Why Do We Do Child Dedication Services?

UncategorizedJared Kennedy3 Comments

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He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded the fathers to teach to their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children not yet born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their hope in God and would not forget his works but keep his commandments.

—Psalm 78:5-7

Dear Parent,

In Psalm 78:7, we see God’s desire for every generation.  God wants every generation to know and trust in Him—not forgetting what he has done to rescue and save, but remembering Him and keeping His commandments.  This is God’s desire, and we know that it is likely your desire as well. But how will that desire be fulfilled? The first six verses of Psalm 78 show us that God has given us this responsibility. God commands us, parents, to teach our kids about him. The primary context for your child learning about God is not in our children’s ministry on Sundays. It is in your home, in your car as you drive along the road, at your child’s bedside, and at the breakfast table. It happens in those planned moments when you pull out a Bible storybook. And it happens in those unplanned moments when your child has sinned or is heartbroken and you give correction and comfort. Teaching children about God can’t be done in one hour each week. It involves people—ideally parents—giving kids the gospel and their lives as well.

While Psalm 78 makes clear that we are responsible for teaching our kids about God, it doesn’t leave us alone in this responsibility. The psalm is also tells us that God gave his law and testimonies in the context of a believing community. Training kids is a community project. It is the role of the whole church. After all, we need each other. We need one another’s encouragement, one another’s accountability, and one another’s eyes to see what we can’t see.

So, these are the reasons that we do child dedication services at Sojourn. First, God wants our kids, and ultimately their hearts and lives belong to him. So, we confess together, “God, all we have—even our children—belongs to you. All we have is yours.” Secondly, we don’t just dedicate our children. We dedicate ourselves. We do this because we recognize our God-given responsibility as parents. Third, we come to ask for help in the form of a commitment from our church, the believing community.