Nope, I’m not telling you what we’re actually doing… yet. That will come tomorrow. Before we arrived with the idea of what we’re doing right now, I had many thought of what I would like it to me.
Primary thought: Do child dedication exclusively in small groups. Want to eliminate the dog and pony show aspect of child dedication? Take away the audience. So, if child dedication is really about parents making a commitment in front of people they are doing life with, why not do child dedication exclusively within small groups. Group leaders can be equipped to do this or someone from the kids team can help lead the occasion. If we’re a church that really believes that small groups are the way people are going to grow, then why not let his happen exclusively in small groups. My friend Gina has been creating the tools to do this at her church.
However, this isn’t the silver bullet. What about those families where the dad is in a mens group and the mom is in a women’s group? Or the couples who are temporarily taking a break. Yeah, in those cases, small group exclusives don’t work either. So, how do you eliminate the “dog and pony” feel, connect hear to heart with parents about their responsibility to lead their kids spiritually and help parents connect with those doing life around them? I’ll share with you our response to this question tomorrow.
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you make some great points.
“What about those families where the dad is in a mens group and the mom is in a womenâ€™s group? Or the couples who are temporarily taking a break.”
the point of child dedications is two-fold. One half is the promise made by the parents to raise their child to love Jesus with everything in them. The second half is the accountability/support provided by the ‘church’ (i.e. those Christ-followers the parents ‘do life’ with). if there is a way (corporate or small group) to allow parents the avenue to make that commitment, then set them on a path where they are held accountable to and supported in that commitment over time… then i think we’ve found the silver bullet.
when you figure that out kenny, let me know. 🙂
I’m looking forward to seeing where you go with this! We’ve tried a more intimate setting in the past. We did it between services in a smaller venue, inviting family, friends and other people who would be interested. It worked fine. One of my four kids was dedicated this way.
BUT I think that the larger church body has a role to play in Child Dedication. Now dedication is back in the worship services several times a year. We have our congregation read some affirmations/vows, promising to pray for the kids and their parents and even serve as their teachers. It’s a powerful thing – I always choke up when I read those words in a dedication service. Then again, it’s my job and my passion! Someone else told me that they felt it was inappropriate since many who read the promise really don’t care and won’t follow through.
But still, I think the larger church does have a role to play in this. And it is a way to communicate to that children are important to the church and that parents play the key role in their spiritual development.
Christy’s last blog post..The Funny Thing About Blessings