What is the purpose of child dedication?
We believe that child dedication is an opportunity for us to celebrate the grace and goodness of God as the creator of all things. Conception and birth are gifts from God that he alone controls.
We believe that this allows us to stand with families as they dedicate themselves as parents. They are publicly saying that they realize that their children are gifts from God that he has entrusted in their care. Parents are also vowing to treasure Jesus as they parent their children and to raise them in a community of faith that believes and proclaims the gospel.
This is also a celebration and commitment of our covenant community. We believe that God has designed us for relationships and he has created the church to be the context where we covenant together in an effort to live out the implications of the gospel.
One of the most beautiful reasons for child dedication is that it gives us a chance to look to the gospel. In children we see total dependence on their parents for life. We are just as fragile and dependent on God. Our deepest need is for him to adopt us as sons and daughters through the work of Jesus and to sustain us with eternal life. Dedication is a time for us to proclaim those truths to our community – both to those who are a part of the church and those visiting.
How is dedication different from infant baptism?
Dedication is neither a religious ritual nor is it a substitute for baptism. Baptism is a symbol of conversion, a celebration of someone placing their trust in Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins. It reminds us of the power in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. While these realities impact everything we do at Soma, that symbolism is not being portrayed in a child’s dedication.
Is there saving power in dedicating a child?
Dedication does not make a child right with God nor is it a promise that they will be right with God at a later date. There is nothing magical about child dedication that earns righteousness for the child or gets them closer to God. The Bible is abundantly clear that all are born separated from God and it is only through faith in the work of Jesus on the Cross that we are reconciled to him. Salvation only comes when we put our trust in Jesus and make him our treasure.
Who can dedicate a child at Soma?
Since the dedication service is a commitment from both the parents (biological or legal guardians) and the church body we believe that only covenant members of Soma Church should participate in the dedication. These adults have already made a commitment to participate in the life of Soma in a significant way.
Of course that does not mean Soma is not committed to helping other children and families, but we believe there is a unique and heightened responsibility, joy, and commitment shared between covenant members. The members of Soma Church are called to pray for, care for, serve, and model for our parents and children.