Last month, babies, children and families lined up in front of the stage during our worship service. It was a beautiful picture of love. Love parents have for their children and love the church has for each other through Jesus.
“So in Christ, we though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” (Romans 12:5)
Throughout scripture we are encouraged to come together and work together as Christ’s body. During baby dedication parents promise to raise their children to know Jesus Christ. The church also promises to pray for, help and encourage these families. Raising children is not an easy job. You often hear “it takes a village.” The congregation of Northstar is that village to these families. People across every demographic pour themselves out as volunteers in our children’s ministry, teaching children about Jesus’ love for them. Small groups come together as place for parents to be vulnerable, to ask for prayer and to ask for help. Our leadership provides encouragement and truth each Sunday and reminders to stay in the Word and make your relationship with Christ your first priority.
Jessica Yalung commented, “Parenting is hard and I think biblical parenting is even harder. I feel so emotional thinking about how amazing it was to look out at the church and see so many people, standing, literally, with us and in support of us.” Erin Card felt very similar. She said, “During the service that Sunday, I got a bit emotional during worship and the dedication. It is SUCH a blessing to be able to share the ‘job’ of raising up our child (all our children) to know the Lord with the help of the members of Northstar.”
Before Baby Dedication Sunday parents were asked to listen to three parenting talks. One encouraged them to imagine the end and write a letter to their child describing the type of person they hope they will become. The other two asked parents to think about how to prioritize their relationship with God and with each other. Katie Boulter commented, “Having our kids dedicated at Northstar gave us the tools and forced us to have the long conversation of what we expect out of each other. Having us writing it out on paper.” Megan Turner said “I really loved writing the letters to Tirzah and thinking critically about what we will do to protect our relationship with God and each other.”
After listening to the parent talks and doing the activities that went along with them, parents were asked to come to Baby Dedication Orientation where they are able to meet each other, learn about children’s ministry at Northstar and share their thoughts on the parenting talks. This is a great time for parents in the same stage of life to get to know one another. David Caravati said “Our favorite part of baby dedication was getting to fellowship with other parents at Northstar going through the same process together. It is a very unique time in a couple’s life that only the people in that stage has a real-time grasp of.”
At Northstar we often say Don’t Go to Church, Be the Church. Baby Dedication is a time all of Northstar be the church. Parents rely on God daily to help them be the church to their children and their spouse. The greater body of Northstar is the church throughout the week as parents help each other out and encourage each other and on Sunday morning as volunteers care for and teach our children. What a beautiful picture of Christ’s body!