Can we trust parents to disciple their own children? This is a legitimate question when you consider many parents are not disciples of Jesus themselves.
I will never forget it. Five years ago our staff met to discuss our church’s practice of discipleship in light of Deuteronomy 6:4-9. I read the passage to my team. “These commands I give to you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home, when you walk along the road, when you lie down, and when you get up.” I closed the Bible and said, “Do we trust parents to be the primary faith trainers of the next generation?” One of my guys said with a red face, “We can’t trust parents to disciple their kids!” As much as I believed the Scripture, I knew where he was coming from. How can you make disciples if you are not one?
Perhaps one of the most important aspects of the strategic path of legacy milestones is Milestone 7: Life in Christ. You see a church that values the family as a important vehicle for leading children spiritually must major on equipping adults for the road ahead. Adult ministry is the secret weapon in the quest to develop parents who disciple their own children. Here is Milestone 7 in a nutshell.
Milestone 7 is called “Life in Christ” because the first 6 milestones spanning the years of 0-18 are all designed to prepare adults to experience life in Christ. Our desire is to develop adults who make decisions based on the worldview of the Bible in every aspect of life. In many ways, milestones 1-6 build a foundation for life in Christ as an adult.
Milestone 7 spans the life seasons of young single adulthood to senior adulthood or ages 18 to heaven. Milestone 7 is for singles, young marrieds, parents with children and teens, empty nesters, grandparents, and senior adults. No matter who you are, as a Christ follower, you are daily pursuing “Life in Christ.”
7 Core Competencies:
Milestone 7 consists of seven core competencies that every adult should constantly practice and aspire to as people living “Life in Christ”
3) Authentic Faith
4) Obedient Follower
At Kingsland we use our Bible Study Ministry (Adult Bible Fellowships) to teach the Scriptural truth related to each core competency. Our expectation is that our adults will practice the very words of God. We offer environments for adults to develop in each of these areas. Think of it this way. If we develop adults who pray, study and practice the Scripture, live an authentic faith, are obedient followers, make disciples, give and serve, and function in biblical community then we produce parents who can demonstrate life in Christ for the next generation.
When we teach the core competency of “disciple-maker” we expect adults who are parents to see their closest disciples as their own children. We then connect them back to Milestones 1-6 and train them to lead their children along the path of spiritual formation using events like Parent Summit, and Take Home Sunday. We resource them and equip them to lead faith talks, capitalize on God Moments, and celebrate legacy milestones along the way.
Milestone 7 is not just for parents. If an adult does not have children at home, we challenge them to be a disciple-maker in the context of their relationships. We give them the opportunity to partner with families by serving in the preschool, children, and student ministries. We ask them to name the people they are pouring their lives into intentionally. Who did you have a faith talk with this week? What were the God Moments? Are any of your disciples celebrating legacy milestones?
Here’s a significant challenge. When you think about family ministry and equipping the next generations, begin with the adults. They are the key to the entire process. If they are the primary faith trainers as stated in Scripture then our role as church leadership is to equip and encourage them for the task at hand.
When you think family ministry don’t forget Milestone 7: Life in Christ!
For a better understanding of all 7 legacy milestones visit http://www.legacymilestones.com