People choose to participate in dedication ceremonies when they want to acknowledge stewardship of a person, place or thing. Parents dedicate their children to God, acknowledging that children come from God and that they accept the responsibility for caring for their children.. Churches and other spiritual organizations dedicate buildings, furnishings and equipment into God's service. Churches might also participate in pastor dedications; covenanting together for the benefit of church members and pastorate.
In Exodus 13:1-2 God commanded that the firstborn of the Israelites belonged to Him. In keeping with that tradition, many parents bring their children to the church for a dedication service. Parents might affirm, "We pledge to care for this child with love and prayer, leading her into the faith by our example." Parents might invite family and godparents of the child to stand with them and make their own promises to nurture and pray for the child. Both extended family and church family commit to support the family in their pledge. The pastor might sign a certificate of dedication for presentation at the ceremony.
Pastors beginning service in a church can participate in a dedication service. The pastor pledges to love his flock, pray for them, teach them diligently the Word of the Lord and counsel them with the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. He promises to provide a godly example that is authentic and compassionate. The church promises to support the pastor with prayers, presence, gifts and service. They promise to love and respect him as befitting someone in sacred service. The church leadership promises the pastor and the church support and strength to fulfill the church's vision and mission to the community and the world.
When a church takes possession of a new building or purchases new furnishing, they might participate in a dedication service. They consecrate the building and its furnishing to the glory and honor of God. They pledge to care for it as befitting something placed in the service of God. They ask God's blessing on all who will come to the church and that each members needs are met so that the needs of the church might be met. They thank God for the finances and resources to minister to the community through the utilization of the church facilities. A plaque might be placed in a prominent place to commemorate the dedication.
An individual can dedicate herself to God. Someone who desires to serve in ministry may do this as a step toward that goal. She might pledge to read her Bible daily, have a regular time of prayer each day, engage in sacred service and live a life that allows the love of God to shine through all she says and does. She might make this dedication a public ceremony or it might remain private, between her and God. She can commemorate this dedication with a certificate or make a note of the date in her Bible.
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