The example of dedication is found in several places in the Bible. In the Old Testament stories of Abraham and Isaac (see Genesis 22:19) and Hannah and Samuel (see 1 Samuel 1:11-28). In the New Testament, there were 2 reasons Joseph and Mary took Jesus to the Temple (see Luke 2:21-24). First of all, on the eighth day Jewish males were to be circumcised. Second, He was to be presented and dedicated to the Lord for his purposes.
What Dedication Means
Dedication is very important. It reminds everyone to provide biblical instruction to the child and to be a role model of the Christian life. The dedication service is a challenge to the congregation to treat this new life as a gift from God to themselves.
- That dedication of infants and children emphasizes the knowledge to parents that the child is God’s gift to them.
- That a child is born innocent, with sin a natural tendency ( a baby knows only its own needs).
- That as conscience is formed, they reach an age of accountability and become responsible for their behavior.
Seaport believes that children are loved by God and children inherit eternal life in heaven if a child dies before old enough to understand Christ.
As the child grows, the parent should explain this service, helping the child to understand that he/she is important to God and to the parents. This awareness will help the child find divine meaning in life.
Seaport encourages parents to publicly dedicate their children to the Lord. Baby dedications are a family dedication. Siblings stay in the congregation with a friend or family member, rather than come on stage during the dedication. The entire family is lifted in prayer to be empowered to keep their responsibilities. A believing parent may dedicate a child independently of an unbelieving spouse. Single parents may not have boyfriends or girlfriends with them on the platform, although they may attend the service.
Seaport believes that water baptism should be done when the child understands its significance and meaning and when the child chooses to be baptized upon their profession of faith in Christ. Click here for more information in determining if your child is ready to be water baptized.
Baby and child dedications take place during the first part of the Sunday morning service. Please plan on being at the church at least 20 minutes early for a brief orientation with the pastor.
The Charge to the Parents
After introductory comments, the pastor will invite you to join him on the platform. The mother should carry the child. The pastor will then give parents the following charge:
- In the sight of God and in the presence of these witnesses, do you solemnly undertake to raise this child to know, respect and respond to the Lord?
- Do you promise to seek to lead them to accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord?
- Do you promise as far as lies in you to set before them an example of a fully devoted Christian?
This is NOT simply a religious tradition. It is a serious commitment before God and man. Please think through the implications of this on your lives, so you may give your child your very best.
Some Questions & Answers
- Will this insure my child will become a Christian? No, the child must come to that decision themselves later in life.
- Does the child need a christening robe? No, they are free to wear whatever you choose.
- Is there a cost to have a child dedicated? No.
- Can I have my older children dedicated? Seaport will dedicate children up to age 7.
- Can I have someone stand up wit us? Yes, but I would strongly urge that they are committed Christians.
After the child is dedicated, they are placed in the father’s arms. The mother’s hands can now receive the following gifts from the church:
- Certificate of Dedication-This is an important document that can serve as a reminder of this important step.
- A rose.
- Letter-This is a letter from the Pastor to the child that is to be opened upon the child’s 13th birthday. It is a simple encouragement to remain faithful to God through the tumultuous teenage years.
How Can I Register My Child to be Dedicated?
If you have read and understand the commitment you are making by dedicating your child, you can go right here to fill out the form and have your child dedicated at the next scheduled Baby Dedication service.