Ask the UMC: What is expected of godparents?

Other Manual Translations: français

I’ve been asked to be a godparent for a child. What is expected of godparents? Must godparents be United Methodist?

Having sponsors (or godparents) derives from the ancient church practice of a mature, reliable Christian serving as a spiritual mentor and encourager of those being baptized into the Christian life. The sponsor/godparent is a lifelong commitment to spiritually nurture the one being baptized to make a profession of faith for themselves and continue in their growth as a disciple of Jesus Christ.

In all infant baptisms, the parents or other family members serve as the primary sponsors, and in many churches, especially Roman Catholic practice, another Christian or two may be named as godparents. The parents, sponsors and the whole congregation affirm their own faith and their commitment to raise the child as a Christian. Sponsors don’t have to be United Methodist, but should be members of a Christian church.

Being invited to be a child’s godparent is an honor and a serious responsibility. Godparents play a special role in the life of the child.  They help the child know they are a beloved child of God, listen to and pray for them, and celebrate the anniversary of their baptism.

Your pastor can share more about the role and expectations of godparents.

Have questions? Ask the UMC. And check out other recent Q&As.

This content was produced by InfoServ, a ministry of United Methodist Communications.

First published April 18, 2017.

Sign up for our newsletter!

SUBSCRIBE

Latest News

Theology and Education
Claudia Teli N'guessan sings during worship at Temple Emmanuel United Methodist Church in Man, Côte d'Ivoire, in this 2015 file photo. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Ask The UMC: When is Easter over? What comes next?

For Christians, Easter is a season of 50 days. The original purpose of the Easter season was to continue the formation of new Christians in the faith.
Theology and Education
A wreath and draped cross symbolize the crucifixion of Christ during Good Friday service. Photo by Kathleen Barry, United Methodist Communications.

Ask The UMC: How do we understand the timing of the Great 3 Days?

The timing of the events of Holy Week have been understood by Christians since at least the third century.
Theology and Education
The Rev. Esther Kachiko Furaha prays during worship at New Jerusalem United Methodist Church in Uvira, Congo, in 2015. Christians understand prayer as spiritual communication with God. File photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Ask The UMC: What is the difference between prayer and meditation?

Christians understand prayer as spiritual communication with God in which we open ourselves to God's transforming love.