This is a service where Christian parents dedicate their children to the Lord. They promise the Lord and church to raise their children in a godly way until children can make their own decisions to follow the Lord. Pastors should contact families who have had children during the previous year and invite them to a meeting to discuss the service. He can use this meeting to teach and explain the reason for the service and reinforce a biblical vision for Christian parenting.
Actual Order of Baby Dedication Service
• Parents stand before the congregation with their children, and the pastor asks the following questions:
Do you today recognize these children as the gifts of God and give heartfelt thanks for God’s blessing?
Do you now dedicate your children to the Lord who gave them to you all, surrendering all worldly claims upon their lives in the hope that they will belong wholly to God?
Do you pledge as parents that, with God’s help, you will bring up your children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord, making every reasonable effort, with patience and love, to build the Word of God, the character of Christ and the joy of the Lord into their lives?
Do you promise to provide, through God’s blessing, for the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual needs of your children, looking to your own heavenly Father for the wisdom, love and strength to serve them and not use them?
Do you promise, God helping you, to make it your regular prayer that, by God’s grace, your children will come to trust in Jesus Christ alone for the forgiveness of their sins and for the fulfillment of all his promises to them, even eternal life; and in this faith follow Jesus as Lord and obey his teachings?
• Insert these same promises in the bulletin to reinforce a Biblical vision of parenting for the whole congregation. The pastor can invite all parents silently to re-commit these promises.
• After the parents have confirmed their promises, the pastor can pray a prayer of dedication.
Prayer of Dedication
(child’s name), together with your parents, who love you dearly, and this people who care about the outcome of your faith, I dedicate you to God, surrendering together with them all worldly claims upon your life, in the hope that you will belong wholly to God for ever.
• After the ceremony, the pastor can present parents with a Child’s Bible, a certificate, and a pastoral letter to give the child on his 12th birthday.
Sample of a Pastoral Letter:
Name of Church
Address of Church (City, State Zip)
Date of Dedication Service
Infant’s Full Name
Dear (child’s first name)
I would like to wish you a Happy Birthday today. I am writing this letter to you on the day that your Parents dedicated you to the Lord at (church name). As you read this letter, you are celebrating your 12th birthday. I hope today is a special day for you.
God blessed you with two very special parents. They prayed for you during your mother’s pregnancy. Earlier today at your dedication, I reminded your parents of their responsibility to provide you with a home that would honor Christ.
As a church, we prayed that you would grow up to know and accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.
Up to this point, your parents have made most of your life’s important decisions. Now you are 12 years old, and there is one decision that only you can make. You alone must accept Jesus as your personal Savior. If you have already done this, I pray that you will continue to grow, as a Christian and that, you will stay close to Jesus in your years ahead.
May God bless you on this special Birthday.
In Christ’s love,