Grow: Baby Dedications
Several times each year we take time on a Sunday morning to do something really fun—we have “baby dedications”. Who doesn’t enjoy seeing the babies making faces and squirming around in their mothers’ arms? Maybe more fun is seeing the parents trying to pay attention to what’s going on as their children are making faces and squirming around!
But beyond the enjoyment of seeing these little families growing in our midst, why are we doing these dedications? What do they mean? Is this like the infant baptisms other churches do, just without the water?
There are three very important reasons why we love this tradition at CCK.
- We want to publicly recognize that these children are God's; He is the giver of life and it is good to remember that we care for them as ones who belong first to God, not to us
- We want to thank God, to honor, and to praise Him for his kindness in giving us the privilege of caring for these children—they are gifts to us!
- And we want to take the opportunity for parents and the church to proclaim our trust in God for the grace we need to care for these little ones
So we make some commitments as a church family toward those things. First, we ask the parents to make a series of commitments as the primary people charged to care for these babies. Then, we ask the congregation present to commit to helping these parents and caring for the children as we are given opportunity.
Therefore, baby dedications are a great way to declare as parents and as a church our commitment to nurture, to model godliness, to pray, to admonish, and to train up these children in the way they should go.
We’ve listed the commitments below that we make as an encouragement and reminder for us all of the wonderful opportunity we have to care for the next generation. How exciting it is to think that these babies we are carrying around now will be the ones who will carry forth the mission in the future!
Charge to Parents:
- Do you today recognize these children as the gifts of God and give heartfelt thanks for God’s blessing?
- Do you now dedicate your children to the Lord who gave them to you all, surrendering all worldly claims upon their lives in the hope that they will belong wholly to God?
- Do you pledge as parents that, with God’s fatherly help you will bring up your children “in the discipline and instruction of the Lord,” making every reasonable effort, with patience and love, to build the Word of God, the character of Christ and the joy of the Lord into their lives?
- Do you promise to provide, through God’s blessing, for the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual needs of your children, looking to your own heavenly Father for the wisdom, love and strength to serve them?
- Do you promise, God helping you, to make it your regular prayer that, by God’s grace, your children will come to trust in Jesus Christ alone for the forgiveness of their sins and for the fulfillment of all his promises to them, even eternal life; and in this faith follow Jesus as Lord and obey his teachings?
Charge to Congregation:
- Do you promise, as a congregation, to assist these parents; to model godliness, to pray for, admonish, and encourage these children?
So no, this is not a waterless infant baptism. It is, however, a wonderful opportunity for us to praise God and turn again to Him in trust, recognizing the responsibility He has called us to as parents and as a church. How good it is to participate together in God’s mission, today and for the future!