Baby & Child Dedication
Parents partnering with God as they raise their children.
Above all, Ezra Church believes children are a gift from God, and we are very excited that you are investigating child dedication.
Child dedication is a public commitment you make before God, your church, and your family. Further, the dedication service provides you, the parent(s), an opportunity to express publically your desire to lead and spiritually nurture your child in cooperation with the Holy Spirit, so your child will develop a desire to love God and love others.
Listed below are some frequently asked questions about child dedication. Take time to review them to find answers to any questions you may have. For unanswered questions, feel free to contact Pastor Jeff.
For dates and details of the next child dedication ceremony, see our Event Calendar.
What is the purpose of child dedication?
The scriptural root of child dedication is found in 1 Samuel 1:27–28, where a godly woman named Hannah prayed year after year for God to give her a child. He answered her prayer and she gave birth to a son, whom she named Samuel. When Samuel was born, Hannah prayed these words:
“I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give [or dedicate] him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.”
A New Testament example is in Luke, chapter 2. Following the birth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph took the infant Jesus to the temple and dedicated him.
In both Scripture passages, the parents entrusted their child completely to God. The writings of Moses, found in Deuteronomy 6:5–9, describe God’s plan for how a parent should raise up a child:
“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.”
At Ezra Church, child dedication will help you mark this step as you publically express your desire to raise your children with godly principles.
Do I need to be a member of Ezra Church to have my child dedicated?
You do not need to be a member/partner of Ezra Church to have your child dedicated. We do encourage parents to make sure they are calling Ezra Church 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 so they can fully participate in their partnership with the church.
To have your child dedicated at Ezra:
- We ask parents to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
- We ask parents to be sure their beliefs line up with Ezra’s values and beliefs.
- We ask parents to be regular attenders of Ezra’s weekend worship services.
- We ask parents to commit to modeling personal purity and to lead by example in matters of faith and conduct.
What should I expect during the service?
During the dedication service, parents express vows before God, their family, and the church, declaring their desire to raise their child in a God-honoring way. Because parents are the key role models for their children, they play a primary role in the dedication service.
Parents will be asked to affirm the following commitments:
- Do you receive this child with gratitude, as God’s gift to you and your family?
- Do you commit to each other as parents, creating a stable environment in which your child can mature? Will you make a covenant to strengthen your marriage relationship?
- Do you commit to be parents of personal faith, recognizing your children are more likely to follow God’s path by the model they first observe in you?
- Do you commit to lead a faith-filled home that honors God in all your relationships and in the choices you make in spiritually growing your family?
- Do you commit to be parents with patience, recognizing that with your inherent strengths and weaknesses, your desire to shape your child is a loving act that will require time, prayer, and God in order to produce in your children what He and you hope for?
If you have registered to participate in a scheduled public or group child dedication service, you will receive an email approximately two weeks before the date of the service with information regarding what to expect, including the service order, times, and any additional details.
Does Ezra Church baptize infants? What's the difference between baptism and dedication?
Scripture provides evidence that baptism follows an individual’s decision to trust Jesus alone for salvation (Acts 2:41, 8:12 and 10:47–48). 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 baptize them and He did not tell anyone else to baptize them. Ezra Church believes baptism is for those who have made a personal decision to trust Jesus alone for their salvation, once they have the maturity and ability to understand what that means.
Dedication is not a sacrament; nor does it impart grace or salvation to a child. Salvation comes only through faith in Jesus Christ as each person recognizes their sinfulness and receives forgiveness and eternal life through him and his work on the cross.
Rather than baptizing infants or children, Ezra Church encourages Christian parents to dedicate their children. This is a ceremony in which parents formally call upon God’s blessing for their child and publicly commit to raise him or her in accordance with scripture.
How old does my child have to be?
While Ezra Church does not have a set age requirement for child dedication, the average age for a child to be dedicated is four to eight months old, although many parents dedicate children much older than that, often for the following reasons:
- The parent(s) are new believers in Christ and their children were not dedicated when they were infants.
- The parent(s) are having a younger child dedicated and want to have their older child dedicated at the same time.
Can we choose "godparents?"
Although the term “godparent” is not used at Ezra Church, we do welcome parents to invite friends and family members committed to supporting them. The presence of these significant adults symbolizes their commitment to play a supportive role in the child’s spiritual development.