During our Sunday gathering on April 10 we will have special child dedication service. That means we'll do three things:
The first purpose of the dedication service is for the church to recognize that children are a gift from God, and that as a gift, a calling has been put on the parents’ lives.
By recognizing the children, the church invites the parents to express their commitment to teach their children the gospel and live in step with its truth — which is an important part of the covenant membership vows: “We engage to maintain family and personal devotions; to seek the salvation of our friends and family; to educate our children in the Christian faith.”
The service isn’t the place where parents initiate their commitment before God to raise their children “in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4), but it is an occasion for the parents to express their commitment to the church corporately, which brings the parents freshly under the church’s accountability.
The second purpose of the dedication service is to give thanks to God.
God is the Giver of all good gifts (James 1:17). He is one who has blessed this world with children, in general, and he is the one who, in his providence, has blessed the families of Cities Church with children who will live among a consistent gospel witness. One essential response to this blessing is gratitude. We consider the dedication ceremony a time for us as a church to join together in thanking God for his immeasurable grace — grace to save us, grace to give us children, and grace to proclaim his might to another generation (Psalm 71:18).
The third purpose of the dedication service is the church’s commitment to the parents and the children to faithfully teach the gospel and show with our lives what it means to value Jesus as our Lord, Savior, and greatest Treasure.
This final purpose is the heart of the ceremony. The dedication is an act of the church for the parents and child. This is the time when the church unites to reengage our resolve to be the church for these families. We, as a church, are dedicating ourselves to partner with the parents to raise their children in the grace and truth of Jesus, and therefore, we, as a church, are dedicating ourselves to the child’s nurture, growth, and everlasting good.