I am a details person. I love taking notice of the little things that often pass other people by.
If I'm really being honest with myself, I love details sometimes to a fault. I can find myself "missing the forest for the trees". When I pay too close attention to the details, I can sometimes miss the work God is doing overall in my area of ministry.
It's a line we all have to walk in ministry - doing ministry to the best of our abilities with excellence and giving the Holy Spirit enough room to do his.
When I was at Orange Conference attending a breakout on Rethinking Your Baby Dedication, the speaker made a comment that stuck with me - "Love is in the details." Since then we have made it our motto to take care and time to show the families who go through First Steps that we love them through the details of their take homes from the event.
1. Dedication Certificate and Imagine the End
During a portion of our First Steps event, we have a time where we call our families down front to receive their dedication certificate. On the certificate is the child's name that is begin dedicated along with the 4 commitments the parents are agreeing to uphold. We have the parents and our pastor sign their dedication certificates before the start of the event.
We also have their Imagine the Ends printed on a nice keepsake paper for the parents to read during the Imagine the End portion of the event. After the event, parents have told us they have keep theirs in a baby book or a memento box and some have even framed it for their child's room.
2. Dedication Pallet Art
We wanted our families to have something cute that they could keep as a reminder of this special day. The first year we started doing our First Steps event, we gave our families a commemorative plate that had their child's name and the date they were dedicated.
We now have a hugely talented lady at our church who does pallet art. She makes us a dedication pallet art for each child that is begin dedicated. It says "Impress upon your children" and has the child's name and the date they are being dedicated. They are super cute, and they have been something unique and unexpected for the parents to receive as a gift. I love going to family's houses and seeing them in there!
3. Storytelling Video and Pictures
I realize we are very blessed as a church to have the staff talent and the ability finanacially to pay said talented people. We have a professional photographer onsite taking pictures of the event. We also set up a photo booth and encourage families to take as many pictures as possible. We have a 2 man video crew capturing the event as well. Our families don't have to worry about taking pictures with their phone camera. They can enjoy living through the moment of their child's dedication.
About a month after First Steps, we give our families a DVD of the storytelling video along with all the pictures from the event. We also use the storytelling video to celebrate what God has done through First Steps in our Sunday morning services.