This week I’m going to be writing about Child Dedication. Most Children’s Pastors are responsible to hold these 2-4 times a year. Most I’ve talked to hate them. Maybe that’s too strong of a word. Most really don’t like them.
Let me tell you why I don’t like them and what I’m doing about it.
I’ve been responsible to host 2-4 of these suckers a year for the last 8-9 years of ministry. To some degree, they’re an administrative nightmare. All year long people are either asking about them or signing up for them. Then when the day comes, you call and email to see who is coming. Then you call and email to double check. You print out certificates and write in Bibles. Then the day comes and you parade all these babies across the stage for four minutes of Child Dedication Glory. You have to determine if you’re going to have them come up one at a time and hand them their Bible’s and certificates one by one, or just have all of them come at once, pray and then get them on their way before the worship pastor gets mad at you for taking so long. Inevitably, you always have that one family that comes up on stage that never registered, never called or never emailed. Who knows why they came up, but they didn’t get a certificate or a Bible and they’re a little frustrated for not getting called out.
Does that sum up your experience? Was I even close?
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind an administrative challenge. To be honest, I’m up for a challenge. Here is why I hate Child Dedication.
Two years ago, my wife was pregnant with Titus. It was the day before a child dedication. Sara asked me, “what do you think about child dedication?” I was a little confused. “What do you mean? Child Dedication is something I do.” Then she asked, “Is the way you do child dedication what you want for dedicating Titus.” My answer was quick. “No.”
I knew what I wanted for Titus. I wanted to have friends and family over at our house for a small party. Then we’d have a good friend/pastor lead us in prayer as we dedicated Titus in the company of the people we did life with. That’s what I wanted.
That was the day I began to hate child dedication. Why would I offer a dedication that was far less than I would want for my own children. What a hypocrite. I started to realize that what I did was less of a child dedication and more of a dog and pony show… a chance for parents to show off their new babies. I don’t want to minimize what Child Dedication is for so many people… I just think it can be so much more.
So, in a few days I’ll be hosting a Child Dedication at Gateway that looks a little more like the kind of dedication that I’d want for my own child. Actually, Sara and I will be dedicating Titus at this dedication. This week I’m going to share with you my thoughts, my dreams and what my dedication’s going to look like this time around.