How is Parent Dedication different from baptism?
We believe that baptism is a response to one's decision to fully follow Christ. Parent dedication is where parents dedicate themselves, their parenting efforts and their child to God so that when a child is old enough to understand, they too will choose to follow Christ and then be baptized.
Can a child be too old to be dedicated?
No. Technically the decision is a prayer of dedication for parents as well as the child. The service is for parents as well as for children. Usually, the child being dedicated is not yet old enough to fully understand what it means to follow Christ. However, if your child is old enough to understand, this would be a great opportunity to talk about what it means to follow Christ. If this is your case, let us know as we would love to support you.
What is the Preparation for Parent dedication class like?
Preparation for parent dedication is a very relaxed class. We sit parents together at tables where they can get to know other new parents or parents of young children. The class is designed to allow engaging discussion. Essentially, we take some time to explain what parent dedication is, and is not. We will also clearly explain what we believe the Bible says about parenting and what spiritual responsibilities parents have. Most importantly we share how Westside wants to partner with parents in order to equip and encourage them as they spiritually lead and train their children. Last of all, we cover all the details you’ll need to know about the parent dedication ceremony.
What is the Parent Dedication like?
Parent dedication is a short and simple service. One of our worship team leaders will lead worship. The Family Pastor will speak for a few minutes about dedication, explaining to those in attendance what parent dedication is all about. The remainder of the service is of devotion and prayer. Parents and children, along with their friends and family, circle together for a time of prayer with one of our pastoral leaders. Parents are also encouraged to read the letter written during a short homework assignment, if they so wish. A leader will pray over the child, the parents and the family and friends as it relates to the child being dedicated to the Lord.