If I have heard it once, I have heard it a thousand times. “The Legacy Milestones Strategy looks great on paper but how is it really working at Kingsland in the local church setting?” “Are parents really discipling their own children?” Fair questions.
Last year we began to measure three behaviors of parents in our church to determine if they are really using our “path of Legacy Milestones” to lead their kids spiritually. Certainly there are other behaviors that are less measurable like “modeling” life in Christ. We believe however, if parents are consistently doing these three measurable things, there is a great chance they are making disciples at home.
3 Key Measurable Behaviors:
1) Leading Intentional Faith Talks
Faith talks are the platform from which parents formally teach their kids the Bible every week. Another word for “Faith Talk” is family devotion. We ask parents to lead a planned faith talk at least once a week.
2) Capturing God Moments
God Moments are those little teaching opportunities God provides as you are simply living life. You have to be around to catch them. When God throws them your way, you speak into your child’s life from a biblical perspective.
3) Celebrating Legacy Milestones
Legacy Milestones is the strategy Kingsland uses to help parents pass on Christian doctrine and life application to their children. There are 7 milestones celebrated on this path beginning with Parent/Baby Dedication and continuing through Life in Christ. Milestones are celebrated as a parent leads a child to progress in his or her faith by teaching them Scripture and modeling life in Christ. As a child leaves one phase and begins another, the family celebrates God’s work in growing the child. For a complete list of legacy milestones visit http://www.legacymilestones.com.
The Latest Results: Survey Conducted at Kingsland During All 3 Worship Services on April 19, 2009
According to our most recent survey we have discovered the following based on the responses of adults ages 18 or older who have children ages 0-18 and attend Kingsland.
1) 35.3% of parents say that they lead an intentional “Faith Talk” at least once a week.
2) 92.9% of parents say that they capture “God Moments” as teaching opportunities with their children.
3) 71.4% of parents say that they celebrate “Legacy Milestones” as they are leading their children spiritually.
In 2004 we conducted an extensive Family Needs Survey at Kingsland Baptist Church. We discovered that only 17% of our parents did anything beyond bringing their kids to church in order to lead them spiritually. The 17% who claimed to lead their kids spiritually in 2004 were committed beyond church to the point of praying with their children and telling them Bible stories. That meant, in 2004, 83% of our parents did nothing to lead spiritually except bring their children to church. That information became a spring board for our strategy to encourage, equip, and resource families as they disciple the next generation.
Looking at the latest survey results lends both positive and negative results. Certainly the most difficult behavior for a parent to commit to is leading an intentional Faith Talk at least once a week. You make look at 35.3% and say…”Wow, that’s an “F” in my book.” Me too. On the other hand, it tells me 35.3% of the parents in our church are highly committed in leading their children spiritually at a deepening level. A very high percentage of parents are looking for God Moments and speaking into their child’s life biblically as well as celebrating Legacy Milestones. As I see it…. we are advancing the ball. It may be slow but I believe the generational impact on our culture will be immeasurable. To tell you the truth, this is the most exciting, most impacting Kingdom work God has ever involved me in!
Where are You?
Maybe you are where we were in 2004. You realize that your church values family but family is completely uninvolved in the spiritual formation process. You can begin today by making a “Shift” in your practices at church to equip parents to disciple the next generation. To learn more about how your church can begin the process of equipping the generations one home at a time visit us at http://www.legacymilestones.com.