Crossroads Church believes children are a gift from God, and we are very excited that you are investigating child dedication.
Child dedication is a public commitment you make before God, your church, and your family. The dedication service provides you, the parent(s), an opportunity to express publically your desire to lead and spiritually nurture your child in cooperation with God, so your child will develop a strong Christian faith of his or her own.
Listed below are frequently asked questions about child dedication. Take time to review them to find answers to any questions you may have. For unanswered questions, feel free to email a pastor or call (218) 444-8205.
To have your child dedicated at Crossroads:
- We ask parents to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
- We ask parents to be sure their beliefs line up with Crossroads’ statements of belief.
- We ask parents to be regular attenders of Crossroads Church.
- We ask parents who are living together and who are not married to take steps to acknowledge and surrender to God’s plan for their relationship before participating in a child dedication service.
- We are open to having conversations with you on any of the above statements. If you are interested, contact a pastor or call (218) 444-8205.
What is the biblical purpose and history of a child dedication?
In Luke chapter 2 of the New Testament, following the birth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph took the infant Jesus to the temple and dedicated Him.
In Matthew 19:13-15 we see children brought to Jesus for a blessing:
“Then the little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” When had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.” Matt. 19:13-15 (ESV)
In both Scripture passages, the parents entrusted their child completely to God.
Deuteronomy 6:5–9 describe God's plan for how a parent should raise up a child:
"5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, 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. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (ESV)"
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.
Do I need to be a Crossroads Church member to have my child dedicated at Crossroads?
You do not need to be a member of Crossroads Church to have your child dedicated in a group or public ceremony at Crossroads. We do encourage parents to make sure they are calling Crossroads their home church. Why? In dedicating your child to God, you are stating that you are willing to partner with God and the church to raise your child in cooperation with God’s intentions. To partner with any church, a parent would be wise to decide if he or she agrees with its beliefs and vision, so they can be all-in in their partnership with the church.
When you choose to become a member at Crossroads, you are stating that you agree with Crossroads' beliefs and values, and that you want Crossroads to be your home church. For more information on membership, visit the membership page.
What can I expect during a child dedication ceremony?
During the dedication service, parents express vows before God, their family, and the church, declaring their desire to raise their child in a God-honoring way. Because parents are the key role models for their children, they play a primary role in the dedication service.
Parents will be asked to affirm the following commitments:
- That you live and exemplary life before your child that he/she may by example know what it is to be a Christian;
- That you make your home a “school” where he/she will receive Christian instruction;
- That you will see that he/she is taken to church for additional instruction;
- That you will pray for his/her salvation and that you will endeavor to lead his/her to accept Christ as his/her Savior.
Does Crossroads baptize infants?
Scripture provides evidence that Baptism follows an individual’s decision to trust Christ alone for salvation (Acts 2:41, 8:12, and 10:47–48). And the New Testament records the baptisms of adult believers only.
In the Bible, we find parents bringing their children to Jesus. He held them, prayed for them, and told us to welcome them. But He did not baptize them and He did not tell anyone else to baptize them. Crossroads Church believes Baptism is for those who have made a personal decision to trust Christ alone for their salvation, once they have the maturity and ability to understand what that means.
Dedication is not a sacrament; nor does it impart grace or salvation to a child. Salvation comes only through faith in Jesus Christ as each person recognizes their sinfulness and receives forgiveness and eternal life through Christ and His work on the cross.
Rather than baptizing infants or children, Crossroads encourages Christian parents to dedicate their children. This is a ceremony in which parents formally call upon God’s blessing for their child and publicly commit to raise him or her in accordance with Scripture.
At what age can a child take part in a dedication service?
While Crossroads does not have a set age requirement for child dedication, the average age for a child to be dedicated is four to eight 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.
Can a single parent participate in a child 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. Additionally, we highly encourage single parents to dedicate their child as they commit themselves to raise him or her without the presence or partnership of a spouse. 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. Ideally, both parents—even if not married—would still commit to the dedication of their child to God. We acknowledge that this is often not possible, and that it takes extra effort for a single parent to raise a child. As a church, Crossroads is committed to supporting single parents in providing a Christian foundation for their child’s upbringing.
Can parent(s) assign godparents?
Although the term “godparent” is not used at Crossroads, we do welcome parents to invite friends and family members committed to supporting them to stand with them during the dedication. The presence of these significant adults symbolizes their commitment to play a supportive role in the child’s spiritual development.
(This page adapted from Willow Creek church)