Parent Dedication

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The parent/child dedication service is a celebration of the gift of your child. With this gift comes responsibility and a challenge to honor God in your own life. His plan for you is a growing, developing relationship with Him that is modeled for your child so that they can see, understand, and also develop a relationship with Christ.

It is also a time for your church family to commit to partnering with you to pray for and love your child while helping to guide them toward a lifelong desire to know and follow God.

Finally, parent/child dedication is a time for you to acknowledge that your child is “on loan” from God as a gift, so let's celebrate! In the Parent Guide, you'll find suggestions for how to commemorate that special day as well as a guide for choosing a life verse for your child. We’ve also created a resource section that outlines specifically how we conduct the ceremony at McKinney Church.

Parent Guide

We’ve provided some experiences below to help you mark this meaningful moment in your family’s life. If you do not attend McKinney Church, we would encourage you to contact the church you attend to ask them if they provide a similar celebration to the one we outline on the resource page. Many Christian churches provide a similar experience for their congregation.

Experience #1: Choosing a Life Verse

God has a specific plan for your child. What is your plan for raising this gift God has entrusted to you? Choosing a life verse can give your parenting focus. In Psalm 139:1-14 we learn that we are all uniquely and wonderfully made. In choosing a life verse for your child, consider the following:

  • Take a moment to think about your child. Has how God made them unique?
  • What are the most important character traits you want your child to develop?
  • Begin a Bible search for verses that reflect those traits.

Experience #2: The Ceremony and Celebration

Choosing to dedicate your child to God is a momentous occasion! Not only will you want to prepare and plan for the ceremony itself, but you'll also want to take the time to rejoice and reflect on your decision following the service.

  • Find out how to sign up for the next parent dedication at your church. (If you attend McKinney, you’ll find helpful links in the resource section)
  • Invite friends and family to the special day
  • Take pictures of the service and celebration for a keepsake
  • Plan a party following the service to mark the commitment! Celebrate over lunch or have a get-together at home.
  • Ask friends and family to write a note to your child that they will be able to read later in life. Encourage them to include a prayer for your child and a Bible verse that has been meaningful to them.
  • Consider compiling the pictures, notes, and other keepsakes into a present that your child can open at a later time in their life.

Resources

The following is a guide for how parent dedication is done at McKinney. Included is a description of the ceremony and frequently asked questions. If your family is interested in signing up for the next ceremony, contact our children’s ministry at herocentral@mckinneychurch.com

The Ceremony

During the dedication service, the parents will be asked to come to the front of the stage with their child as they are introduced to the congregation. The pastor will give a brief statement of how the parents came to know Christ, and read the life verse the parents have selected for their child.

Friends and family of the child will be invited to join them in a special time of prayer. The congregation will also be invited to pray for the parents and children being dedicated as a way of committing to partner with the parents raising their kids to love the Lord.

To commemorate this special day, McKinney will also present the family with three gifts:

  1. A certificate detailing the specifics of the day.
  2. A framed copy of their child’s life verse.
  3. A copy of the Jesus Storybook Bible.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the difference between a family dedication and baptism?

Baptism in Scripture always follows an individual's decision to trust Christ alone for salvation (Acts 2:41, 8:12, 10:47). It is a picture of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, symbolizing our life before Christ and our new life in Him. Baptism does not impart salvation; each child must hear and respond to the invitation of Jesus Christ. Our dedication service is a time for parents to ask publically for God’s blessing for their child and commit to raising them in accordance with biblical standards. If you have questions about baptism, we are available to discuss them with you.

2. At what age can a child take part in a dedication service?

Most parents celebrate this time from birth to eighteen months. We do not have a set age requirement for family dedication; adopted children, parents who are new believers and have not had their children dedicated, and parents who are dedicating a younger child with older siblings that have not been dedicated are other examples.

3. Can a single parent participate in a family dedication service?

Yes. We are committed to supporting single parents by encouraging them as they raise their child without the partnership of a spouse. If you would like another family member to participate with you in the family dedication, we would be happy to discuss this with you before the dedication service.

4. Do the parents need to attend McKinney to participate in the family dedication ceremony?

Yes. In this service, the parents are asking to partner with our body of believers to provide an atmosphere that helps your child come to know and love God. To partner with any church, parents would have to be an active part of that church. However, we would encourage McKinney parents who are participating in the dedication service to be sure to invite their friends and family, even if they don't attend here. It is an excellent opportunity for you to invite others to celebrate this moment with you as a part of the larger community of faith.

Downloadable Content:

Parent Dedication Milestone PDF