SojournKids and S2 will host a Student Baptism class on Sunday, December 2nd from 5:00PM until 6:30PM in the 3rd floor classroom of the Midtown Campus at St. Vincent’s (1207 S. Shelby Street, 40203). This class is for students and parents with questions about salvation and baptism. This class is required for students ages 10-18 who want to be baptized at Sojourn.
One of the questions that I get asked a lot is, “How do you plan a child dedication?” The most recent to ask it was Pastor Daniel Davis at Covenant Community Church in Pearland, TX. Well, our plans aren’t perfect, but we’re happy to share the strategy and documents that have been helpful to us. Here is our planning checklist with some helpful items for those planning a dedication service for the first time–or just revamping your planning.
12 weeks prior:
- Design web banners and posters. Here are some of the designs that we’ve used in the past:
- Secure event organizer/service coordinators
- Secure pastor for the services—(typically the campus pastor)
- Secure teachers for the dedication class. At Sojourn, we make this a pre-requisite for baby dedication
- Reserve classroom/time and do event setup request for the First Steps class Continue Reading…
He established a testimony in Jacob
and appointed a law in Israel,
which he commanded the fathers
to teach to their children,
so the next generation would know them,
even the children not yet born,
and they in turn would tell their children.
Then they would put their hope in God
and would not forget his works
but keep his commandments.
In Psalm 78:7, we see God’s desire for every generation. God wants every generation to know and trust in Him—not forgetting what he has done to rescue and save, but remembering Him and keeping His commandments. This is God’s desire, and we know that it is likely your desire as well. But how will that desire be fulfilled? The first six verses of Psalm 78 show us that God has given us this responsibility. God commands us, parents, to teach our kids about him. The primary context for your child learning about God is not in our children’s ministry on Sundays. It is in your home, in your car as you drive along the road, at your child’s bedside, and at the breakfast table. It happens in those planned moments when you pull out a Bible storybook. And it happens in those unplanned moments when your child has sinned or is heartbroken and you give correction and comfort. Teaching children about God can’t be done in one hour each week. It involves people—ideally parents—giving kids the gospel and their lives as well.
While Psalm 78 makes clear that we are responsible for teaching our kids about God, it doesn’t leave us alone in this responsibility. The psalm is also tells us that God gave his law and testimonies in the context of a believing community. Training kids is a community project. It is the role of the whole church. After all, we need each other. We need one another’s encouragement, one another’s accountability, and one another’s eyes to see what we can’t see.
So, these are the reasons that we do child dedication services at Sojourn. First, God wants our kids, and ultimately their hearts and lives belong to him. So, we confess together, “God, all we have—even our children—belongs to you. All we have is yours.” Secondly, we don’t just dedicate our children. We dedicate ourselves. We do this because we recognize our God-given responsibility as parents. Third, we come to ask for help in the form of a commitment from our church, the believing community.
God has some good news for you, and it’s called the gospel. What’s the gospel you say? It’s the good news that even though we sin and have disobeyed God, we can have life and joy as part of God’s kingdom. You see, I don’t deserve God’s goodness, but he reached down and rescued me even when my sin had made me his enemy. The gospel is the message of God’s kingdom accomplished through God’s cross by God’s grace!
Gracious God, Giver of all life,
We pray for these parents.
Give them wisdom and patience.
Let Your peace and joy dwell in their homes.
Instruct them in Your gospel truth.
Strengthen them in faith.
Sustain them through prayer.
Order their lives by love.
We pray for these children.
Be gracious to them.
Draw them to Yourself.
Help them to love and trust Jesus.
We pray that You will grow them in faith,
So that they might be like arrows in Your hand.
For Christ’s sake, Amen.