of parents to honor the will and Word of God.
Teachings in Scriptures for Baby Dedications
Jesus Christ’s Example:
“When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph & Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord.”
Jesus Christ’s Teaching:
“People were bringing these little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it. “And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.”
The Example of Hannah and Samuel:
“In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the Lord. And she made a vow, saying, “O Lord Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life.”
-I Samuel 1:10-11
“As surely as you live, my Lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the Lord. I prayed for this
child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him, so now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.”
-I Samuel 1:26-28
The Responsibility of Godly Parents:
“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!”
“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”
Antioch Christian Church
Building People to Reflect Jesus
Antioch Christian Church recognizes the parents as the ones primarily responsible for the nurturing of their child’s spiritual life. As a church, we excitedly come along side the family to support, assist and encourage the parents in their commitment throughout the growth and development of the child and the family’s life.
Dedication services are scheduled as needed; however, a reservation must be secured by contacting the Church Office.
BABY DEDICATION GUIDELINES
In keeping with the spirit of excellence in ministry, the following guidelines exist to ensure a smooth Dedication Ceremony. Please feel free to contact the church office if you have any questions.
- The child dedicated must not exceed twelve (12) months old.
- The parent/guardian(s) must call the church office at least two weeks in advance to schedule a baby dedication. Baby Dedications will not be held on Special Event Sundays (i.e. Easter, Christmas, etc).
- Baby Dedications are performed on 4th Sundays during our 11:00am worship service only.
- Baby Dedications are performed for babies of Antioch members only.
- The Church Administrative Assistant will take all the information and arrange a brief meeting with the parent/guardian(s) prior to the Dedication service with a Staff Elder.
The following guidelines must be agreed upon by the parents and godparents if selected before the Dedication:
- The parents must be members of Antioch Christian Church and members in good standing (faithful church attendance, commitment to their spiritual growth and development).
- The parents and/or godparents must be committed to raising the child according to the Word of God.
- The parents may choose to appoint godparents for their children. However, godparents are not necessary for dedication. The parents can still dedicate their child without godparents.
- If godparents are selected, the parents and godparents must be in agreement with the commitment to train the child in the Christian faith. Their aim is to jointly ensure the child is trained according to the Word of God. The primary purpose of the godparents is to assist (work with) the parents in training the child in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Therefore, the parents should choose godparents that can assist them in training their child in the ways of the Lord.
- If the parents of the child being dedicated are unmarried, only the custodial parent may come forward to dedicate the child. The other parent may be present, but will not be recognized publicly.
Complete and submit the 3-part form provided below to request a Baby Dedication date for your child.