Children are a gift from God. Parents have a special calling to nurture, lead, and help their child grow into the full potential God has already placed inside of them. Being a parent is one of the most sacred callings an individual can participate in. It requires parents to make a commitment to rely on His grace to be their strength in the raising of their child. So for parents, how does this calling become their commitment.
It begins with a choice. A choice to be the loving parents who model for their child a life committed to Christ. A choice to raise their child by God's word and His way. A choice to never give up showing their child God’s love no matter what difficulty lies ahead. This choice is what parents are committing to when they dedicate their child back to God. However, you may be asking, what is child dedication and what should I expect?
The dedication service is a special moment when parents, in front of their church family, recognize that their child is a gift from God. Dedication is not the salvation of the child but the understanding that the child already belongs to the Lord.
As a church, we are so happy for what God is doing in your family! This choice to dedicate your child is such a special decision and we know God will honor you for it. We love you and pray thatas you raise this child you would also discover just how much your heavenly Father loves you. And may His love be the source from which you draw the strength and support to love your child into who God has called them to be. This is the beginning of a wonderful journey and we are so excited to walk with you! Please read through the information below, complete the application and a staff member will contact you. There is also a mandatory meeting on May 20th at 12:15 in Room 7.
Pastors Steve and Tami Abraham
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between dedication
At New Life Community Church we dedicate our children to the Lord rather than baptizing them.
There are several reasons for this:
• First, there are no incidents of infant baptism in Scripture. Baptism is instead an evidence of Christian faith. The practice of infant baptism began hundreds of years after the time of Christ; it was never practiced in the early church.
• Additionally, while some groups suggest that baptism imparts a special grace to children, there is no scriptural support for this. The Bible is clear that nothing, not even baptism, can remove our sins – only our faith in Jesus Christ can do that. (Ephesians 2:8-9) In the Bible, baptism is a statement of faith, not a sacrament (or means of faith). As such, it requires a level of understanding and commitment that are not possible for infants and small children. Often adults who were baptized as children desire to be baptized again as an expression of their decision to receive Christ as their Savior and Lord.
• Infant dedication is an act of parents who want to acknowledge God as the giver of life and to commit themselves to raising children in the training and instruction of the Lord. Baptism, however, is an act of obedience on the part of an individual who has experienced salvation through Jesus Christ and desires to publicly testify of this experience. For these reasons, we do not baptize infants or small children.
Parents are instead encouraged to dedicate their children to God during a public worship service.
Can a parent assign godparents?
Although the term “godparent” is not used at New Life, we do welcome parents to invite friends and family members committed to supporting them to attend the dedication service.
Can a single parent dedicate their child?
Yes! Each family situation is addressed individually. We want all parents, including single parents, to do their best to raise their child to be a follower of Christ. Additionally, we encourage single parents to dedicate their child as they commit themselves to raise him or her without the presence or partnership of a spouse.
Questions to Consider
Dedication is an important time of commitment. As parents consider their decision to dedicate their children to God, there are several questions they should ask themselves:
1. Since dedication of children is a Christian act of giving children to God for His glory, the most obvious question to ask is, “Are we committed believers?” As you stand before God dedicating your child to Him, your life should show the characteristics of Christ. Sometimes people bring their babies for dedication because it is “the thing to do.” God is honored by hearts that genuinely desire to please Him, not perfect, but desires to live by His Word and His ways.
2. The next question is “Are we serious about this dedication?” Parents should ask themselves if they really want to see their child serve God. When Hannah, the mother of Samuel the prophet dedicated him to the Lord, she promised to give him up to serve God in the temple (1 Samuel 1-2:11). Dedication of children to God means handing them over to Him. Not perfect but
3. Another question that is appropriate to ask at the time of dedication is, “Are we willing to oversee our child’s Christian development?” Scripture tells us that we are to “train a child” in the way he should go (Proverbs 22:6). This includes meeting together regularly as Christians to spur one another on to love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:23- 24). Dedication of children to God is a promise to model a Christian lifestyle, worshiping with a church family regularly. In a sense, the dedication of a child is the dedication of the parents to be godly role models.
4. A final question to ask is, “Are we, the parents, in agreement on this?” A pastor cannot really dedicate someone else’s baby to God, because the baby does not belong to the pastor. The parents have been made caretakers of their baby. Only they can dedicate their child to God. It is important that they are committed to Christ first.