What is it?
Child Dedication is an opportunity for parents to publicly give thanks to God for their children and, together with the congregation, commit themselves to faithfully raise their children in the fear, knowledge, and joy of the Lord.
Why Child Dedication?
The dedication of children is an act of faith in the presence of God and his people in which we solemnly and earnestly offer our children up to God for his wise and sovereign purposes in their lives. As parents, we offer ourselves as well, surrendering to the holy responsibility of being biblical parents and raising our children in the fear, knowledge, and joy of the Lord.
Does College Park baptize infants?
The Bible teaches that baptism is for those who are trusting in Jesus Christ alone for the forgiveness of their sins and for the fulfillment of all his promises including eternal life (Acts 2:41; 8:12; 10:47–48). Therefore, we recommend children wait until they have at least turned eleven. Around that age, they are better able to understand and wholeheartedly embrace the gospel and resolve to passionately follow Jesus Christ. See Reasons for Waiting to learn more.
Does the Bible teach that parents must dedicate their children?
It would be difficult to make a strong case for requiring the dedication of children in the church—just as it would be difficult to make a case for forbidding it. There are, however, biblical reasons why we encourage Christian parents to dedicate their children:
- The person-forming work of God is a stunning display of God’s creative power. Thus, it is fitting in the context of corporate worship to glorify him and praise him for his amazing work (Ps. 111:1-2; 145:10-12).
- Child Dedication is an opportunity for parents and the church to publicly acknowledge that our children are gifts from God. It’s also a chance to celebrate this blessing and give thanks to him for these gifts (Job 1:21; Rom. 11:34-36; Ps. 127:3).
- Child Dedication is an act of surrender and submission to God and his will for our children, who were ultimately created for his glory and purpose (Isa. 43:6-7; 46:9-11; Eph.1:3-4).
- Child Dedication is a declaration of parental and congregational commitment to be examples of godliness, raising our children in the fear, knowledge, and joy of the Lord (Deut. 6:6-7; 20-21; Eph. 6:4).
- Child Dedication is a corporate appeal to God for his grace for the sake of our children, in the hope that they will be in Christ, holy and blameless before the Lord (Eph. 1:4) and belong wholly to him forever (2 Thess. 4:17).
Are there any requirements for dedicating my child?
Christian parents who are members or regular attenders of College Park are welcome to dedicate their children. To help prepare for the dedication service, we ask parents to attend a three-hour Foundations of Parenting Seminar. This seminar is usually offered on a Saturday morning, one to three weeks prior to each dedication service. Registration for the Foundations of Parenting Seminar will be included in your Child Dedication registration. During this seminar, parents explore the meaning of dedication, the promises they will make, and the commitment of the church to join with parents in children’s discipleship.
Do I need to be a member of College Park to dedicate my child?
Parents do not need to be members to dedicate their children, but they should consider College Park Church their “church home.” This is rooted in our conviction that dedication reflects the partnership and mutual commitment of parents and the church to raise children in the fear, knowledge, and joy of the Lord.
At what age can my child be dedicated?
There is no age requirement for dedication, but many parents choose to dedicate their children within the first year or two of life. However, it is not uncommon for older children to be dedicated. Our staff is happy to discuss this with you if you have questions or need further clarification.
What should I expect at a Child Dedication Service?
Child dedications occur four times a year, usually during Sunday morning services. Each service has the following components:
- Parents line up across the stage with their children while the presiding pastor gives a brief introduction to the congregation.
- Parents will then respond to the dedication promises. View the Child Dedication Promises
- Parents are introduced individually followed by these Words of Dedication
- After the last child is dedicated, friends and family are invited to gather around the families as a pastor concludes the service with a prayer of dedication
Can a single parent participate in a dedication service?
Yes! Child dedication involves the commitment of parents (including single parents) to faithfully raise their child in the instruction, fear, and joy of the Lord. College Park Church is committed to supporting all parents (including single parents) in their efforts to fulfill their dedication promises.
To dedicate your child at College Park, please complete the Child Dedication Application.