Family Dedication | May 14, 2017
WHAT IS FAMILY DEDICATION? In Deuteronomy 6, it is very clear that God expects and desires parents to raise and influence their children to love the Lord in every part of their lives. To that end, we at Rolling Hills want to help facilitate and value every family making disciples of their family members. One way we have tried to uphold this important value is by providing opportunities to do family dedications. A Family Dedication is a ceremony where the parents make a public declaration to raise their children to live lives of faith in God through the truth of the Bible and ask for the members of the church to support them in that endeavor. It is not a ceremony that saves your children, but a parental decision to influence, train and equip your children to one day choose to follow Jesus for themselves. Family Dedication ceremonies typically happen three to four times a year during our Sunday Gatherings. We also would encourage you to dedicate your child in a more personal, intimate setting, if you prefer. It is not required to dedicate your children in front of everyone at a weekend church gathering. Sharing this special occasion with your Community Group or immediate family and friends is equally impactful, and can open the opportunity for out-of-town family and friends to share this commitment with you.
WHO MAY DEDICATE A CHILD? Any follower of Jesus who is making the choice to commit their life to modeling the ways of Jesus as revealed in the Bible to their child, or children, is welcome. If you are the only parent who is a Christ follower, or similarly, if you are a single parent, we welcome you to be part of a Family Dedication ceremony.
WHAT IS REQUIRED? The primary requirement is that you, as parent/parents, have made a choice to follow Jesus by faith. If you haven’t made this decision yourself, please contact us so we can explain how to invite Jesus into your life and take the next steps to grow in your newfound faith. We would also ask that you consider Rolling Hills your church home if you are going to dedicate your child/children here. If you consider Rolling Hills your church home and have not yet become a member, we encourage you to attend RH Engage at your earliest convenience.
DOES ROLLING HILLS BAPTIZE INFANTS? We do not baptize babies at Rolling Hills Community Church. Although infants and very young children belong to God (2 Samuel 12:23), they do not have the capacity to repent and believe in Jesus Christ. The dedication of a child does not ensure a child’s salvation, but is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your desire and willingness to teach your child the truths of God’s Word. We believe the Bible teaches that baptism is only for those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. The act of baptism is a step of obedience in following Jesus’ example and will follow a personal faith decision (Acts 2:41). In addition, Rolling Hills offers Baptism Orientation Classes for elementary kids through adults. For more info on this baptism, go to the Baptism information page on our website.
DOES DEDICATION GIVE MY CHILD ETERNAL LIFE OR SPECIAL FAVOR WITH GOD? No. However, it is the best and wisest way to set up your children for success in following Jesus as they grow up into maturity. There is nothing mystical or powerful in the act of dedication itself. Dedication does not merit favor with God or earn your child eternal life. As the Apostle Paul said, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV)