DEDICATION OF PARENTS & YOUNG CHILDREN
EFree Church believes children are a gift from God (Psalm 127:3). Dedication of Parents & Young Children is a public commitment you make before God, your church, and your family. The dedication service provides you, the parent(s), an opportunity to publicly express your desire to lead and spiritually nurture your child with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, so that your child will develop a desire to love God and love others. Please read this page carefully prior to applying to participate in our next dedication service. Thank you.
WHAT IS THE BIBLICAL PURPOSE OF THE DEDICATION SERVICE?
In 1 Samuel 1:27–28, we find a godly woman named Hannah who prayed for God to give her a child. God answered her prayer, and Hannah gave birth to a son, whom she named Samuel. When Samuel was born, Hannah prayed these words: For this boy I prayed, and the Lord has given me my petition which I asked of Him. So I have also dedicated him to the Lord; as long as he lives he is dedicated to the Lord.” In Luke 2:22-23, following the birth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph took the infant Jesus to the temple and dedicated Him.
Deuteronomy 6:5-7 describes God's plan for how a parent should raise up a child: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.
DO I NEED TO BE A MEMBER OF EFREE CHURCH TO PARTICIPATE IN THE DEDICATION SERVICE?
You do not need to be a member of EFree Church to have your child dedicated. We do
encourage parents to make sure they call EFree Church their home church. Why? In dedicating your child to God and dedicating yourselves to raising your child in the Lord, you publicly profess that you will partner with God and our church to raise your child in cooperation with God’s intentions.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT DURING THE DEDICATION SERVICE?
You and your child will be asked to join the other families participating in the dedication service on stage. Relatives and friends of the family are asked to enjoy the dedication service from their seats. Although the term “godparent” is not used at EFree Church, we understand that some parents like to ask certain individuals to serve as the child’s godparents. These special individuals are also asked to enjoy the dedication service from their seats.
Parents will be asked to affirm the following commitments before God, their family, and their church, declaring their desire to raise their child in a God-honoring way. After the pastor states each commitment, the parents will respond by saying, “We do.”
- Do you receive this child with gratitude, as God’s gift to you and your family?
- 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 thechoices you make in spiritually growing your family?
- Do you commit to raise your child with patience, recognizing your desire to shape your child is a loving act that will require time, prayer, and dependence on God?
AT WHAT AGE CAN A CHILD TAKE PART IN THE DEDICATION SERVICE?
While EFree Church does not have a set age requirement for child dedication, the average age for a child to be dedicated ranges from infants to 24 months, although some children as old as 3 or 4 years of age are dedicated for the following reasons: (1) The parent(s) are new believers in Christ and their children were not dedicated when they were infants. (2) The parent(s) are having a younger child dedicated and want to have their older child dedicated at the same time.
DOES EFREE CHURCH BAPTIZE INFANTS?
Scripture provides evidence that water baptism follows an individual’s decision to trust Christ alone for salvation (Acts 2:41, 8:12, and 10:47–48). EFree Church believes that water baptism is for those who have made a personal decision to trust Christ alone for their salvation. Therefore, at EFree Church, we do not baptize infants or young children.
CAN A SINGLE PARENT PARTICIPATE IN THE DEDICATION SERVICE?
Yes! Child dedication signifies the commitment of parents (including single parents) to do their best to raise their child to be a follower of Christ. The decision to dedicate a child is not dependent upon the beliefs of the ex-spouse; however we encourage single parents to discuss child dedication with their ex-spouse. We at EFree Church are committed to supporting single parents in providing a Christian foundation for their child’s upbringing.