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What is Child Dedication?

Parents partnering with God as they raise their children.

Country Christian believes children are a gift from God, and we are very excited that you are interested in dedicating yourself and your child.

Child dedication is a public commitment you make before God, your church, and your family.  The dedication service provides you, the parent(s), an opportunity to express publically your desire to lead and spiritually nurture your child in cooperation with the Holy Spirit, so your child will develop a desire to love God and love others.

 
 
 

What child dedication is NOT.

Dedication is not a sacrament.  It cannot impart grace or salvation to your child. Salvation only comes through Jesus Christ as each person recognizes his or her sinfulness and receives forgiveness and eternal life through Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.  Dedication is meant for young children.  If your child is older and expressing a desire to give their life to God and accept Jesus as their Savior, please consider setting up an appointment to discuss baptism as the next step of your child's walk with God.

Biblical history 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 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 publically, through a child dedication ceremony.

 

Do I have to be a member of Country Christian to participate in Child/Parent Dedication?

No, participants need not be members.  We only ask that you be regular attendees with a desire to raise/bring your child up in a Godly, Christ-centered home.

What to expect during the Dedication Ceremony.

During the 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 for their children, they play a primary role in the dedication 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?

At what age should I dedicate my child?

While Country does not have a set age requirement for child dedication, the average age for a child to be dedicated is birth to 2 years old, although many parents dedicate children much older than that, often 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.

Godparents and who can participate in the Dedication.

Although the term "godparent" is not used at Country, we do 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.

Can a single parent dedicate their child?

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 believes 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, Country is committed to supporting single parents in providing a Christian foundation for their child's upbringing.