Baby Dedication Guidelines & Conditions

Our Baby Blessing & Dedication is a public declaration of the parent or parents before God and man acknowledging with gratitude that the child is a gift from God.

Recognizing that as parents you need God’s wisdom and help in raising your child and with His help you will do your best to set the example for this child to follow in the way of the LORD.

The Root

Baby Blessing & Dedication at CFM is a family time when parents publicly commit themselves to abiding by biblical principles and raising their children according to God's standards. Not only are you dedicating your child to God, but you are also dedicating yourselves as parents to God.

Environment and Responsibilities

You are committing yourselves to maintaining a Christian home in which Christ is honored and the Word of God is held in reverence. Christian parents are to do all they can to “set apart” their child to God until that child can make his or her own choice regarding a relationship with Jesus Christ.

The responsibilities God has entrusted to Christian parents include continuously praying for their children (Job 1:5), instructing them in the way of the Lord (Proverbs 22:6), setting a Godly example (Proverbs 20:7), and disciplining them as the Lord would discipline us (Proverbs 29:15,17; 13:24). These responsibilities can only be fulfilled in Christ’s strength (Philippians 4:13).

This is not baptism

The Baby Blessing & Dedication at CFM does not involve baptism. We believe that baptism is meant to take place at a time when an individual makes a personal decision to follow Christ and is old enough to repent and confess Jesus publicly.

Conditions

Only a couple committed to Christ and married (a man and a woman) or a Single Parent committed to Christ and not living with someone may participate in the ceremony.

Parents who have not placed their faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord will be unable to submit their children to God’s will and His ways, because they themselves do not know the ways of the Lord.  As a result, we must decline any requests to involve an unbelieving parent in the dedication of a child.

As a parent, your devotion to God—or lack of it—will make a resounding impression on your child. 

We believe that unmarried parents living together do not set a Christ-like example. Therefore, unmarried parents will be advised to separate or wait until they are married to dedicate their child. 

A believing parent may dedicate a child independently of an unbelieving spouse. 

Single parents who dedicate their children may not have boyfriends or girlfriends present with them on the platform.

We recognize that not every parent is committed to living a Christ-centered lifestyle. However, the Pastoral staff at CFM will bless every child that is brought to the office for prayer. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Why should I dedicate my child?

The Bible provides an example for us in that Mary and Joseph took baby Jesus to the temple to be dedicated to God. As followers of Christ, we also should want to make the public declaration to our family, and our church. It is invaluable to be able to tell your children as they are growing up that they belong to Jesus and that you have asked God to use them in a formal declaration.

Where in the Scripture does it say to dedicate your child?

Scripture does not mention anything about dedication of children; however, Hannah dedicated her son Samuel to the Lord (1 Samuel 1:27, 28).

Jesus was dedicated to the Lord as a baby (Luke 2:22) and baptized as an adult (Matthew 3:13-17).

In Mark 10:11-13 we read: “People were bringing little children to Jesus to have Him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, He was indignant. He said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth; anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it’. And He took the children in His arms, put His hand on them and blessed them.” It is primarily from this passage of Scripture that we model our service of dedication and present a child to the Lord.

How old should the child be? 

While there is no set age for a child to be presented to the Lord, children are generally presented within the first year or two of their life. 

Can I as a grandparent dedicate my grandchild?

Yes, if you have full custody and the child lives with you. The person making a public vow should be the child’s caretaker who is responsible for the upbringing of the child.

What about godparents?

There is nothing mentioned in the Bible about Godparents. Parents themselves have the responsibility to raise up their children in the things of the Lord. Some parents may like to call witnesses to confirm their commitment.

These may be relatives or loved ones who know the parents well and who themselves are Christians and faithful to the Lord. While godparents are welcome to attend the ceremony, they will not stand with the parents. There is just not sufficient space to accommodate everyone’s godparents on the stage or around the altar area.

What if I am a believer but my spouse is not?

If only one parent is a believer, the dedication of the child can be done if the unbelieving parent has given permission. 

What if I am not married but I live with the child’s father/mother?

Dedication does nothing for the child; it is actually a declaration (vow) where the parents dedicate themselves to bring their children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.  It is very difficult to make such a declaration when living in opposition to the Word of God.  We are very supportive of parents and do encourage them to make their union legal and then proceed with the Baby Dedication.

What happens during the actual ceremony?

During the ceremony, the Pastor will ask the parents to bring their children to the platform. You will have prepared a written letter stating that before God and the congregation, much like wedding vows, you will raise your child in the Christian faith, that you will be his or her example, and that you will train your child in Christian disciplines: Prayer, Bible reading, church attendance, etc. This written dedication will be read as you stand before the church family.

You will then receive your child’s Dedication Certificate and be seated following the minister’s concluding prayer.

Should the child be dressed a special way?

No. You can dress the child in whatever clothes you wish.

Can we take pictures during the ceremony?

Picture taking is permissible if done orderly and without interference. The vows being made at this time are important and serious to the Lord. Please make sure that your guests are aware that they should use great discretion when taking pictures during the ceremony. 

What is expected of me after I dedicate my child?

Dedication is a pledge to cultivate a spiritual atmosphere in the home. One must never underestimate the incredible influence a parent has on the faith of their children. Infant dedication expresses the intention and faith of the parents to do everything they can to lead their child to salvation. It is a public pledge to circle the child with a positive environment that will nurture the child’s faith in God. Scripture tells us that we are to train a child in the way he should go (Proverbs 22:6). This includes meeting together regularly as Christians to spur one another onto love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:23-24). Dedication of children to God is a promise to model a Christian lifestyle to the children while worshipping with a church family regularly. 

In a sense, a Christian Dedication of a child is a dedication of the parents to be godly role models. 2 Timothy 1:5 states, “When I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also.”

Why do I need to meet these requirements and guidelines?

It is sad to see parents who go through the ritual of a baby dedication who have not even dedicated themselves to the Lord, much less their children. This makes a mockery of the whole event and it loses its significance. Therefore, we would expect that those parents who want to publicly dedicate their child to the Lord meet the requirements and guidelines statedabove and below.

** If at this time you do not meet these guidelines or want more understanding we would love to have the opportunity to help assist in God’s Word and God’s love, so you can position yourself and family for God’s best. We love you! If you have any questions regarding the Baby Blessing & Dedication ceremony or desire to make an appointment for counseling regarding this, please contact the office at 803-377-7149.

I meet the guidelines. What do I need to do to dedicate my child?

Complete and submit the registration form to the office by the appropriate deadline prior to each dedication date. Await a call from our pastoral staff to confirm your registration.

You may need to meet with a minister for a scheduled appointment prior to the ceremony.

Should you have any questions, you may contact Angie Etters at the church office, Monday-Friday at 803-377-7149, or by e-mail at angie@chesterfreedom.com