If milestones are a part of your Kidmin strategy to equip parents to disciple their children then you should consider how you are demonstrating milestone celebrations for your parents. We are learning that unless parents actually see what you mean by celebrating milestones at home, they have a difficult time implementing a celebration of their own. Showing them how is something that children’s ministry can do for families.
This spring my wife Angela did something for our girls that I thought was simply brilliant. Any parent can do something like this if you show them how. Two of our daughters are ready to celebrate milestones 3 and 4. In our world, that is preparing for adolescence (milestone 3) and purity for life (milestone 4). She hosted two brunches, 1 for each daughter, for the purpose of celebrating what God is doing in their lives and highlighting key truths associated with each milestones. Here’s what she did:
She designed a brunch geared toward the child: their favorite foods, décor, and theme. We did it “on the cheap” because she is a stay at home mom and I’m a pastor. She invited friends that are true positive influences in the lives of our daughters. She took an important step farther. She invited the mothers of those friends to participate and discover how to celebrate spiritual growth and influence their children at the same time. At the brunch Angela led a short conversation on confidence and identity in Christ for both daughters and a short lesson on purity for the milestone for celebration. She went around the room and highlighted a particular, God-given quality that she sees in each girl and each mother. She asked the other moms to speak a word of encouragement over the girls if they felt compelled. At the end of the talk time the girls and moms made a pact to uphold and encourage each other in the months and years ahead. Then, they partied.
All in all it was a simple 2-hour celebration that our daughter, her friends, and group of moms will never forget. Encourage parents who are doing it well to invite other parents to participate in the milestone celebration. This is likely the most effective method of equipping possible. Demonstrate milestone celebrations so that parents can learn to do it themselves. Here are some quick ideas.
- Show video clips from family milestone celebrations
- Ask parents who are doing it to teach milestone seminars
- Tell stories of family milestone celebrations that work well.
- In every milestone seminar, demonstrate an associated family celebration.
- Host panel discussions using parents who do it well.
- Blog, tweet, FB about family celebrations done well.
- Strategically place pictures of family milestone celebrations in publications, websites and walls for your church.
- Challenge staff members to share their family celebrations.
- Video kids talking about their family milestone celebrations.
If you want to take it from talking about family ministry to seeing it happen, demonstration is key. If you want them to do it, you will need to show them how.