[This is posted for purposes of Godparents for Eldsters. I cannot find Pastor Monk for response at this time. This will be taken down at his request. Chuck]
Godparent Ceremony for Evangelical Churches
Developed by Brett Monk
Founding Pastor, Westgate Chapel, Chantilly, VA
The Bible is rich with examples of people taking spiritual responsibility for the care and raising of children who were not biologically theirs. Traditionally, the role of Godparents is set in place at infant baptism; so many churches that practice adult baptism have neglected this beautiful tradition.
We have developed the following ceremony, which is appropriate for a baby dedication, or for a later time when Godparents have been identified. This could also be adapted for use as part of an adult baptism ceremony, if people desire to become spiritual godparents to a newly “born again” person of any age.
This ceremony is written in an informal style. The family may be standing at the front of the room with the minister throughout the ceremony, or may wait until called just before the anointing and declaration.
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Huiothesia (Godparent) Ceremony
There’s a saying that you can’t choose your family, but the Bible is rich with examples of people who chose to make someone a member of their family. Traditionally, the role of Godparents is set in place at infant baptism; so many churches that practice adult baptism have neglected this beautiful tradition.
Pharaoh’s daughter adopted Moses in Exodus 2:10, and Mordecai adopted Esther in Esther 2:7. Ruth adopted her mother-in-law Naomi saying,
Ruth 1:16 (NASB95)
"Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.
In the Greek language of the New Testament, the word “Huiothesia” (Whee-oh-THEE-see-uh) is usually translated “adoption”, but a more accurate translation would be “son setting”, or setting a child into their place in the family as a member and heir.
Jesus was the Son of God, fully Man and fully God. As such, Joseph chose to raise and bring into His humble family, the very Son of God. And to fulfill the proper ritual, God the Father set Jesus into His place of ministry at His adult baptism, as it is recorded in
Matthew 3:16-17 (NKJV)
When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.
And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
This public declaration of acceptance served as a turning point in the life and Ministry of Jesus. It is from this point on that we see record of His miracles, His ministry, and his God-ordained destiny. It was an announcement to mankind and to the powers and principalities of the spiritual realms that Jesus Christ was the Firstborn Son and Heir to the Most High God.
By His unimaginable, Grace, God chooses to set us into His family. For those who have received the sacrifice of Jesus the atonement for their sins, God grants us not just forgiveness, but a full position as family members and heirs, as it says in
Romans 8:14-17 (NKJV)
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father."
The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
and if children, then heirs--heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
Today we celebrate the decision of (Godfather) and (Godmother), to bring (child) into their family. As Jesus was anointed with water and with the Holy Spirit, today (Godfather) and (Godmother) will be anointing (child) with oil, a symbol of the Holy Spirit.
Would the family please come forward.
Minister: (to godparents)
Do you, (Godfather) and (Godmother) desire to make (Child/Children) a part of your spiritual family, and assume responsibility and authority over their spiritual lives to raise and train them as disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ?
Minister: (to Child/Children)
Do you accept (Godparents) as your spiritual parents and promise to respect and obey them as they help you grow?
I’m now going to ask (Godparents) to anoint (Child/Children) with oil as a symbol of sealing this public declaration.
(Godparents anoint children with oil)
Would the congregation please join me in prayer?
Heavenly Father, we thank You that You have made us children and heirs in Your Kingdom and joint-heirs with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Today we witness and affirm the public declarations before mankind and the principalities of the spirit realm, that (Child/Children) are now under the protection, covering, and spiritual authority of (Godparents). We as witnesses to this event dedicate ourselves to encourage and support this spiritual family as we all seek to learn and grow toward maturity and the fullness of Christ until that day when we receive the fullness of our inheritance in Your Kingdom that is to come. We pray this in Jesus name, Amen.