This is the first step. This is a short class and a celebration that normally occurs for parents who have children between birth and one year of age. Parents, through a one hour required class, learn how to become primary faith trainers for their children and accept the responsibility. Resources and learning opportunities are provided for the new parents desiring to dedicate their child to the Lord. During the celebration, the church body commits to partner with the parents in the faith development of the child for the duration of the journey.
An important milestone in the life of every person is salvation and baptism. For the child growing up in a Christian home and in the context of a local church, a decision point is often reached between the ages of 7 and 11 although this is not always the case and this decision may also occur later in life. Between Milestone #1 and Milestone #2, we partner with and equip parents to lead their kids toward a personal relationship with Jesus Christ which leads toward salvation. Parents are encouraged to attend a class with their child that teaches the biblical truth about salvation and baptism. Parents are equipped and given resources to lead family devotions in their homes where these principles are taught. For the children a tour of the baptism area are given. To make this milestone steps memorable and special, families can include a Spiritual Birthday celebration which focuses on the child’s date of salvation and a family celebration at and following the child’s baptism event. Parents are encouraged to invite family, friends, and those who spiritually influence the child.
It is so important to help children prepare spiritually, emotionally, and physically for adolescence. Between the ages of 10 and 12, we begin to introduce these concepts to kids as they attend church ministries and activities. We also equip parents to intentionally prepare their children to enter the teen years. Parents are encouraged to attend a two hour class called Preparing for Adolescence. This class teaches the basics concerning talking with your kids about relevant issues such as physical changes, identity in Christ, and sex.
In our culture, it becomes blaringly obvious that we must address purity of life from a biblical perspective. As a church we want to partner with parents in teaching the importance of accountability, healthy friendships, and biblical standards for purity. Although teenagers can learn these truths as being part of our ministry we believe is much more important for teenagers to learn these principles from their parents. We coach parents to focus on these issues in family devotions and intentional conversations throughout the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade years.
The passing of a child into adulthood is a significant event. Biblically, we must equip our children to become men and women of God. Age 16 is a significant time of freedom in our culture. Rite of Passage is not about keys to the car; instead, it is about becoming a man or woman of God. In our class we will equip parents to disciple their teenager in Issues such as spiritual gifts, the roles of men and women, spiritual disciplines, service in the church, dealing with failure, and other Biblical issues will be explored both in your family devotion and on the church campus. We teach parents to host a very special “Rite of Passage” ceremony as the discipleship process has been completed and the student enters his or her 16th year of life.
Between the ages of 16 and 18, parents must help their students develop the practical and spiritual skills to leave home. Our class teaches parents how to prepare their students for the world outside of the nest. This can be a very healthy time in the family journey if parents continue to keep the lines of communication open with their teenager. Issues such as basic apologetics, courtship and marriage, determining the will of God, life skills for living away from home, and other biblical issues will be explored both in family devotions and on the church campus. These important years of discipleship are our last chance to shape the faith of our children before they are on their own.
Life in Christ is a journey of following Jesus. John 15 sets the precedence for this amazing journey by describing a fulfilling life with an eternal purpose. Real life begins and grows in relationship with Jesus Christ. From that relationship, a Christ-follower grows in each Core Competency throughout the journey. It is a path filled with both high and low places and ends in eternity with Jesus. Life in Christ is experienced by every adult believer no matter one’s life stage or circumstances. Day by day, life in Christ is learning to remain in Him.