Thursday, November 17, 2011

Family Ministry- A Model, Part 2- Milestones

Part 1

What follows is a specific plan for the implementation of a family-ministry model created by Brian Haynes at his church in Texas.  It is not THE model, but A possible one.  No doubt, there are questions, thoughts, concerns, comments and observations to be made; this series of posts is designed to promote thought and curiosity in how a similar model might be created where you worship.  What this series is not designed to do is to convince parents of their role as primary faith influencers for their families.  I've done that ad naseum on previous posts (here, and here).'s on you.  Let's talk "How?"

Picking up where we left off yesterday, let's talk about Milestones.  A Milestone is a "marker of progression on the spiritual formation journey."  When these markers are reached, there is a celebration, both in the church and the home.  Brian writes, "As parents, (we) needed a simple step-by-step approach to becoming the primary faith influences for our daughters.  Even more so, we needed the church to partner with us in the spiritual development of our children--not to take our place as the primary faith influencers, but to train us and to reinforce what we're teaching our children."  Enter Milestones as the progression:

Milestone 1- The Birth of a Baby

Milestone 2- Faith Commitment

Milestone 3- Preparing for Adolescence

Milestone 4- Commitment to Purity

Milestone 5- Passage to Adulthood

Milestone 6- High School Graduation

Milestone 7- Life in Christ

Chances are, your church is already doing something within the context of the above things.  Perhaps your church celebrates birth through a baby dedication or sprinkles infants.  Maybe your youth ministry has an event that culminates with a purity ring being given.  Certainly, you celebrate when high school student graduate.  Moving toward a model like the one above begins with a review of what milestones (we call them transitions at Eastview) you are already doing and then thinking about what they might look like at another level.  Over the next week, I will detail what each of the above milestones looks like, and how they might be applied within my specific context.  I'd love for your thoughts and feedback, ministry is not to be done alone!

So...what methods does your church use now to celebrate or observe life transitions?

Tomorrow: Milestones 1 & 2.


Ben Read said...

I love the milestone markers, and I think any church that doesn't have clear identifiers like this can not honestly say they are partnering with Parents in ministering to their kids.

Simply transitioning kids from grade to grade is pointless, the church needs to label clear Milestones and celebrate the heck out of them when a student reaches them, and do everything they can to prepare students to reach the next one.

John Mulholland said...


Thanks for the comment love! What kinds of things are you doing where you serve to develop families?