OASIS BABY/CHILD DEDICATION
WHAT IS BABY DEDICATION?
The word "dedication" means "to consecrate" or the act of setting apart people or things to serve God. In the Old Testament, we see how Hannah prayed for a child and promised God that the child, Samuel, would be given to the Lord all the days of his life. (1 Samuel 1:11, 28). In the New Testament, we see how Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the temple to "present" Him to the Lord (Luke 2:22).
These parents took this act very seriously and were making a commitment in presenting their children to the Lord. Bringing a child before the Lord is not a secret formula for keeping them from ever experiencing harm or pain. It is a commitment that the parents make to do their part in raising the child before the Lord. Just as the Nazarite children in the Bible had set boundaries and lived their lives set apart to God from birth (Judges 13:5), parents today, through baby dedication, commit to a lifestyle of raising their children separated from the world and its values.
WHAT IS THE BIBLICAL PURPOSE AND HISTORY OF CHILD DEDICATION?
The scriptural root of a 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: "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 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." One key step in marking your desire to nurture your child in the ways of God is to dedicate him or her to God publicly, through a child dedication ceremony.
AT WHAT AGE CAN A CHILD TAKE PART IN A DEDICATION SERVICE?
Oasis does not have a set age requirement for child dedication, but the average age for a child to be dedicated is four to twelve 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.
WHAT HAPPENS ON THE SUNDAY MY BABY/CHILD IS DEDICATED?
On the Sunday of your dedication:
You and your family should arrive by 9:45 am to go over the order of service and make any last minute changes. Seats may be reserved for each family dedicating their baby/child.
Typically baby dedications are held in the middle of the service before the announcements and tithe/offering. Parents and family members will walk up to platform when Pastor calls your families name. Pastor Michael and Tena Sloan will spend time with each family. A Certificate of Dedication will be provided to the parents.
Be prepared to make this a very special day in the lives of your family!
A WORD FROM PASTOR
Children are a gift from God and are precious to Him. Dedicating our children to the Lord is an important covenant we make before God. It is through baby dedication that parents make this covenant and publicly proclaim their faith in Christ and their commitment to pass their faith on to their children. As a church, we desire to help you succeed in this parenting journey. May God richly bless you as you welcome this new life into your family!
Bishop Michael Sloan