I. Who can participate?
1. The parents must be committed followers of Jesus Christ.
a. The parents must have made a profession of faith
b. The parents must have been baptized by immersion, symbolic of their faith in Christ.
c. The parents must be members of RBBC. At least one parent must be a member.d. The parents must have an established pattern of being active and regularly attending Sunday school and corporate worship.
2. We dedicate babies two years old and under.
3. The pastor, in consultation with the ministerial staff, makes the final decision about who may participate.
II. What a Parent/Baby Dedication is NOT
1. It is NOT Baptism
A baby dedication is NOT the same as infant water baptism. The purpose of water baptism is to symbolize the truth that it is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ that brings salvation to one who has believed in Jesus Christ (Romans 6:4). A baby dedication is a public dedication of a child to God as an expression of thanks, recognizing that the child ultimately belongs to Him.Although, some Christians participate in infant water baptism, it is not necessarily from a Biblical viewpoint. Jesus Christ commands a person to be water baptized AFTER he or she becomes a Christian. A baby or small child is not capable of putting trusting faith in Jesus Christ as his or her personal Savior, and therefore is not presently a Christian.
2. It is NOT Church Membership
Church membership is seen in the Scriptures to reserved for those who hear the gospel, and respond to the gospel by repenting of their sin against God and placing their faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus alone for the forgiveness of sin.
3. It is NOT salvation
While the Parent/baby dedication is a very special moment, it does not reflect upon the baby's personal faith, nor does it guarantee a child will grow up to follow Christ. A baby child is not able to understand sin, forgiveness, the sacrifice Jesus made for sin, and what it means to repent and place faith in Jesus Christ alone for forgiveness of sin.
4. It is NOT a church ordinance
It should be understood that a dedication ceremony is a church tradition and is NOT required biblically, but is certainly permissible. It is NOT to be considered a church ordinance on the same level as communion or water baptism.
III. What is a Parent/Baby Dedication:
Why dedicate you baby
1. It is a Covenant and Commitment between the Parents and the Congregation
a. Parents - The service is called Parent/Baby Dedication because both parent and baby are being dedicated. Parents are declaring that they take their responsibility seriously and commit to rearing their children in a God-honoring manner.Christian parents, by way of baby dedication, make a vow before God and others to raise their child to the best of their ability according to the Word of God. In doing so, they promise to: (1) teach and train their child the Word God which reveals to us the ways of God; (2) show their child how to live a godly life by way of example (3) love their child, thus demonstrating the love of Christ; (4) provide for their child’s needs; (5) pray earnestly with, and for, their child; and (6) discipline them in accordance with God’s word.Christian parents who dedicate a child are making a promise to the Lord to do everything within their power to raise the child in a godly way, prayerfully until he or she comes to the time of repentance and faith in Christ. Parents who make this vow of commitment are instructed to raise the child in the ways of God, and not according to their own ways. Some of the responsibilities include teaching and training the child in God's Word, demonstrating an example of godliness, disciplining according to God's ways, and praying earnestly for the child.
b. Congregation-The church is comprised of brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ who have the responsibility to love each other (1 Thessalonians 4:9). This love includes helping parents teach their children the ways of the Lord, praying for the parents and the children, as well as being Godly examples for the children to follow. This is accomplished when each person in the church uses their spiritual gift(s)