Baby Dedication?

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Batt4Christ, Jan 14, 2011.

  1. Batt4Christ

    Batt4Christ
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    Since accepting Christ and becoming Baptist, I have not witnessed a "Baby Dedication" in any church I have visited, been a member of, or preached in. On the other hand, I have heard of some Baptist churches doing these "dedications".

    I kind of filed it away in the back of my mind... nearly forgotten, until one of my deacons let me know that he and his family wouldn't be at church this Sunday because they have a grandbaby having a "dedication" Sunday morning. He didn't seem any too thrilled, nor did his wife. He did say that the pastor before me had done a few of them, and indeed, I found a few blank "certificates" in a filing cabinet.

    So - I have been doing some investigating, both asking around, and trying to dig up the basis for such a "baby dedication" and cannot find any scriptural basis outside of Old Testament pictures - particularly Hannah's dedicating of Samuel to the Lord.

    But I haven't been able to carry this over to the New Testament church. What keeps coming back to the forefront of my mind - that this is just a substitute for those who can't let go of the Catholic/Liturgical churches' paedobaptism. While I have not yet been confronted with this issue in my own ministry, I believe it is inevitable. We had a lady visit a few times who has a young son (three years old, I believe) who asked me once if I could baptize her little boy so he might quit being so bad. She really did ask this, and was sincere about it!

    But again - back to the core issue... "Baby Dedications"... Yes or No? Scriptural basis? Sure would like to hammer this out before it ever becomes something I have to confront in my own ministry.
     
  2. Salty

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    It might be called a "baby dedication", but IMHO it is actually a dedication of the parents to raise the child up in the Lord.

    But then again, that should start 8 months before the child is born!
     
  3. Jerome

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    We had a churchlady lobbying for "enfolding" ceremonies.:eek:
     
  4. Salty

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    What in carnation is a "enfolding" ceremonies
     
  5. Jerome

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    Bringing babies "into the fold" of the church!
     
  6. Tater77

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    A dedication is more a commitment made on the parents part than anything. When my son was born I made a dedication of sorts. I was in prayer one night and made a "dedication" that I would raise him to know the Lord and His Son Jesus Christ, to raise him in Church and teach him as best as I can. I dedicated him to the Lord.

    I dedicated my son, but the commitment was all on me. If one wanted to do such a thing in front of their Church family, I have no problem with that.
     
  7. abcgrad94

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    We dedicated both of our children when they were babies. Basically, we pledged before God and man to bring up our children for the Lord. It's a committment ceremony. This does not mean our children recieved salvation at that time or were considered church members, and they were not baptized. The pastor prayed for our babies and for us as we endeavor to raise them right.
     
  8. preachinjesus

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    We do baby dedications about every other or month or so. It is a wonderful time for our church family and the parents involved.

    It takes place at the end of one of our services (usually the 11:00) and the parents get prayed over, the child gets prayed for, and we have a moment to encourage our church family in their role.

    We enjoy it and find it means a lot to everyone involved. :)
     
  9. North Carolina Tentmaker

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    Batt4Christ, first off you need to talk to that woman who wanted you to baptize her child. She does not understand what baptism is or what it symbolizes.

    As others have mentioned now, what we call a baby dedication in most Baptist churches, at least the ones I have pastored or been part of, is really a dedication of the parents and the church family to care for and raise the child according to God’s word.

    There are sample ceremonies online and in your pastor’s guide or star book if you have one. You should also be able to get certificates at your better Christian book stores. When I do this I don’t use the certificate. Instead I present the baby or child with a bible, usually a white new testament. I like to lay out the ceremony similar to wedding vows. I ask the parents, “will you do this and that” and give them a chance to say I do. Then I give a challenge to the church as a whole, will they help raise this child in such a way so that he will understand and follow God’s word, will they pray for him and help his parents as they raise a child that will grow to honor God with his life. You can lay your hands on the child and say a public prayer for God’s protection and guidance and so on. If you need more help let me know but there are plenty of sample ceremonies if you search for it online.

    I love baby dedications, but then I love babies anyway. The child has no clue what is going on, but it is a good service for the rest of us.
     
  10. North Carolina Tentmaker

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    If you are looking for Biblical support for baby dedications I would start with the circumcision of Israel in Genesis 17:12. The child of course had no idea what was going on, but he would bear the scar and mark of that ceremony all the days of his life. In an age where pagan idol worship often involved sexual acts with pagan prostitute priestesses it was a mark he could never hide if he left the worship of the true God.
     
  11. TomVols

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    I do parent dedications. When you do baby dedications, you're invariably saying something about that child's relationship with the Lord/church.

    Baptists need to clarify their theology relative to the covenant and the role of children in that new covenant and any continutiy/discontinuity. Most pastors, like most Baptists, are lost theologically when it comes to this. But that's another story for another forum :)
     
  12. annsni

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    This is just what we do as well. :)
     
  13. Crucified in Christ

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    We do them as well. In fact, a retired Pastor in our Fellowship stepped up to lead this recently. It was truly moving.

    He said something like: "Today, you are not called upon to provide the kind of sacrifice that Abraham was asked to do with Isaac- the Son of promise. Neither are you asked to leave your child with Eli as Hannah had to do. Today, you pledge to do your best, with the help of the Lord, to raise your children in the Faith. To provide a Godly household as is outlined in Scripture. To raise your children in the fear of the Lord. To spend time with them in family devotion and the reading of Scriptures. Today, you pledge to seek the Lord's guidance and wisdom for the direction of your life and family. You pledge to be an active part of Christ's church and to raise this child in the presence of God's people."


    He followed this by giving a charge to the baby's extended family.

    After this there was a charge to the church to provide a place of worship to the child. To support the family with love and care...real care. To provide classes and discipleship opportunities for the child's walk with the Lord. To utilize their gifts, as individuals and as a congregation, to support this child. That it should mean something tangible for each member...a true commitment before God toward this child. A commitment that should be displayed toward every child which the Lord provides to our fellowship in order to grow them in the faith.
     
  14. Jim1999

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    When handled properly, it is a good opportunity for one on one counsel with the parents.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  15. Batt4Christ

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    Thanks for the post. I most definitely had a long conversation with the lady. Not sure if I got the message across, but she has been back a couple of times and not brought it up again.
     

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