by Christine Kreisher
Baby dedications are an integral part of the Orange Strategy. They are an opportunity for the church to engage parents as partners from the very beginning. A baby dedication also is a great way for the church to send a message to parents that they’re not alone on their journey to help their child learn what it means to follow Jesus.
Baby dedications give parents a “time-out” so that they can focus on ways to be intentional about shaping the faith and character of their child. Baby dedication is not just another program or event. Done well and with intentionality, it can create a memorable and sometimes life-changing experience for young families.
Just a few short years ago, our church did baby dedications similar to the way many churches do. Parade parents and babies up on stage during announcement time, introduce them, say a prayer of dedication, and that’s that. It was sweet and cute—but not extremely meaningful. We talked about making it better but didn’t really know how until The reThink Group and Kendra Fleming produced the resource, Baby Dedication Celebration. It’s full of practical tools that we were able to customize to fit the culture and needs of our church. It contains promotional pieces, an outline for a new parent orientation, a production order and a timeline that keeps us organized. It was everything we needed to truly celebrate this important milestone in a family’s life that’s worth celebrating—a parent’s decision to partner with the church and to model for their child what it really means to follow Jesus.
We hold our baby dedication celebrations on a quarterly basis. We take 45 minutes after our last Sunday service for this precious event and the feedback has been fantastic! Parents have mentioned how much they appreciate the time out to be reminded about priorities and the importance of their relationship with their heavenly Father and their spouse. Grandparents and other guests have come to me in tears, at the end of the celebration, to tell me how impressed they were that our church really values and supports their family.
There’s been a lot of research that indicates that many young people, who have strayed from their faith, come back to church when they have children, and we’ve found that to be so true. It’s an honor to be a part of an event that serves a catalyst to jumpstart their family’s faith journey!
Christine serves as the family and connections pastor at Glad Tidings Church in Reading, Pennsylvania. She’s a published author of a children’s curriculum called Follow 4:Kidz and a CD/DVD resource, Launching an FX: Tools to start a Family eXperience. Christine has been the featured speaker for numerous local, regional and statewide conferences. Her diverse life and business experiences have allowed her to connect with clients and audiences ranging from church leaders and volunteer teams to corporate executives. Christine is married to her best friend and business partner, Jim. They have three incredible sons and never a dull moment!