Psalms 127:3 “Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.”
Dear RSF Families,
Children are a blessing to the family and to the church. Few things are more special in our lives then when we invite a new life into the world. With that in mind, the Pastors thought it would be helpful to share with you about baby dedications at Reality SF. In this blog post you will find:
What is a baby dedication?
A baby dedication occurs when a family, alongside the elders of the church, goes before the congregation and makes a public pronouncement that they are committing their child to the Lord and themselves to raising the child according to God’s word.
The practice of baby dedication is seen in the Bible. In 1 Samuel 1: 21-28, Hannah returns to the prophet Eli with her promised son and dedicates him to serving the Lord. Additionally, Jesus was dedicated in the temple on the 8th day after his birth which we read about in Luke 2:22.
When a baby dedication takes place there are three important roles that are being recognized: The Role of the Parents, The Role of the Elders, and The Role of the Congregation.
The Role of the Parents
When a family goes before the congregation and dedicates their baby to the Lord, parents are openly declaring their faith in Christ and committing to parent the child in the ways of the Lord as the Bible instructs. Deuteronomy 6: 4-7 and Ephesians 6:1-4 clearly state that it is the role of the parents to teach, train, and discipline their children in the ways of the Lord. Parents are committing to this instruction during the dedication ceremony.
The Role of the Elders
Just as the parents are commanded to train their children in the ways of the Lord, the elders of the church are commanded to shepherd the parents in their own relationship with Christ, which naturally carries over to their marriage and parenting. As 1 Timothy 3: 4-5 requires that an elder be one who “knows how to manage his own household”, it is part of the elder’s role to be both a teacher and an example to new parents of how to lead and care for their family in a way that honors the Lord. When a baby is dedicated it is the elders who present the family to the congregation and lead the church in prayer over the parents and the child.
The Role of the Congregation
When the congregation joins in recognizing the family as one committing their lives together to serve the Lord there is a commitment being made on the part of the church as well. The church is considered a body in which all parts are necessary for full function (1 Corinthians 12: 12-31). As the church prays for the parents and the child being dedicated there is an agreement being made that church members will operate in their God given role to assist and equip the family for the mission set before them of raising their child in the ways of the Lord. Many will have a role in the child’s life for years to come. Some will be Sunday school teachers. Some will be babysitters. Some will be mentors. But all will have a role in the family’s life within the church body.
Why does Reality SF offer baby dedications?
There are two main reasons why Reality SF offers baby dedications. The first is because it is modeled in scripture (see above). The second is because the vision that God has given to Reality is that Christian families will have a primary role in bringing spiritual formation and cultural transformation to the city of San Francisco. When we pray for a baby being dedicated at our church we are submitting the child to God’s will for their life and believing in faith that God will use them for His specific purpose within the mission of Reality SF.
How to Move Forward
If you have additional questions after reading this and would like to discuss them with a pastor, feel free to contact Dave Dealy at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to schedule a baby dedication during one of our upcoming Sunday services, sign up here and we will confirm that date and time with you.
Grace and Peace,
The Reality SF Pastors