The modern day practice of dedicating a child to God is rooted in the Biblical example of Hannah in 1 Samuel 1:1-28. For many years, she earnestly prayed for a child. When she finally gave birth to a son, she chose to completely dedicate the child's life to God's service.
Continue reading for answers to more specific questions that you may have.
Q: WHEN DOES A CHILD DEDICATION CEREMONY TAKE PLACE?
A: Dedication ceremonies typically take place twice a year, on one weekend in the spring (Mother’s Day) and one weekend in the fall (Grandparents Day). Children will be dedicated during each of our services taking place within these weekends. While the service order for these events can vary, we try to schedule the dedications near the beginning of service (as a courtesy to parents with small children). In order to ensure all of your family members are there on time and to make sure we have a few minutes to go over the events of the service you will participate in, we suggest you arrive at least 30 minutes before service. Prior to the day of your child’s dedication, we will send an email detailing all additional information you will need to know, including the room we will meet in before the service begins.
Q: WHO SHOULD BE A PART OF A CHILD DEDICATION CEREMONY?
A: Child Dedications are a wonderful opportunity to invite family members and friends to church. While only the parents will stand with the child during the dedication, other family members will be given the opportunity to join the congregation in pledging their support and blessing to the parents. We encourage parents to invite anyone who is special to their family. Child dedication is a powerful public declaration of the parent's intentions, so the more witnesses, the better!
Q: CAN A CHILD BE TOO OLD TO BE DEDICATED?
No. Technically the decision is a prayer of dedication for parents as well as the child. The service is for parents as well as for children. Usually, the child being dedicated is not yet old enough to fully understand what it means to follow Christ. However, if your child is old enough to understand, this would be a great opportunity to talk about what it means to follow Christ. If this is your case, let us know as we would love to support you.
Q: WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT DURING A CHILD DEDICATION CEREMONY?
A: All the families dedicating children will line up and walk to the auditorium together. Typically, as the first song ends they will be guided onto the stage. As the families stand facing the congregation, the pastor will explain the meaning of Child Dedication. They then will give a charge to the parents, asking them to raise their child in a Godly fashion. Afterward, they will give a charge to the congregation, asking them to encourage and uphold the parents in their commitment. Lastly, a pastor or leader will pray a blessing over each family. Please note that this ceremony does not grant your child "salvation" or make them a "member" of Lifehouse Church. We believe those types of decisions can only be made by a person once they reach an age of maturity.
Q: HOW SHOULD WE PREPARE FOR A CHILD DEDICATION CEREMONY?
A: Once our office receives your application, you will be sent additional details at least 2 weeks before the event. Before participating in the service, all parents are required to attend a child dedication class, which is offered the week before the event. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our Children's Pastor by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org