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 cannot handle a door being 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 essential 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 important 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 together:
- 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 we encourage any families with young kiddos to join us for our foundational milestone Dedicate, which will occur on Sunday, June 17th, during our morning worship services. In order to take part in the Dedicate Event, we do require that you attend the class that will occur on June 3rd at 12:30pm. In this class, we will discuss as parents and learn together the calling that God has placed on our lives to raise up our kids in the Lord. We will spend our time being challenged together to pray, teach, and discipline our kids for their good and for the glory of God. All the while, we will remind ourselves that we are not alone, for we can cling to the promises of God and walk with the people of God. Finally, and arguably most important, we are going to be giving out incredible resources to help you and your families kick off this journey of parenting well.
If you want to join us, you can sign up online at: www.myrpchurch.org/dedicate
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.