Taking on the Role
Being a Godparent
Being a godparent is both an honour and a responsibility. There are no hard and fast rules nowadays but, in practice, there is a world of difference between just being a godparent and being a good godparent - both in the eyes of the child and its parents.
It is very flattering to be asked to be a godparent but, before committing to the role, try and understand what the parents expect from you.
Parents usually select godparents who will bring something to the mix - for example, adventure, glamour, sporting prowess, culture, humour or sociability. Think about what might be expected of you and what makes you different to the other godparents: the parents will usually have mentally assigned to you some aspect of their child's development.
Declining the Offer
If you think that you are not up to the role or that the parents' expectations may be too much, then it is best to decline politely.
In some circles, godparents are regarded as trophies and are selected on the basis of the social and career opportunities they may afford the child in later life. If you feel this is the case then beware: your life as a godparent will be plagued by requests for favours and you will be expected to spend a fortune on gifts and treats.
Similarly, some adults collect godchildren like stamps; they end up with an impressive collection but never do anything with them. So if you haven't got the time or interest, then be honest and decline the role.