“Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.” Psalm 127:3
As parents, we should actively dedicate ourselves to provide our children with everything that is necessary for their growth in all areas: physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual. The responsibility of parents is to lead their children, in cooperation with the Holy Spirit and the child’s own unique personality, into a knowledge of Jesus Christ, so that the child will develop a desire to know God personally and intimately. (Proverbs 22:6; Deuteronomy 6:6-7; Ephesians 6:4) In dedicating yourselves to raise your child in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4), you are acknowledging that you are not the owners of your child, but the stewards. God is the Owner and your child is God’s to do with as God sees fit.
Family dedication is an event that we esteem as dear and precious. We rejoice together as a church family when parents make this commitment. This public commitment also establishes a community of those who will stand with you in seeing your child come to faith in Jesus Christ.
By dedicating your child, you are making the following covenant commitments:
1. To recognize children as God’s gift to spouses and families and therefore:
- Release your child to the Lord for His purposes to be realized in their life.
- Live so that Christ is displayed in your home.
- Guard your marriage as a refuge for your child.
- Regularly pray with and for your child.
- Make Christ a natural topic of conversation so that your child is eager to discuss spiritual things with you.
- Teach your child to read the Word of God and to pray.
- Connect your child to a community of faithful Christians.
2. To commit again to each other as marriage partners. When you grow together as husband and wife, or grow in your walk with the Lord as a single parent, you provide a loving, stable, and secure environment needed for your child to mature.
3. To resolve to be a person of personal faith in Christ, recognizing that your child is:
- More likely to accept Christ as Lord if you do.
- More likely to respect people if you do.
- More likely to pray, read the Bible, and attend church by the model they first observe in you.
FAQ’s about Family Dedication at ECB
What is family dedication?
Family dedication is the act of giving back to God the gift he has given you as parents. It is an act of worship, thanksgiving, dependence, trust, and commitment-covenant. The practice of child dedication has been modeled throughout the Bible.
Hannah (I Samuel 1:24-28) brought her long-awaited son Samuel to the priest Eli to dedicate him to the Lord. Mary and Joseph brought baby Jesus to the temple to present him to the Lord. (Luke 2:22)
We recognize that salvation only comes to a child through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It is not passed on to a child through dedication. Parents covenant to raise their children by modeling godly principles with the desire that one day, their children will receive Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.
Is this dedication the same as infant baptism or christening?
Family dedication is different from infant baptism or christening. While these rites are significant for a variety of faiths, it is the practice of ECB to dedicate children to God and godly raising in Christian families, until such a time as they can make a personal faith choice to become a follower of Jesus.
Please understand that dedication is not a sacrament; it cannot impart grace or salvation to your child. Salvation only comes as each person recognizes his or her sinful nature and receives forgiveness and eternal life through Jesus Christ as his or her Lord and Savior. As a church we make a commitment to do everything we can to support you and your family as you fulfill the call of God upon your lives.
At ECB, we believe that all infants are destined for heaven should they die before they are old enough to enter into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We also believe the Bible teaches that baptism should take place after a person has made a personal choice to follow Jesus Christ.
When and where is a family dedication held?
Family dedications are scheduled as needed and as time allots during our Sunday morning worship celebrations. You may be asked for alternate dates for dedication due to previous scheduling. An orientation meeting will be scheduled prior to each dedication and is required in order to participate in the family dedication.
What do I need to do to dedicate my child?
- Contact the church office to indicate your desire and possible dates open for you.
- Indicate which Sunday service you normally attend.
- Schedule a time to meet with Pastor David or one of the other pastors for a brief orientation to the family dedication time.
I am a single parent. May I still dedicate my child?
Absolutely! As long as you profess faith in Jesus as your motivation for doing so.
Who should we invite to the family dedication? Do I need to select “god parents” for my child?
The family dedication is a very special time, so please invite any family, friends, or LIFE Group members you wish. There is no limit (other than platform space!) on the number of guest you may invite! We do not use the term “god parents” at ECB, however we certainly support the choice of significant individuals to offer support and encouragement and to hold you accountable to the commitment you will be making.
Do I have to be a covenant member of ECB to participate in the family dedication?
No, participants do not need to be covenant members. We only ask that you be regular attendees with a desire to raise/bring your child up in a godly, Christ-centered home and that you intend for ECB to be your home church for the anticipated future.
For more information, please contact the church office.