Here is another guest post from our Preschool Ministry Director, Patti Jo Mackey. You can follow her at @pattijomackey
Here is what she has to say about Parent Child Dedication as a milestone!!
One of the main goals of BrookwoodKiDs is to partner with parents. One way that we do this is through Parent Child Dedication. At one point, our Dedication Ceremony was a part of our main service 2x a year. Our senior pastor would carve out about 15 minutes of the service and have the participating families come on stage. He would present them with a certificate, and pray over the children. It was a precious moment that our church family shared, but I was concerned that because this was such a significant milestone, that it really deserved more investment. It took time, prayer, trial and error, and lots of meetings, but today we have incorporated some of the following elements into our Dedication process:
- We’ve developed a class for parents to attend that is about an hour and a half long.
- We limit the class to 15 families.
- During that class we talk about what Dedication is, and what Dedication is not.
- We also challenge our parents to look at their own spiritual walk.
Parents are the number one influencer in a child’s life, and if we want our kids to know Jesus and love Him, it doesn’t happen because we just tell them. We, as parents, have to live it out in front of them. Parent Child Dedication is so much more about the Parent dedicating themselves to God, as well as raising their child for God! At the class, we request their information, pictures to use during the ceremony, as well as a few items for homework. We ask them to…
- Write a letter to their child, dedicating their child to God. Then, at the ceremony, the parents share their letter, and let me just tell you… bring your tissues… this part of the ceremony can be emotional.
- Choose a life verse for their child, which is also shared at the ceremony.
- Choose a Dedication sponsor, someone who will partner and support them in the spiritual development of their child. The Dedication Sponsor(s) usually are onstage with the family as they share their letter and verse.
These days, our ceremony happens on a Sunday afternoon, and our Family Pastor shares a message of Promises. Following the ceremony, we have a reception. One area that we are currently processing, is what the next steps for the families as well as sponsors might look like.
As amazing as all this sounds, this process is no simple task. Not only has it taken time to develop, but it takes a tremendous amount of skill to implement. I’m so thankful for the Preschool team of BrookwoodKiDs. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or would like help in beginning a process in your church.
You can also drop a comment and I can email or dm you the info as well.
I would post her email address but am going to save her the spam requests from robots if I did.