Well it’s three things…
Firstly, it’s a good time to say thank you as a church for God’s gift of the child being dedicated. Every child is a wonderful gift from God, and we want to give him the glory and celebrate that gift.
Secondly, we recognise that the child being dedicated needs to make commitment to Jesus personally if they’re to be saved by faith. So the parents of the child make a promise (dedicate themselves) before God to share their faith with their child so that they understand the choice that they have before them. It’s also a commitment to pray for them and ask God to draw them to himself.
Finally, the church members gathered at the service will commit to helping the parents in their task of teaching and prayer. We want to support the family so that we can be a part of helping that child to grow in their knowledge of the Lord Jesus. We also make a promise to pray for that child.
So in a funny way, although we talk about dedicating the child, actually we give thanks for the child, and then the parents and the community of believers are the ones who dedicate themselves to the child. It’s a wonderful time.