Milestones

Milestones: In Community

“As God’s family we need to pause at important moments to acknowledge God’s presence and faithfulness and celebrate as a community how God is at work. One of the ways to do that is by marking the faith milestones in our lives.”

Celebrating the Milestones of Faith by Robert Keeley and Laura Keeley

In addition to marking milestones in various ways during worship or at other times when God’s big family is gathered, the acknowledgment of milestones in the lives of all ages within your congregation provides your church with an opportunity to equip families with tools they can continue to use at home.

We recommend the following excellent resources:

Milestones: At Home

“Celebrating faith milestones with your family is a wonderful way to remind kids that God is faithful and present in all the details of their lives” —Karen Deboer, Home Grown Handbook for Christian Parenting)

It’s not unusual for North American families to acknowledge special occasions—birthdays, starting school, losing a tooth, riding a bike, obtaining a driver’s license, leaving home, etc.—in the lives of their children. One important way to equip families to nurture faith at home is to help them see those dates as opportunities to remember and to acknowledge God’s faithfulness.

For example, help families think more deeply about birthday and graduation celebrations by sharing with them the following ideas:

Birthdays 

Graduations

  • These downloadable notes from Parent Cue provide a wonderful way to bless a graduate with the gift of affirmation from caring people in their life. (Imagine doing this as a church family and presenting graduates with notes from ministry leaders and others in God’s family who have been active in their lives. Or making them available for children’s ministry leaders to fill out and give to the kids in their group at the end of an education year.)

  • Give a graduate the gift of a Bible that has been personalized by family members and other people of significance in their life by highlighting favorite verses and adding notes to the margins. Learn how one family did this in The Cookbook Bible

And here are two general resources that families can use at home for their own acknowledgment of milestones:

  • Milestones Ministry creates beautiful Blessing Bowls and Gifting Stones that families can use to mark a wide variety of events, including new beginnings, loss, going to school, first communion, learning the Lord’s Prayer, and more.

  • Faithful Families: Creating Sacred Moments at Home by Traci Smith includes a section on “Ceremonies for Marking Life’s Transitions” with practical ideas to commemorate events including welcoming a new pet to the family, getting a driver’s license, beginning school, and graduation.

ⓒ 2018, Faith Formation Ministries, from the Family Faith Formation Toolkit (crcna.org/FaithFormation/toolkits)