Child dedications are a commitment made between the child’s family and their church family, to raise the child in an environment where they can know, and have a relationship with Jesus Christ. Even though it’s called child dedication, it’s really more about the dedication of the parents and our church. It is our hope and prayer that each child fulfills their dedication by making a personal choice for Jesus later in life and follows that decision with water baptism. (*for more on Infant Baptism see FAQ below)
Although it’s called a child dedication, it’s really more about the dedication of the parents. During the dedication we ask the parents to commit to the following things:
- Praying for your children daily.
- Teaching them about Jesus and God’s eternal principles from the Bible.
- Faithfully attending church with your kids.
- Modeling a Christ-like life at work, in the home, in your marriage, and as parents.
Interested in Child Dedication? Give the church a call at 906-635-5361 or provide your contact information below:
What is the Biblical Purpose and History of a Child Dedication?
The scriptural root of a child dedication is found in 1 Samuel 1:27–28 (NASB), where a godly woman named Hannah prayed year after year for God to give her a child. He answered her prayer and she gave birth to a son, whom she named Samuel. When Samuel was born, Hannah prayed these words:
“For this boy I prayed, and the Lord has given me my petition which I asked of Him. So I have also dedicated him to the Lord; as long as he lives he is dedicated to the Lord.”
In Luke chapter 2 of the New Testament, following the birth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph took the infant Jesus to the temple and dedicated Him. In both Scripture passages, the parents entrusted their child completely to God. The writings of Moses found in Deuteronomy 6:5–9 describe God’s plan for how a parent should raise up a child:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”
One key step in marking your desire to nurture your child in the ways of God is to dedicate him or her to God publically, through a child dedication ceremony.
Do I need to be a SWC church member to have my child dedicated?
You do not need to be a member of SWC to have your child dedicated in a group or public ceremony at SWC. We do encourage parents to make sure they are calling SWC their home church. Why? In dedicating your child to God, you are stating that you are willing to partner with God and the church to raise your child in cooperation with God’s intentions. To partner with any church, a parent would be wise to decide if he or she agrees with its beliefs and vision, so they can be all-in in their partnership with the church.
To have your child dedicated at SWC:
• We ask parents to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
• We ask parents to be sure their beliefs line up with the beliefs of the Wesleyan Church.
• We ask parents to be regular attenders of SWC weekend services.
We are open to having conversations with you on any of the above statements. If you are interested, contact the church office at 906.635.5361.
Does SWC baptize infants?
Scripture provides evidence that baptism follows an individual’s decision to trust Christ alone for salvation (Acts 2:41, 8:12, and 10:47–48). And the New Testament records the baptisms of adult believers only. In the Bible, we find parents bringing their children to Jesus. He held them, prayed for them, and told us to welcome them. But He did not baptize them and He did not tell anyone else to baptize them. Sault Wesleyan believes baptism is for those who have made a personal decision to trust Christ alone for their salvation, once they have the maturity and ability to understand what that means.
Dedication is not a sacrament; nor does it impart grace or salvation to a child. Salvation comes only through faith in Jesus Christ as each person recognizes their sinfulness and receives forgiveness and eternal life through Christ and His work on the cross.
Rather than baptizing infants or children, SWC encourages Christian parents to dedicate their children. This is a ceremony in which parents formally call upon God’s blessing for their child and publicly commit to raise him or her in accordance with Scripture.
Can a single parent participate in a child dedication service?
Yes! Child dedication signifies the commitment of parents (including single parents) to do their best to raise their child to be a follower of Christ. Additionally, we highly encourage single parents to dedicate their child as they commit themselves to raise him or her without the presence or partnership of a spouse. The decision to dedicate a child is not dependent upon the beliefs of the ex-spouse; however we encourage single parents to discuss child dedication with their ex-spouse. Ideally, both parents—even if not married—would still commit to the dedication of their child to God. We acknowledge that this is often not possible, and that it takes extra effort for a single parent to raise a child. As a church, SWC is committed to supporting single parents in providing a Christian foundation for their child’s upbringing.