Family Discipleship

This Sunday we have the privilege and joy to dedicate 5 children to the Lord! This will be a very special time for these families, as well as our congregation!

In the Church of God movement and in our congregation we practice child dedication instead of infant baptism.  In Scripture there are many examples of children being dedicated to God for His service but no examples of infants being baptized to secure eternal salvation (Samuel (1 Samuel 1:21-28), John the Baptist (Luke 1:59-63) and Jesus (Luke 2:21-24).  Baptism is a public statement of Faith and is set aside for believers who have made a conscious decision to follow Christ.


So what is the purpose of dedication?  

It is a public acknowledgment that children are a gift from God and should be offered back to Him.  It is also a commitment from the parents to raise their child in a Christian environment and set before the child a Godly example. In our congregation we believe that Family Discipleship is the key to creating that Christian Environment and Godly Example in the home.


What does that look like?

There is no, one, right way that ‘Family Discipleship’ must be done; each family will have their own culture and style, however there are a few key elements that set the foundation for successful Family Discipleship:


Discipleship is intentional. We all have heard the saying, “The best of intentions” in reference to someone desiring to do something, but not actually taking action to get it done. Family Discipleship is not going to happen on it’s own – it must be an intentional plan with actions steps to back it up.


Discipleship is relational, and the first relationships that children will experience are with their parents! Authentic relationship allows hard things to be said in love, a key part of parenting in the Spirit, am I right parents? When parents are real with their children, children come to understand that who Mom and Dad say they are in public, is the same version they see at home.


Discipleship is reproducible. This might seem odd when thinking of your young children, teens or college kiddos who are years away from marriage and starting their own families. But even as children, they are capable of leading their peers in intentional, relational discipleship. Just as you begin teaching them grandma’s special cookie recipe when they are two or three, not using kitchen appliances on their own for instance, they are still learning. Those memories will be core memories that stick with them forever. Family discipleship is the same. They will remember their parents, in the big and small moments, were authentic and real with them, pointing them to God no matter the situation. When a friend comes to them with a hurt heart, asking for answers, they will turn to what they have seen modeled.


This might seem overwhelming, but take heart! At HFC we are all family, and as such we strive to encourage, support, and resource our congregation! Pastor David and I have TONS of resources available to our families that are simple and easy to use. They can be found on the website at . We are always available to help answer questions you have because we want to partner with you and equip you to disciple your family well.


Many Blessings,

Pastor Sarah