The Dedication of Children
DR. Russell Antonio Goodwin Sr.
It is our custom here at THE MOVEMENT CENTER CHURCH to set apart children unto the Lord. We do not baptize or christen children. Ships and airplanes are christened by breaking bottles across the front of their hulls. Christian children, too young to be baptized, are dedicated to God.
In the 19th chapter of Matthew’s Gospel, verses 13, 14 and 15, we are told: “Then were there brought unto Him little children, that He should put His hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, ‘Suffer (which literally means to allow or to permit) little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.’ And He laid His hands on them, and departed thence.” Jesus is not saying that the Kingdom of Heaven is populated only with little children. What He is saying is that as a child is totally dependent upon his or her parents, we, as the children of God, should likewise be totally dependent upon our Heavenly Father.
In keeping with these scriptures, THE MOVEMENT CENTER CHURCH dedicates or sets apart children unto the Lord. This is not just a ritual or something we consider clever to do. [Rather, we regard this ceremony as a commitment on the part of the adults presenting the children that they intend to raise these children up in the admonition of the Lord. We consider it an act of obedience to the Word of God. The parents or guardians and God-parents are informed that the act of dedication is of no value unless they themselves intend to live a lifestyle in line with the Word. Otherwise, the whole dedication presentation is meaningless.
At the beginning of the actual dedication, I and two of my assistant pastors will lay our hands on some of the children, praying a prayer of dedication on behalf of all of the children being presented. We pray that these children will be healthy both physically and mentally; that they will function on the highest level which God intended, free from any type of impairment all the days of their lives, walking in divine health. We pray the prayer of faith that each child will, at an early age, come into an accurate knowledge of Jesus as Savior and Lord; that these children will be filled with the Holy Spirit; and that they will be children, teenagers, and adults full of the Word of God and of Faith, walking in the power of the Holy Spirit.
We then pray for the parents. What an awesome responsibility it is to be a parent! Anyone can make a baby, but to be parent or guardian entails grave responsibilities.
We pray that the parents will let the wisdom of God permeate their actions; that they will not abuse these children, and that they will guide and train these children up by being examples of godly Christians living and teaching them the precepts of God’s Word.
After we pray these prayers on behalf of the children and their parents, with the rest of the congregation praying with us in agreement, we then offer each child individually unto the Lord.
I want to admonish you parents, guardians and God-parents that as you consider the commitment which you are making, that you also consider the wonderful love which our Heavenly Father has for each of us in that He sent His Son as a child to be the Savior of the world.
“And He laid His hands on the, and departed thence.”