Wednesday, July 14, CCC families are invited to attend a class that prepares them for family dedication in August. (RSVP HERE)
But why? What purpose does this serve? And is it biblical?
No one is born into their faith, but instead faith must be passed from generation to generation. Scripture is really clear that we are born sinners (“Indeed, I was guilty when I was born; I was sinful when my mother conceived me.” Psalms 51:5 CSB). There’s no support for the idea that because our parents hold to some religious belief that we in turn share that. In the Old Testament, the story of the Israelites shows us what happens when we’re not actively passing the faith to the next generation. Judges 2:10 summarizes the situation: “That whole generation was also gathered to their ancestors. After them another generation rose up who did not know the Lord or the works he had done for Israel.” Psalm 145:4 puts the mission before us: “One generation will declare your works to the next and will proclaim your mighty acts.”
Family dedications remind parents and the larger church family of their shared commitment to share the Gospel with the next generation. Family dedications at CCC are a reminder, then, of this mission. That mission is accepted by both the parents and the church family at large. Parenting is a huge job! But it’s only one part of the faith equation. Recent studies show that for a teen’s faith to become “sticky” and continue into adulthood, a youth needs 5 significant relationships. 1 is parents; 2 is a youth pastor or youth leader who knows them very well. But they need an additional 3 adults who know their name, who will approach them when they are engaged with the church and ask about life and school, who will speak blessings and encouragement over them as they grow and pursue a vocation and family. Dedication day is simply a marker of our commitment together in this shared mission!
Family dedications are biblical in that they are a marker, not in any type of salvation. It’s important to clarify that dedications have nothing to do with a child’s salvation. Romans 10:9-10 says, “If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation.” That’s personal! No other person can do that for you - including parents!
Whether you’re a follower of Jesus who has had the faith passed for several generations in your family, or you’ve recently found him and want to raise your children differently, family dedications are a marker and a moment that can change lives for generations to come!