So, now I had one Child Dedication under my belt doing it a way that was much better than anything I’d ever done. Now it was time to tweak it.

I love the required Prep for Child Dedication Class concept, I just didn’t like the content from my first time. So, I needed to re-write. You do know that there is nothing new under the sun, right? I used some statistics that were already in the class. I took some additional statistics from a video my friend Sam posted a long time ago on his site. I then watched a video of a child dedication class Gina did and she totally gave me the idea of what I wanted to do for the meat of my class. Oh, and I totally stole two of her main points. With all this new material, I felt I had a solid class that parents would certainly value.

Second, I needed to tweak the dedication. Now we have a permanent Sunday afternoon service, so the auditorium wasn’t really available for the dedication on Sunday afternoons. After talking with several parents, I decided that Child Dedications would now take place on Saturday mornings (11:00 AM). This way family could still come in from out of town and it’s just before lunch, so families can go out afterward. Doing this on Saturday morning also assured me that this would be anything but a dog and pony show now that it was no where near a Sunday service (I really don’t mean to offend anyone by calling it that, it’s just what it had become at every church I’d been a part of. I know some churches that do individual dedications for families each week making it very special for that family. Unfortunately, that just doesn’t fit with our church and our time frame, so we have to do something different).

So, here is the plan from hear on out:

  • Prep for Dedication Classes will be posted on the website. A parent can register for one of these classes at any time. The class is mandatory for your child to be dedicated.
  • You can choose how and when you want your child dedicated. A) In your small group B) In a private setting C) At a church Child Dedication

In your small group

The children’s ministry will provide materials for small group leaders to conduct a child dedication. Basically it would be some notes and a video to watch. This is a great setting for a child dedication as it allows the child to be dedicated by those who are doing life with the parents. For the couple who doesn’t have any family in town and has close connections with their small group, this is an ideal solution.

In a private setting

In the last few months, I’ve done two dedication in people’s homes. Because we had not scheduled a dedication yet, I had two families request me to come to their house to dedicate their child. Both families held a big party for family and friends to celebrate. I arrived, hung out for a little while, did the dedication and then went home. Although it isn’t very convenient, it’s a great place to have a dedication, among family and friends inside the home. Both times I got a nice little $50 tip. I wasn’t expecting this, but it was a nice gift. I’ll probably make this as a suggestion to families going this route since it would pull me or my staff away on their day off. However, I know some of my staff would love to do this.

At a church Child Dedication

This is the standard Child Dedication we do right now. We’ll offer these three times a year on Saturday mornings. This provides that nice environment at the church in the comfortable setting where you can bring a few friends or an entire crowd.

So, this is what we’re going to do here at Gateway. There’s a required class to engage parents and make sure they understand what Child Dedication is and that they understand the role scriptures call them to as parents. We would also love to see this Prep for Child Dedication class be an opportunity to spawn new small groups. The class is discussion heavy, so if there are some connections, we can possibly spin off a new class. Tomorrow I’ll wrap up this Child Dedication series and share my notes and a video of a recent Prep for Child Dedication Class.