We offer faith milestones for littles with a big-who-loves-them to make for a sticky faith memory with some accountability as a platform to teach the holy habits of growing our faith in Jesus. Most are 45 minutes long. Most include a teaching, a practicable interactive element, takeaways, a certificate, and a class photo. Most, especially the Communion and Baptism milestones, will include a collaborating clergy. If offered as a workshop, we begin by lighting an LED pillar candle and repeating, “We light this candle….as a symbol…of God’s presence with us…and around us.”
The schedule looks like this:
K5 – I Can Go To Sunday School (August) … A meet and greet with tour into McEachern Kids (K5-5th grade) the Sunday prior to Promotion Sunday especially for rising kindergartners led by the Ambassadors
K5 & 1st – I Can Receive Communion: Bread & Juice Class (Sept) …. Holy Communion
1st & 2nd – I Can Pray (February) … Prayer stations with takeaway tools to use at home
2nd & 3rd – I Can Love My Church (Nov) … Group treasure hunt to locations throughout campus and learning vocabulary like narthex, pew, along with local church history
3rd-5th – I Can Serve (August) … Acolyte training
3rd-5th – I Can Follow Jesus: Baptism (March) NEW
4th & 5th – I Can Lead: Ambassadors (August) … Leadership Training 5-7pm w/dinner
4th & 5th – Road Trip Retreat (March) … Fri-Sun shared event with other local churches retreat at local state park (alternate Ambassadors Road Trip and Disciples Road Trip)
5th grade – Moving On Up to Middle School (March) … begin transition to youth group
5th & 6th – Wonderfully Made: Loved By God (January) … Human Sexuality & Jesus w/parents; 3 days
K5-5th – I Can Worship With My Family – various worship services with intentional teaching of worship elements specific to our denomination and honoring of our local church
K5-5th – I Can Go On A Mission Trip: Family Mission Trip (July) NEW
I started these years ago to make special for families a time/place for intentional teaching and practice what I considered the most important practices of our faith in Jesus. I chose these elements since they were practices of Jesus. Each year we edit to excellence with shared language and interactive elements. I started with three in the first year.
As a great number of new families are moving into our state and into our community, offering these faith milestones help us…
1. Find common language with those new to the faith and new to our part of the country/world with shared experiences with new friends-in-the-Lord. Moving from other parts of the country/world, these experiences practice our commonalities and give space for sacred conversations.
2. Give the littles and their bigs access to the spiritual leaders in our church Teaching for a little and a big-who-loves-them, the big learns alongside their little, removing the anxiety which could be part of joining a new faith community. Young parents today are looking for integrity and truth in their spiritual leaders. Faith milestones give space to begin and grow those relationships.
3. Remove the expectation that a robust faith in Jesus will be ‘caught’. Faith milestones give intentional space for developmentally appropriate faith formation family experiences. This generation of bigs of our littles want to learn alongside their children. Faith milestones sets the table for bigs to be the spiritual heroes in their little’s lives.
Want to take it a step further? Blessing of a driver’s license, Confirmation, Bible Ninja Warrior, first job, biblical finance, etc. You get the idea. I’m responsible for K5-5th grades, but so much more could be accomplished if shared throughout for 0-26yo.
How could you set a table for faith milestones in your church family?
“My feet have closely followed his steps; I have kept to his way without turning aside.” Job 23:11