We host two Child Dedication services a year, one in the Spring and one in the Fall. We see Child Dedication as a very special service for families during which the parents present their child / children to the Lord, surrounded by family, friends, and their church community.


The dedication includes several things:


  • We dedicate the child / children to God. Our prayer of dedication is that they will grow in knowledge of God and his son Jesus and that when the child / children are old enough, they would make a decision to follow him. This isn’t the salvation of a child or a “necessary spiritual step,” but rather acknowledging that we want God to be in the life of this child.
  • We dedicate the parents to God. God has entrusted the parents to spiritually train children. The church is here to help, but ultimately the responsibility is on the parents. So we pray to dedicate Mom and Dad’s efforts of creating a safe and healthy environment where a child can learn about God and grow in a relationship with him. So, in this dedication, Mom and Dad commit to do everything within their ability to point their children to God and help them follow Him.
  • We dedicate the family and friends to God. Children are rarely influenced by the parents alone. Family and friends have significant influence. It is the responsibility of family and friends to hold parents accountable and encourage parents in both their marriage relationship and efforts to spiritually train their children.

If you’re interested in having your child dedicated,
email Tina Barnwell for Gateway North
and Jamie Schwarz for Gateway South.

The Process

Before participating in the service, all parents are required to attend Preparation for Child Dedication. We offer this class twice in the months leading up to the dedication. Once the parents have attended the class, a child can be registered for the upcoming dedication. Parents are encouraged to invite family, friends and anyone who will be an influence in their or their child’s life to the service.


How is Child Dedication different from baptism?

  • We believe that baptism is a response to one’s decision to fully follow Christ. Child Dedication is where parents dedicate themselves, their parenting efforts, and their child to God so that when a child is old enough to understand, they will know the way to follow Christ and then may choose to be baptized.

Can a child be too old to be dedicated?

  • No, because the dedication is a prayer of dedication for parents as well as children. However, children being dedicated are typically not yet old enough to really understand what it means to follow Christ. However, if your child is old enough to understand, this would be a great opportunity to talk about what it means to follow Christ. If this is your case, let us know as we would love to help support you.

What is the Preparation for Child Dedication class like?

  • In preparation for Child Dedication, we talk about what the Bible says about parenting, and how Gateway wants to partner with parents as they spiritually lead and train their children. We also cover all the details you’ll need to know about the child dedication.

What is the Child Dedication like?

  • Child Dedication is a simple, sweet service. We have a musician who leads everyone in a few songs. Someone will usually speak for just a few minutes about dedication, explaining to the crowd what child dedication is all about. The remainder of the service is spent in prayer. Parents and children, along with all their friends and family, circle together for a time of prayer with one of our pastoral leaders. A leader will pray over the child / children, the parents, the family, and the friends as it relates to this child being dedicated to the Lord.