Often I am asked about baby dedication. My answer is pretty standard, "We don't do baby dedications, but we would love to partner with your family for the next 18 years to help you and your kid look more like Jesus!" Startling? Perhaps, but here are 3 reasons we don't:
1. Research- The fact is a parent has far more time to spiritually form a kid than we do at the church. So the church promising to raise the kid spiritually is untruthful and unrealistic. (Re-Think group in their book Think Orange estimate parents having approximately 3000 hours a year to spiritually form their kid while the church will only have approximately 40)
2. Intentionality- We know that a baby has absolutely no say in this process as of yet. So we want to connect with the #1 spiritual champion of a kid as quickly as we can- their parents. (See above- research indicates that kids are far more likely to stay connected to the church and to spiritual formation if their parent is closely related to that process)
3. Vision- At our church we view all ministry to the Next Gen (Birth-College) through the lens of the family. We understand that at every phase the development of a kid takes on various needs and requires differing responses, however the one constant throughout the phases of life is that a parent is the bedrock in which a kid will fall upon throughout life. So we put our focus on connecting with, equipping, and encouraging the Family as a whole.
Why we DO Family Dedication? Easy! In response to the above we value 3 things:
1. Partnering with parents for the 936 weeks you have with your kid to ensure they are prepared, equipped, and encouraged to be that #1 Spiritual champion for their kid. (936 weeks is the approximate time you have from the day your kid is born until their 18th Birthday)
2. Family dedication is simply the first of what we pray are several significant milestones that we will get to celebrate with you along the phases. We can't wait to celebrate your kids decision to follow Jesus, their public profession of that relationship through Baptism, Graduating from High School, their wedding, and hopefully another generation of Family dedication!
3.Finally, we want to be sure that the 40 hours a year we have as a church is the very best it can be! So we not only dedicate your family to the this process, we as your church family dedicate every possible resource available to us to ensure that we make every second count on our campus for you, your kid, and your entire family!
No, we don't do baby dedication. We do Family dedication and love every minute of it!
Looking for ways to connect with other parents and ideas across the various "Phases" check out http://theparentcue.org