The following information is provided to parents considering a dedication for their child at Caboolture SDA Church (CABSDA) and is available on their website at www.cabsda.org. Feel free to adapt to your setting.
Parents choose to dedicate their child because they want to let others know their desire to partner with God and the church in raising their child.
The parent/child dedication is a public commitment before God, your church, and your family. The dedication service provides you, the parent(s), an opportunity to publically express your desire to lead and spiritually nurture your child in cooperation with the Holy Spirit, in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, so your child will develop a desire to love God and love others.
Listed below are frequently asked questions. Take time to review them. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our pastor.
We believe children are a gift from God. CABSDA is very excited that you are investigating a dedication for your child.
Questions you may have
What is the biblical purpose and background of a child dedication?
The scriptural root of a child dedication is found in 1Samuel 1:27-28 where a Godly woman named Hannah prayed year after year to the Lord to give her a child. God answered her prayer and she gave birth to a son whom she named Samuel. After 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 2, found in the New Testament, after the birth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph took Him to the temple and dedicated Him.
In both Scripture verses, the parents were willing to entrust completely their child to God.
There are other verses in the Bible describing how a parent should raise up a child. Deuteronomy 6:4-9 reads:
“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.”
God puts people and places in your child’s path to help you spiritually lead him/her. One of your first steps in remembering your child is a gift from God is a public dedication.
Do I need to be a church member to have my child dedicated at CABSDA?
You do not need to be a CABSDA member to have your child dedicated in a group or public ceremony at CABSDA. We do challenge parents to make sure they are calling CABSDA 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.
When you choose to become a member at CABSDA, you are stating that you agree with the statement of belief of our church and want CABSDA to be your home church. You are committing to be known, to serve, and to grow spiritually.
To have your child dedicated at CABSDA:
- We ask parents to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
- We ask parents to be sure their beliefs line up with CABSDA’s fundamental beliefs.
- We ask parents to be regular attenders of CABSDA’s weekend services.
- We ask parents who are living together and are not married to take steps to acknowledge and surrender to God’s plan for their individual lives before participating in a child dedication service. This means that as a minimum we ask parents to be engaged and planning towards a wedding in the near future.
We want to affirm all parents considering dedicationa and are very open to having conversations with you on any of the above statements. To arrange this please email our pastor.
What can I expect during a child dedication?
The dedication service has been compared to a wedding service where, rather than a bride and groom, parents express their vows before God, their family, and church. Parents express their desire to raise their child in a God-honouring way by being asked to affirm the following commitments:
- Do you thankfully receive this child as God’s gift to you and your family?
- Do you make a covenant to be parents committed to each other; creating a stable environment in which your child can mature? Will you make a covenant to strengthen your marriage relationship?
- Do you make a covenant to be parents of personal faith; to recognise your children are more likely to follow God’s path by the model they first observe in you?
- Do you make a covenant to lead your home so it is a faith-filled home that will honor God in all your relationships and the family choices you make in spiritually growing your family?
- Do you make a covenant to be parents with patience; to recognise that your desire to shape this gift of God, with your inherent strengths and weaknesses, is a loving act that requires time, prayer, and God to produce in your children what He and you hope for?
Why doesn’t the Adventist Church baptise infants?
Dedication is not a sacrament. It does not impart grace or salvation to a child. Salvation comes only through Jesus Christ as each person recognises their sinfulness and receives forgiveness and eternal life through Christ and what He did on the cross.
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 baptise them and He did not tell anyone else to baptise them. We believe that Baptism is for those who have made a personal decision to trust Christ alone for their salvation once they have the ability to understand what that means. As a general rule for how old one must be to have that ability, a believer should be at least 12 years old to be baptised.
Instead of baptising children, CABSDA encourages Christian parents to dedicate their children. This is a ceremony in which parents formally call upon God’s blessing on their child, and publicly commit to raise their child in accordance with Scripture.
At what age can a child take part in a dedication service?
The average age for a child to be dedicated is four to eight months old. There are situations when a family wants to dedicate a child who is older, even over five years old. Many parent(s) choose to dedicate an older child for the following reasons:
- The parent(s) are new believers in Christ and their children were never dedicated.
- The parent(s) are having a younger child dedicated and want to have their older child dedicated at the same time.
Can a single parent participate in the child dedication?
Yes! We recognise that 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 of a spouse. The decision to dedicate a child is not dependent on the beliefs of the ex-spouse; however it is a discussion we challenge single parents to have with their ex-spouse. We acknowledge the extra effort required for a single parent to raise a child and, as a church, we are committed to supporting single parents in providing a Christian foundation for their child’s upbringing.