No blessing that God gives his people is separated from the responsibility to become a blessing to the nations. For example, at the Summit church, we build a global missions thrust into the first stages of our family ministries. Psalm 127 teaches us that our kids are given to us 'like arrows in the hands of a warrior' and (to use the words of Jim Elliot), what are arrows for but to be pulled back on the bowstring of faith to be launched into God's global battle? We quit doing 'baby dedications' and now hold 'parent commissionings', in which parents covenant with the church to raise up their children for the mission of God and to release them freely into that mission whenever and wherever God calls them. I make the parents promise 'If God calls my child one day to a difficult mission field, I promise not to stand in the way, but to bless and encourage my child to follow God.' We don't need to dedicate a baby - the baby already belongs to God. It is the parents who need to dedicate themselves to raise up a child for the mission of God. - JD Greear, Gaining by Losing - Why the Future Belongs to Churches that SendIn less than a year, our oldest will be out of the house and reading this paragraph [from an excellent book I might add] had a visceral effect on me. If you think it was difficult to make that promise when they were young, you are in for an awakening when they are 17.