Disciple Your Kids Through Life's Milestones

What are Legacy Milestones?

Each phase of a child's life presents unique opportunities and often unique challenges for parents. Brian Haynes is author of Shift: What it Takes to Finally Reach Families Today and Lead Pastor of Bay Area Baptist Church in League City, TX . In the first video of this post, Brian walks through seven Legacy Milestones, showing the importance of each phase of a child's spiritual development.

7 Legacy Milestones that Parents and Churches practice together in partnership:

  1. Parent/Baby Dedication
    Core Competency: The parent as the primary faith trainer
  2. Salvation and Baptism
    Core Competencies: Jesus, Faith/Belief, Biblical Truth, Personal Sin, Repentance, Salvation, Baptism
  3. Preparing for Adolescence
    Core Competencies: Identity, Spiritual Growth, Spiritual Disciplines
  4. Purity for Life
    Core Competencies:  Biblical Purity, Healthy Relationships, Identity in Christ, Biblical Sex
  5. Rite of Passage
    Core Competencies: Roles of Men and Women, Spiritual Gifts and Service, Catechism
  6. High School Graduation
    Core Competencies: Apologetics, Dating/Marriage, God's Plan for Me, Person of Influence, Life Skills
  7. Life in Christ
    Core Competencies: Prayer, Scripture, Authentic Faith, Obedient Follower, Disciple Maker, Generous Living, Community

The Legacy Milestones that Brian gave reflect the faith tradition of his church. If you come from a different tradition, take a moment and list out what your Legacy Milestones might be.
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Brian noted that each milestone falls under the purview of a specific ministry in his church. Under which ministry would each milestone fall at your church? How could you use existing programs/events within each ministry to reinforce the core competencies of each milestone?
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If you were to incorporate Legacy Milestones at your church, what training would you need to provide to different ministry leaders and volunteers? How would you cast the vision of Legacy Milestones to the entire congregation?
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How could you encourage involvement in Legacy Milestones by the entire congregation and not just those with children?
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What is the purpose of Legacy Milestones?

Have you ever been overwhelmed or at a loss for the task God has called you to as a parent? In this video, Brian talks about the purpose of Legacy Milestones, including its roots in Brian's own desire to know how to better disciple his children. 

Deuteronomy 6:4-7 (ESV)

4“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.5You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.6And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.7You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Brian cited the passage above as one way God convicted him of his misplaced priorities in life and ministry. Have you ever struggled with misaligned priorities, placing ministry above family? What evidence do you see of misaligned priorities in the families in your church. Cite a few examples. How do you think celebrating Legacy Milestones would help families in your church keep priorities aligned?
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Brian mentioned that Legacy Milestones were birthed when he was given a blank slate as to how his church would do discipleship. If you were given a blank slate to retool the way you do discipleship at your church, what would you do? What would be different, what would you keep the same? How would you incorporate a focus on family discipleship?
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You may not be able to completely redesign the discipleship process at your church from the ground up, but you can make changes that positively impact how you equip parents in the discipleship of their children. Legacy Milestones were created for that very purpose.

What has been the impact of Legacy Milestones?

In the final video, Brian speaks about the impact that Legacy Milestones have had on his church, primarily the fundamental shift in children's discipleship from the church to the home.

On the first page of this post were Brian's 7 Legacy Milestones. Take a moment and think through what impact you would like to see from each milestone, whether you use Brian's specific milestones or your own.
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Brian mentioned the impact to kids' stories that Legacy Milestones have had, predominately the shift from a confession of Christ through a church event, to "mom and dad led me to Christ." What overarching impact would you like to see if you implemented the Legacy Milestones strategy at your church?
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The Legacy Milestones strategy was designed to be a means by which the church can help parents disciple their children. The result has been a tangible model for every parent in the church to pass on a legacy of faith to their children. Whether a program like Legacy Milestones is a fit for your church or not, strive to equip your people with tangible help in their very important calling to bring up the next generation of brothers and sisters in Christ.

If you are interested in finding out more about Legacy Milestones, or would like free resources on how you can implement a similar strategy at your church, visit www.legacymilestones.com.