God is my conscience, Jesus lives in my heart… this blog is about what I see, what I think, what I do and how I serve God
Stump the Pastor: What Are the Responsibilities of a Godparent
Congratulations! You were asked to become a godparent to a child born to one of your friends or family. The fact that you are reading this page indicates that you take your responsibilities seriously. This is awesome; being a godparent can (and should be) a meaningful and rewarding experience .
A godparent is someone who sponsors a child’s baptism. A male godparent is a godfather, and a female godparent is a godmother. The child is a godchild (godson, goddaughter).
Traditionally, godparents were responsible for ensuring that the child’s religious education was carried out. It was also assumed that they will be caring for the child should he/she be orphaned. The modern view of a godparent tends to be an individual(s)/couple chosen by the parents to take an interest in the child’s upbringing, spiritual and personal development (godparents need not to be married or to be married to each other).
Being a godparent is a commitment and a responsibility; it should not be a symbolic role.
Godparents must be a practicing members of the faith into which the child is being baptized and they must be sufficiently well-connected to the family of the child to be able to exercise the responsibilities they undertake during celebration of the Sacrament of Baptism. When an infant is baptized, he/she can not answer the questions for him/herself, so someone needs to answer on his/her behalf.
By agreeing to become godparents, persons (godparents need not to be married to each other) agree to take following responsibilities:
Help him/her to grow in the faith of God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Pray for your godchild regularly.
Invest time and energy in rearing that child and maintaining relationship with the family.
Set an example of Christian living.
Give every encouragement to the child to follow Jesus in all aspects of his/her life.
Being a Godparent is an honor and a responsibility. DO NOT TAKE IT LIGHTLY. Before agreeing to become a godparent contemplate some of these questions:
Are your views on religion, spirituality and morality similar to the child’s parents?
Have a frank discussion with the parents of the child and make sure that they understand your position on these matters. Parents will have much more influence on child’s development that godparents do; you may not be able to uphold the covenant that you will make before God (in case you are wondering, lying to God is not a good idea).
Are you ready and willing to assume the responsibility of helping the parents of the child in rearing their child (your potential godchild) in Christian faith that you ACTIVELY practice?
Being a Godparent involves maintaining relationship with the parents and developing a relationship with the child. Will you make an effort to to see your godchild on a regular basis and provide him/her with one-to-one quality time?
Will you maintain your relationship with the Christian community (church) in which the child is being baptized?
Do you really have an interest in the child’s well-being and are you willing to make a commitment to this child for next 20 years and beyond?
Again, congratulations on being asked to become a godparent. Being asked indicates that your friends think highly enough of you to ask you to take an active part in their and in their child’s future and welfare.
If you are having doubts, please contact your pastor and talk about being a godparent with him/her before making any commitments and/or promises. If need be, ask the parents of the child to meet with a pastor so that they understand the meaning and significance of the Sacrament of Baptism.