By this point in the D6 Conference, we'd met several speakers who were parents of 3 daughters. I enjoyed listening to these particularly for obvious reasons. Haynes spoke specifically on the topic of "What is Family Ministry, and what does it look like?" The question of how do we encourage parents as they pour into their children intentionally, leading to multi-generational discipleship naturally occurring in our church families.
He focused quite a bit on the concept of "Milestones", which seemed to serve several purposes. Both to give a sort of "rite of passage" quality to maturing in Christ, but also to remind parents/youth that they are on a journey to something "next". Haynes called parents to remember the importance of "Blessing" their children, and celebrating things as a family.
He offered a common path of "Milestones" to be celebrated both by church AND family:
- Parent/Baby Dedication
- Faith Commitment
- Preparing for adolescence
- Purity for life
- Right of passage (i.e. being blessed by parents)
- High School Graduation
- Life in Christ
In actual homes, he emphasized what practical actions were useful to focus on across the board. Things for families to make sure they practice regularly are:
- Faith Talks - crazy how low a percentage of families actually talk/pray in regards to God and Spirituality.
- God Moments - the whole "home and away, when you walk and when u rise". Watch for the everyday moments where God can be pointed out/revealed.
- Celebrate Milestones - especially the ones listed above!!!
- Abide - John 15:5 :)
Haynes talked a bit about small groups catching onto these concepts as one of the few ways to bring the exact message to homes around the community. To be purposeful, as: "the purpose of small groups is to create adult disciples in order to have parents who can disciple children." Now obviously that cannot apply across the board, and I wouldn't put that on a small group advertisement.
By this point in the week, I was getting hungry for more of the "Why" to actually be spoken of. Something beyond simply growing more and more homes full of more and more/deeper disciples. Something beyond simply finding a more effective way of making sure young adults feel like they can be connected to God's purposes here.
..and that was on it's way. :)
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