A Baby/Child Dedication is a commitment by parents and the church to provide opportunity for the child to know and experience what it means to follow Jesus. For this reason, a Baby/Child Dedication is defined by the following criteria:
- The parents must be followers of Christ. In order for a child to be dedicated, the dedicating parent(s) must have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
- The mother and father of the child(ren) are legally married. We believe in the sanctity of marriage and that followers of Christ should raise their children in a home where the parents are committed to Christ and to each other.
- The parent(s) must attend The City Church. This allows us as a church family to fulfill our commitment to the child and the parent(s).
Why do we do Baby/Child Dedications at City?
The dedication of a child is a voluntary act in which believing parents publicly present their child and themselves to the Lord as an outward expression of their commitment to God regarding the raising of their child. The parent(s) are essentially committing themselves to raising their child, with God’s help, in a way that demonstrates an example of Godliness and discipleship. Parents are also comitting to prayerfully train their child in God’s teachings until that child can make a decision on his or her own to follow God. At the time of dedication, the community at The City Church is also committing themselves to participate in the raising of this child through our children and youth ministries and is commiting to be a positive influence so the child can grow up to one day accept Christ and live for Him.
Baby/Child Dedication is not to be confused with infant baptism, viewed as an ordinance of the church, and does not impart salvation in any way. At The City Church we dedicate, rather than baptize, children. We believe that baptism is an outward expression of an inward reality that has already taken place. Just like a wedding ceremony is a public proclamation of the couple’s commitment to each other and to their family and friends, so baptism is an outward declaration of one’s desire to follow Jesus. According to the Bible, the one requirement for baptism is belief in Christ. We believe that children are wonderful but they are not yet able to make that decision for themselves. Therefore, we do not baptize children until they are old enough to understand and believe. Until that time, we dedicate these wonderful gifts back to the Lord and ask for His blessing.