‘Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him.’ Psalm 127:3 NLT
At Gateway we recognise and celebrate life that God gives! It’s why child deduction’s are an important part of our church. The tradition originates from the story of Hannah.
“I asked the LORD to give me this boy, and he has granted my request. Now I am giving him to the LORD, and he will belong to the LORD his whole life.” 1 Samuel 1:27-28 NLT
Dedication is a commitment by the parents and the church to provide an opportunity for the child to know and experience what it means to follow Jesus.
Parent(s) voluntarily present their child and themselves to God. Parent(s) are committing themselves to faithfully fulfilling their parental responsibilities (1 Timothy 5:8; Proverbs 22:6), to training their child in a biblically shaped environment (Deuteronomy 6:6-7; Colossians 3:21; Ephesians 6:4), and by being a Godly example by modelling and teaching their child how to walk in a personal relationship with Jesus (2 Timothy 3:15-16). Parents are also acknowledging their need of prayerful support and encouragement by others in the church to do this (Hebrews 10:24-25). In Jesus Christ’s example in Luke 2:22 it says, “When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord.”
At the time of dedication, our Gateway family is also committing themselves to participate in the raising of this child through our children and youth programs as well as to encourage this child in such a way as to be a positive witness and influence so that the child can grow up to one day accept Jesus and live for Him.
Setting a date
We hold dedication services throughout the year during our Sunday morning in-person service. We look forward to setting a date for your child's dedication and we encourage you to invite your family and friends to attend and be a part of this special day.
Preparing for the day of dedication
One week prior to dedication we meet each family and walk through the order of service. On the day of dedication, families will arrive 15 minutes prior to the start time and meet with Pastor Luke. We will reserve the front section near the stage for our families to seat until the dedication portion of the service.
Only the parent(s) of the child will be invited onto the platform. In the case of a single parent you may request another family member to stand with you on the platform if they are available to do so. All other family and friends are more than welcome to attend and are encouraged to sit with the family near the front of the church. Pastor Luke and Paul will then pray for your child/children and the family.
If you have any further questions about the spiritual significance of baby dedications, please read below.
Does this ensure salvation for my baby/child?
As Parents we cannot decide our child’s salvation for them. Each individual must make their own decision about their relationship with Christ. When a child becomes old enough to understand the concept of sin and their responsibility for that sin before God, they are then ready to make a decision about salvation. This age of understanding is not a pre-determined age, it is when the child has a true understanding and is able to express that understanding of their faith in Jesus as their Saviour, even in a childlike way (Matthew 18:3, Mark 10:14-15, Luke 18:17). Parents can, however, lay a foundation by their teaching and example that will help a child be ready to make that most important decision.
Is it the same as baptism?
This dedication is not a Baptism, and it does not impart salvation to the child. Baby Dedications are viewed as a confirmation between the parents and the church to raise the child in a Godly way until the child is old enough to make his/her decision in accepting Christ as his/her personal Saviour. The dedication of Children is taught in the Bible. As a baby, Jesus was dedicated by his parents. Jesus also bestowed blessings on the children (Mark 10:16).