Frequently Asked Questions
What are the expectations of parents?
At least one or both of the parents have made a commitment to having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We recognize that there are many families in which only one parent has come to faith and the spouse that is not yet a believer would like to participate—that is okay.
- Parent(s) are regular attenders of Northwood Church’s (NC’s) weekend services and are following Christ in their own life by growing in NC's values to spend time with God, follow Jesus, connect in community, serve others, and live generously.
- Parent(s) align with NC’s beliefs, purpose and values.
- Parents commit to modeling personal purity and to lead by example in matters of faith and conduct. That means living a life of sexual purity according to God's standards—avoiding pornography, pre-marital sexual relations and living together before marriage. Therefore, parents that are living together and are not married cannot participate in the dedication ceremony.
Is there a Baby Dedication class I need to attend?
We require that you participate in the Baby Dedication class that is scheduled on the same evening the Baby Dedication ceremony will be held. You will receive details about the class in your confirmation email.
What should I expect during the ceremony?
During the dedication ceremony, parents express their commitment before God, their family and the church, declaring their desire to raise their child in a God-honoring way. Because parents are the key role models for their children, they play a primary role in the dedication service.
In a pre-ceremony class, parents will be asked to affirm certain commitments regarding how they will raise their children.
During the ceremony, the parents will publicly express this commitment to their church and family.
What is the biblical purpose for child dedication?
You learned the biblical root and heart of child dedication in the video you viewed above.
Does NC baptize infants?
Scripture provides evidence that baptism follows an individual’s decision to trust Jesus alone for salvation (Acts 2:41, 8:12 and 10:47–48). In the Bible, we find parents bringing their children to Jesus. He held them, prayed for them and told us to welcome them. But He did not baptize them and He did not tell anyone else to baptize them. NC believes baptism is for those who have made a personal decision to trust Jesus alone for their salvation, once they have the maturity and ability to understand what that means.
Dedication is not a sacrament (an essential practice of the faith); nor does it impart grace or salvation to a child. Salvation comes only through faith in Jesus Christ as each person recognizes their sinfulness and receives forgiveness and eternal life through him and his work on the cross.
Rather than baptizing infants or children, NC encourages Christian parents to dedicate their children. This is a ceremony in which parents formally call upon God’s blessing for their child and publicly commit to raise him or her in accordance with scripture.
Do I need to be a member of NC to dedicate my child at NC?
We require people to go through our 4 week class, Growth Track. This class will help you to decide if Northwood Church is the place you would like to dedicate your child.
We do encourage parents to make sure they are calling NC their “home” church or their “home away from home” church. Why? In dedicating your child to God, you are stating that you are willing to partner with God and the church to raise your child in cooperation with God’s intentions. To partner with any church, a parent would be wise to decide if he or she agrees with its beliefs and vision so they can fully participate in their partnership with the church.
At what age can a child take part in a dedication service?
While NC does not have a set age requirement for child dedication, the average age for a child to be dedicated is 1 month to 12 months old, although many parents dedicate children much older than that, often for the following reasons:
- The parent(s) are new believers in Christ and their children were not dedicated when they were infants.
- The parent(s) are having a younger child dedicated and want to have their older child dedicated at the same time.
Can a single parent participate in a child dedication service?
Yes! Child dedication signifies the commitment of parents (including single parents) to do their best to raise their child to be a follower of Jesus Christ. Additionally, we highly encourage single parents to dedicate their child as they commit themselves to raise him or her without the presence or partnership of a spouse. The decision to dedicate a child is not dependent upon the beliefs of the ex-spouse; however we encourage single parents to discuss child dedication with their ex-spouse. Ideally, both parents—even if not married—would still commit to the dedication of their child to God. We acknowledge that this is often not possible and that it takes extra effort for a single parent to raise a child. As a church, NC is committed to supporting single parents in providing a Christian foundation for their child’s upbringing.
Can parent(s) assign godparents?
Although the term “godparent” is not used at NC, we do welcome parents to invite friends and family members committed to supporting them. The presence of these significant adults symbolizes their commitment to play a supportive role in the child’s spiritual development. During the ceremony only immediate family members are invited to be on the platform, but special seating may be available for family and friends.
What should we wear on the day of dedication?
Parents and children are welcome to wear whatever makes you feel most comfortable. You will be on the platform, so please choose appropriate attire.
For any other questions…
We are open to having conversations with you on any of the above statements. Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.