Recently I received 2 questions from Tom Bump, Children’s Pastor at Country and Town Baptist Church in Mechanicsburg, PA. The questions revolved around how we started our Milestones implementation at Kingsland. I thought it might be helpful to share the questions Tom asked and the answers I offered him. Thanks Tom for going the extra mile to equip families and the next generation!
Question 1: Did you survey your congregation before beginning Milestones? If so, what kind of questions did you ask?
We did survey the congregation before we implemented the legacy milestones strategy at Kingsland. The survey was an important part of our preliminary work. When we did the survey we had not yet developed our plan to equip the family as the primary faith training vehicle. We used a survey called “Family Needs Survey” produced by Family Life Ministries in Little Rock, Arkansas. The survey produced a 100 page report giving us good information about how our families felt they were doing as primary faith influencers. The results were not encouraging but definitely became catalytic. It was the results of the survey that caused us to determine the need to spend more energy equipping parents to disciple their own children… as they walk along the road, lie down, and get up.
Not every church will choose to use such an extensive survey. I think it is perfectly fine to develop your own survey to find out just exactly how involved parents are in the spiritual development process of their children. I would ask questions like…
- Do you lead a family devotion or an intentional faith talk at least once a week?
- Do you use teachable moments (God Sightings) along the way to build your child’s faith?
- Do you pray with your children other than at meal times?
- If you are married, do you pray with your spouse about your children?
- Do you bless your children by praying scriptural blessing over them.
- Do you help your children memorize Scripture?
You can certainly add to the list but the principle is the same. You want to find out what your people are doing and you want to use the survey to make them aware that they need to be doing certain things. If you can use an organization like Family Life, great. If not just make your own.
Question 2: When you hosted your first Parent Summit did you offer seminars for every milestone or did you just offer a few?
When we hosted our first Parent Summit we offered seminars for 6 of the 7 milestones. By the way, you can download those seminars at http://www.legacymilestones.com. (We are currently rewriting them but the seminars will give you a great picture of how we started.) You may choose to start more slowly. Think about offering seminars for Milestones 1-3 if you can’t do all of them initially. This will cover parents with kids from infancy to 5th grade. Then think about adding parents with teenagers to the second round by offering Milestones 4-7. If you have a very small church this can actually become less of a seminar and more of a meeting around the table with the 3 families who have children “Preparing for Adolescence – Milestone 3” in your church. In other words, make it fit your context and don’t let our model at Kingsland overwhelm you. Start where you are and let us help where we can.