Child Dedication

June 20 is Father’s Day. It’s also the day we will hold our annual Child Dedication ceremony. So what exactly is a Child Dedication as we understand and practice it?

Dedication is not a sacramental event. A dedication ceremony does not bestow salvation on a child, remove sin, or make anyone a church member. We believe that salvation is by grace through faith and that only the blood of Jesus can remove sin. We further believe that baptism is for those who can give a credible profession of their own understanding of and belief in the gospel.

Dedication is a covenantal event. Covenants are common in our society, typically to spell out the terms and conditions of a relationship. Homeowners associations are sometimes covenantal. Church membership is often covenantal. Marriage is always covenantal. We believe the responsibilities and influence of parents are of such magnitude, difficulty, and publicity that Christian parenting warrants a special covenant of its own.

Dedication is a public event. The commitments made during the dedication ceremony are made before God, the congregation, and our children. Entering into this covenant before others at a public ceremony imbues the covenant with a sense of significance. Furthermore, such public commitments often encourage, exhort, and even admonish others in the church about their own parenting.

Dedication is a solemn event. Parents should enter into this ceremony with its vows and affirmations only if they are serious about their Christian discipleship, their parenting duties, and their church membership. No one should participate in a child dedication ceremony because it seems admired or obligatory.

Dedication is a Gospel-centered event. The responsibilities of Christian parenting are impossible, covenant or no. God the Father entrusts children to earthly parents and expects those parents to care wisely and tenderly and selflessly for them through teaching, providing, praying, modeling, correcting, and discipling. Christian parents want to return godly children to the Lord for His service, yet this goal is utterly beyond their ability. Dedication answers to this need. Child Dedication is an expression of hope in God—that He might work through these needy parents to save and sanctify their children. It is an expression of parents’ confidence that their many sins and inadequacies are no match for the power of God through the gospel!

If you are a member of Parker Hills and would like to be involved in our Child Dedication ceremony on June 20, please sign up and plan to attend the orientation meeting on Sunday, May 23, at 9 AM