As parents, we are all familiar with the concept of milestones, even if we may not realize it. I still remember the day my son took his first few steps. It was a beautiful day outside and we had the back door open to encourage the fresh air to take up residence inside. And our little guy, who to this day still can not handle a door left open, stabilized himself on a basket of blankets, and took 3–4 steps with no assistance to slam that door shut. My wife and I both looked at each other for a second, and exclaimed, “Did he just walk?!” And up to our feet we went, grabbing our iPhones and cameras, singing and shouting with delight as our son entered this fun new phase of life.
A child’s first steps is an incredible milestone. But there are many more we recognize as a culture –– their first words, first day at school, becoming a teenager, getting their driver’s license, etc. These are all events we recognize, celebrate (mostly), and understand to be significant. As a church, we want to do something similar by marking out significant milestones for families as they raise up their children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. I love how the Village Church talks about it. We are marking and making occasions to celebrate and commemorate significant spiritual milestones of God's work in the life of the family and child. All of us, as parents, need to mark, make, celebrate, and commemorate these significant occasions in our child’s life. And we as a church want to come alongside you, providing these milestone opportunities for us all to pause, reflect, train, and celebrate God’s calling and work in the lives of our families here at Rock Point. Currently, we have designated seven milestones for us to commemorate and celebrate:
- Dedicate (birth through toddler) – encouraging families to dedicate themselves to be the primary disciple makers of their children
- Discover (kindergarten) – equipping families to lead their children to discover the wonder and truth of God’s Word
- Develop (elementary) – equipping families to lead their children to develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ
- Decide (6th grade) – equipping families to intentionally prepare their students to live for Christ during their teen years
- Devote (9th grade) – equipping families to help their students devote themselves to Christ and His people
- Deploy (seniors) – equipping families to deploy their students to be disciples of Jesus wherever they are
- Disciple (members) – equipping families to disciple other families as they worship, walk, work, and witness
For each of these milestones, we will gather together with other families in the church for a time of fun and learning. Parents will eat together, learn together, and be provided with some of the best resources out there to help you point your kids to Jesus. At the same time, your kids will eat, play games, and learn with their friends what it looks like to love and live for Jesus.
Our next milestone is quickly approaching, as our elementary students and their families are encouraged to join us for Develop at 12:30pm on Sunday, Feb. 18th. In this milestone, we will teach your kids all about the good news of Jesus Christ, as we parents learn how to share that good news with our kids. We will also spend some time together discussing how we ought to think through baptism for our kids as families and as a church. For this reason, this milestone is required for any child wanting to be baptized. Finally, and arguably most important, we will be making Oprah blush as we give out amazing resources for you and your kids.
If you want to join us, you can sign up online at: www.myrpchurch.org/developmilestone or in the kids area on Sunday morning. Hope to see you there!!
Jeff Strickland-I am the Discipleship Pastor at Rock Point and a current PhD student at Southern Seminary. I am the father of an energetic, slightly crazy, talkative, and hilarious little man, Carson Nolan. Thankfully, he has an incredible mom, my patient and truly kind wife, Stephanie. Expect my posts to reflect our parenting endeavor and to often be a little on the nerdy side.