Baby/Child Dedication Policy and Information
A Baby/Child Dedication is a commitment by the parents and the church to provide opportunity for the child to know and experience what it means to follow God. For this reason,a Baby/Child Dedication is defined by the following criteria:
- The parents must be followers of Christ. In order for a child to be dedicated, the dedicating parent(s ) must have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
- The mother and father of the child(ren)are legally married. We believe in the sanctity of marriage and that followers of Christ should raise their children in a home where the parents are committed to Christ and to each other.
- The parent(s) must attend Central Community Church. This allows us as a family to fulfill our commitment to the child and the parent(s).
Why do we do Baby/Child Dedications at Central?
The dedication of a child is a voluntary act in which believing parents publicly present their child and themselves to the Lord as an outward expression of their commitment to God regarding the raising of this child. The parent(s) are essentially committing themselves to raising this child, with God’s help, in a way that demonstrates an example of Godliness, disciplining according to God’s ways and prayerfully training that child in God’s teachings until that child can make a decision on his or her own to follow God. At the time of dedication, the family at Central is also committing themselves to participate in the raising of this child through our children and youth programs as well as to encourage this child in such a way as to be a positive witness and influence so that the child can grow up to one day accept Christ and live for Him. Baby/Child Dedication is not to be confused with infant baptism, viewed as an ordinance of the church, and does not impart salvation in any way.
At Central, we dedicate, rather than baptize, children. We believe that baptism is an outward expression of an inward reality that has already taken place. Just like a wedding ceremony is a public proclamation of the couple’s commitment to each other and to their family and friends, so baptism is an outward declaration of one’s desire to follow Jesus. According to the Bible, the one requirement for baptism is belief in Christ. We believe that children are wonderful but they are not yet able to make that decision for themselves. Therefore, we do not baptize children until they are old enough to understand and believe. Until that time, we dedicate these wonderful gifts back to the Lord and ask for His blessing.
Because the child is a gift from God, the parents promise, as God’s stewards, to bring up the child entrusted to them in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Col 3:21). In dedicating one’s child in the presence of fellow believers, parents are publicly dedicating themselves to the faithful fulfillment of their parental responsibilities (Deut. 6:6-7; Proverbs 22:6) and are acknowledging their need of prayerful support and encouragement of those fellow believers (Eph 6:18; Hebrew 10:24-25).
The dedication is more than a service – it is a commitment of parents to honour the will and the Word of God. In Jesus Christ’s example in Luke 2:22 it says, “When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord.”
As a church we recognize that this child is a gift from God also and that the parents presenting the child need support and encouragement in their role as parents. We at Central commit to providing programs and activities that will help parents guide their children to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Setting a Date
Baby Dedications are separate from our weekend experiences, held four times each year for families who want to dedicate their child. We have created a more intentional format in a more relational, intimate setting with Pastor Bill, Pastor Gianpaolo, the Family Ministries Pastor, and other parents dedicating their children. This ceremony will typically be held on a Sunday at 3:00pm during each quarter of the year.
Dedication forms are available at Central Connect or on online. A completed and signed Baby/Child Dedication Application must be submitted at least 14 days prior to the scheduled date of dedication and confirmation must be received from the church office before the date can be considered firm.
If you have any questions regarding baby/child dedications or baby blessings, please contact email@example.com or 905-937-5610 x255
Once the Date Has Been Confirmed
Once the date has been confirmed by staff, feel free to make arrangements with family and friends to save the date. You will be contacted two weeks prior to the event for confirmation of how many family members you’ll have attending.
Day of Dedication
On the day of dedication, participants should arrive 15 minutes prior to the start time, follow the signs to the designated room, and check in with the staff person for introductions and instructions.
Only the parent(s) of the child will be invited onto the platform. In the case of a single parent home, only that parent will be on the platform. All other family and friends are more than welcome to attend and are encouraged to sit with the family near the front of the auditorium. A single parent may request a Ministry Staff member, Board Member or LifeGroup Leader from Central to stand with them on the platform if they are available to do so.
Acceptance of Policy
When you can submit your application wholeheartedly willing to embrace the aforementioned requirements, for your sake, as well as for your child and our church family, we encourage you to continue in the process as outlined below.
In keeping with the spirit and standard of excellence in ministry, the following guidelines must be followed to ensure a smooth and timely Baby/Child Dedication.
“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”
“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Col 3:21, “Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.”
“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”