"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it."
"We're parents and want to have our child either baptized or dedicated. What's the difference?
Most parents who are concerned for the spiritual upbringing of their children will ask a question like this. The key to answering this is to consider what the Bible teaches about baptism and dedication.
Significance of Child Dedication
The dedication of infants and children is seen in both the Old Testament and New Testament.
In the Old Testament, Hannah took her son Samuel to the Temple (1 Samuel 1:24-28). In the New Testament, Joseph and Mary took Jesus to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord (Luke 2:22).
The significance of infant and child dedication is to publicly present this little life to God. In doing so, the parents express their thankfulness to God and request His guidance in raising the child. In presenting a child before God, the parents commit themselves to raise the child in the Christian way of life. See the "Pledge of Dedication."
Baptism vs Child Dedication
Baptism is different from dedication. Baptism is practiced throughout the New Testament. People were baptized to demonstrate publicly their belief in Jesus as personal Savior (Acts 2:41; 8:36-38). Everyone baptized in the New Testament was a believer. Baptism is outward expression of an inward reality.
The Bible does not give any minimum age for baptism; however, for a child to be baptized, they must be old enough to understand the meaning of Jesus Christ's death and resurrection for them and have responded to Christ personally.
By Dedicating a Child:
- Parents are saying, "Thank you God for this gift of life." (Psalm 127:3-5)
- Parents are publicly dedicating their child to God and asking for His protection and involvement in the life of their child (1 Samuel 1).
- Parents are asking God's help and the church's support in the process of raising their child in the ways of the Lord (Ephesians 6:1-4).
- Parents are committing themselves to the Lord and pledging to model for their children a life dedicated to Christ and His church (Proverbs 22:6).
Dedications at Golden Hills Community Church
Because of the number of requests for infant and child dedications, one Sunday each quarter we will set aside time in each of our worship services to have parents and children come together, at the service of their choice, to be introduced and prayed for. We look forward to celebrating this special time with you.
Pledge of Dedication...
Parents, do you by this act of dedication, acknowledge that your children are a gift from God and are entrusted to you to raise in a manner pleasing to God?
Do you pledge to live your own lives under the Lordship of Jesus Christ in such a way that your children will learn by your example that Jesus is to have first place in everything we do?
Do you further pledge that you will love each other, that you will pray together as a family, and that you will provide for the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of your family, as God enables you, until Christ shall take you home?
If you have more questions about child dedication, or would like to schedule a child dedication, please contact Julie Andereggen at the Golden Hills Children's Minsitry Office, Email her, or call her at 925-516-0653 x7140.
The God Puzzle - A great resource for parents!
The God Puzzle" is an easy to use workbook designed for kids, ages 7-12. It will help you teach your children the great foundational truths of our faith in 36 lessons. This resource is available in the Children's Ministry Office for only $10. Hurry, we have a limited supply!
Parent Lending Library
A number of books, games and audio resources dealing with issues related to parenting are available in the rear lobby of the Education (E) building (in the lobby back by the playground areas). These resources are available for our parents to check out and return at the portable bookcase in the at lobby area. Simply follow the instructions for easy self checkout and return. If you have resources you would like to donate to the lending library, please bring them to the Children's Ministry Office.
Family Toolbox Series
These tools are series of booklets (The Family Toolbox Series), each addressing spiritual growth issues. In them you will find information, discussion questions and activity suggestions to help you guide your children on their spiritual journeys. Download these booklets below, or pick them up in the Children's Ministry Office.
- Bible Content
- Bible Memory
- Choosing a Children's Bible
- Christian Service
- Helping your Child Make and Keep Friends
- The Holy Spirit
- Leading your Child to Christ
- Recommended Parent Resources
- Spiritual Gifts and your Child
- Teaching Kids About the Church
- Teaching Kids About Outreach
- Teaching Kids About Stewardship
- Teaching Kids About Worship
- Teaching Kids to Pray
- Teaching Missions to your Children
- What do Christians do with Halloween?
- What do Christians do with Santa Clause?
- What the Bible Says About...