Children are a gift from God. As followers of Jesus Christ, we recognize that children belong first and foremost to God. One way in which we can thank God for our children while acknowledging God’s sovereignty over their lives is through child dedication.
Here are some frequently asked questions we get asked about child dedication at Bethel:
Who is child dedication for?
Our child dedication ceremony is for parents who would like to publicly:
- thank God for the gift of their child;
- declare their intent to raise their child in a God-honoring way;
- present their child to the local church body; and
- seek prayer and help from the local church body in regard to their child’s development of faith in Christ.
Does Scripture require that children get dedicated?
No, although Jesus himself was presented at the Temple after he was born. Since the time of the Reformation many Christian denominations have practiced various forms of child dedication ceremonies as an alternative to infant baptism.
Why don’t you practice infant baptism?
Baptism is a ceremony intended for individuals who have consciously put their trust in Jesus for the forgiveness of sins. Infants are not able to understand the gospel nor respond to it appropriately.
Does the child dedication ceremony ensure the salvation of my child’s soul—either now or in the future?
No, there are no guarantees that someone’s child will necessarily put their trust in Christ once they are old enough to understand the gospel and respond to it. Nonetheless, child dedication is one early act of trust on behalf of the parents as they pray that God will lead their child to put their faith in Jesus once they are of age.
What happens during the actual ceremony?
One of the pastors will invite the parents who are dedicating children, along with those children themselves, and their siblings to join him onstage. After the parents and children are introduced, the pastor will invite the church congregation to join him in prayer for the child and family.
Do other friends or family members—like grandparents, aunts, uncles and so on—get called on to participate?
While other friends and family members are welcome to join the church congregation in witnessing the child dedication, we do not ask them to participate in other ways. For instance, we do not follow the practice of designating individuals as the child’s Godfather or Godmother.
Who do I contact if I have other questions that have not been covered here?
Please call our office at (907)-479-4380.