Baptism and Dedication FAQ

What is the difference between Baptism and Dedication?


Short summary:

- Child Dedication - for parents of young children(birth to age 4) who want to publicly acknowledge and honor God as the center of their parenting strategy
- Kids Baptism - for elementary aged kids who have made a commitment to follow Jesus as their "Forever Friend". Baptism is the outward symbol of this inward decision.

We believe that each person has a point in their lives when they are able to make a commitment and decision for Christ, knowing that they have made mistakes (sinned) and need help to restore their relationship with God (forgiveness through Christ Jesus). Since salvation, forgiveness and commitment are abstract concepts, we usually do not expect that very young children will be able to make a true commitment or choice. Some children can come to this decision as early as 5 or 6, but usually the range of 8 to 12 is seen as the "point of accountability". As such, we practice what we call "Child Dedications" for younger children. This ceremony is a time for parents to honor God and ask for God's guidance in raising their little ones. While Dedication does not take the place of the child's personal choice for salvation through Christ, it is an appropriate action for parents to take in thanking God for their child.

We believe that baptism is an outward symbol of an inner decision for Christ. "Believer's Baptism", as we call it, is a chance for people to show others the choice they have made. It is not a requirement for salvation, but a step of humility and obedience as we follow Christ after our salvation is received.

For kids who want to be baptized, we will offer a special class to help them understand the "terms" used around being a follower of Christ and what baptism means. These classes are usually 4 to 8 weeks before our Baptism services. After the class, each child has some "homework" to write out the story of their journey in believing in Jesus and making Him their "Forever Friend". This step helps the kids (and their parents) really understand and articulate their faith.

For parents who would like to dedicate their younger children, we also offer a short class that describes the meaning behind Dedication. This class is usually offered 2 to 4 weeks before our Baptism/Dedication services.

Check our events calendar for the next scheduled Baptism and Dedication classes