To thank God for the birth of a child
To welcome a child into the family of the church
To seek God’s blessings for your child
To dedicate yourselves to raise this child in the Christian faith
Behold, children are a gift of the LORD; The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth. How blessed are the parents whose quiver is full of them. ~ Psalm 127:3-5
New Hope Community Church is a family church open to people of all ages and walks of life. As a church we believe it is important to help children and adults alike to grow in the discovery of faith and in the experience of faith.
The arrival of a child is one of the most significant experiences in life, both for parents and children. It’s the beginning of a child’s journey, so it’s important to begin that journey seeking the blessing of God. It’s also a time of growth and challenge for parents. Children are a blessing given to us by God. They are also a great responsibility, for we are commanded to, “Take them by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master" (Ephesians 6:4, ~ The Message).
Our desire at New Hope Community Church is to support parents and children in becoming fully devoted followers of Christ—sharing the love of Jesus with each other and our community. Parents may not be able to determine what their children believe, but they can commit themselves to faithfully serve the Lord and to train their children in His ways.
What is Child Dedication?
Child dedication may be better understood by using the term Parent Dedication. When you dedicate your child to God you are committing yourself to do your part in raising and nurturing your child in the Christian faith and committing yourself to live as an example for that child to follow. The dedication ceremony is done publicly so that your church family, biological family, and friends can witness your commitment to God and support you in it.
Is it Scriptural?
The precedent for child dedication is found in several places in Scripture. For example, the presentation of Samuel by his mother Hannah (1 Samuel 1:28), of Jesus by Joseph and Mary (Luke 2:22), and the children brought to Jesus (Luke 18:15-17). In addition, Paul reminded Timothy that "from a child" he had known the Holy Scriptures.
The gospels tell us that Jesus welcomed little children, placed his hands on them and blessed them:
Jesus said, “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. ~ Mk 10:14-16
What happens during the service?
In the worship service, we give thanks to God for the child; we make promises; we ask for God’s blessing on the child’s journey; and we present the child to the Church. One of the most significant points in a dedication service is when we pray for God’s blessing on your child. We also pray for parents, and extended family members, as together we commit ourselves to provide the context in home and church, for your child to be given the best opportunity to grow toward faith in Jesus.
What if there is only one parent?
Some families are single-parent families. You are completely welcome to present your child to God and to seek the Lord’s blessing for your child’s journey.
What if there are special circumstances surrounding the birth of this child or in my family?
New Hope Community Church desires to bless children and to honour parents in their desire to bring up their children in the Christian faith. While determined on a case-by-case basis, our over-riding concern is provide every opportunity for the child to experience and know the love of God, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. You are completely welcome to speak with us about whatever circumstances you feel might deter you from dedicating your child.
What do we need to do?
When you’ve had a chance to talk it through with your family members and you’ve decided you would like to dedicate your child, then please complete the following:
Fill out a request form
Arrange to meet with the pastor and a management team member*
Let us know your preferred date for the dedication ceremony
(usually when extended family members are available)
*Due to the spiritual nature of the questions asked during the child dedication ceremony, it is helpful for one of the management team members to meet and get to know you. Therefore, an appointment with the lead pastor and a management team member is essential in order to discuss the meaning of this dedication.
Scriptural References for teaching children about God
Now, Israel, hear the decrees and laws I am about to teach you. Follow them so that you may live and may go in and take possession of the land the Lord, the God of your ancestors, is giving you. . .Teach them to your children and to their children after them.
Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, and their children to the next generation.
We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done. He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, he commanded our ancestors to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God