How We Do Child Dedications

Here at Gateway, we’ve been doing some cool stuff with Child Dedications for the past two years. If you have followed this blog for any amount of time, you will notice that I’ve written a lot about child dedication. However, I recognize that there are always new people, so I won’t assume everyone knows. To catch up on the process of refining Child Dedication services here at Gateway, click here (it’s the “child dedication” tag and should pull up any post I’ve written about Child Dedication).

So here’s a little bit of what we’ve been doing over the years.

  • We require a Prep for Child Dedication class.
  • We place parents at tables with a prayer leader (the person who will pray with them the day of the dedication service).
  • After the class, parents actually register their kids for the dedication.
  • At the dedication, we lead the families in two worship songs, a slideshow, a short message about dedication and the role of parents, followed by 3-4 rotations of dedication prayer.
  • Families come up to meet their prayer leader who will lead a 5-10 minute prayer time with the family. They share the meaning of their child’s name as well as a scripture passage that ties into their name meaning.
  • When parents leave, they pick up a child dedication certificate as well as a book (currently Revolutionary Parenting).
  • Families also have their pictures taken as they leave, which they can download or order prints.

For more details on any of the above points, just read through my past Child Dedication posts, as I talk about each thoroughly.

One thing you should know about me though. I’m currently refining, and every class and dedication is slightly different as I try to make improvements. Here is what is in the works.

  • A parent workbook for families to work though in preparation of their dedication. My hope is that this will be ready for our next dedication in June, but we’ll see. There are a lot of things in process that might affect the content of this book.
  • I’d like to refine the “program” for at home or single family child dedications. I don’t do many of these, but at times, they become necessary, and I don’t really have a specific process or set program. I’d like to develop this so it’s more or less “in the can.” This way, these families can experience a quality and personal service.
  • I forgot to add a line on the dedication registration where parents phonetically spell out their children’s names. The past two dedications, I’ve had one of my staff personally get the pronunciation as they checked in.
  • I personally need to revamp my talk for both the dedication class and service. Currently, my team is developing “common language” for our NextGen ministry, and I feel it will be very important to incorporate this in our class. In addition, I don’t feel that there is enough humor in either the class or service. When speaking to adults, I tend to be more serious than I need to be, and I think things will flow better if things were a little lighter.

So that’s what we’re doing. Again, feel free to read up on the developmental process we have been on for the past 2 years here. Since this stuff is fresh right now, I’ll be blogging this week on some of the nuts and bolts of what we do.

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Kenny Conley
Kenny Conley is the primary author of Childrens Ministry Online and the NextGen Pastor at Gateway Church in Austin, TX. In addition to creating the Illuminate Conference, a high quality kidmin conference designed specifically for volunteers, Kenny is a published author and speaker.

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