One Home at a Time

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A visit to the welcoming, pristine church quickly reveals a large
fan base for the milestone strategy. There’s a group
gathered–people of all ages and all life stages–who can’t wait to
talk about their experiences.

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“The milestones have affected our family tremendously,” chimes in
one young father, who says he became a Christian only as an adult
after a turbulent childhood. He leans back in a black couch and
wraps his arm around his wife’s shoulders. “To me, the concept of
the milestones is that it’s important to mark key points in a
child’s development. When I learned about it, I thought, If I’d had
that done for me, things might’ve been different for me. The Legacy
Milestones provides structure for us as parents, and it’s
biblically based; it’s all Deuteronomy 6. And it helps us remember that
these transitions in life–we need to mark them and prepare for
them.”

“The milestones give a family a point to look at, a goal to
intentionally work toward,” agrees his wife. “It helps us be
intentional about what we pour into our kids. And, we as a couple
have learned to pray together for our children.”

“Milestones help you understand that your walk with God is a
process, a journey. You can’t microwave it; it’s not
instantaneous,” adds an older father in the group.

A Glance at the Map

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Undeniably, Kingsland has some remarkable things happening. For
starters, a staggering 93 percent of its parents say they capture
“God moments” as teaching opportunities with their children. And 72
percent celebrate the Legacy Milestones as they lead their children
spiritually. Thirty-five percent lead an intentional Faith Talk at
least weekly. These are amazing–and incredibly
encouraging–numbers. It’s a rare church that doesn’t dream of this
level of parent partnership, accountability, and involvement.

So how does all this happen? And how can your ministry learn from
Kingsland’s revolutionary approach to family ministry? We followed
the path to find answers.

Motivating Factors-Haynes, who
developed the Milestones with his generational team, says the
strategy was born out of his desire to redirect what he viewed as a
wrong path the church in general has taken.

“The driving motivation of equipping parents and grandparents to be
faith influencers in their children’s lives comes from the fact
that what we’ve been doing in church ministry for the past 20 years
or more hasn’t been producing a generation of kids who become
adults who walk with a biblical worldview,” says Haynes. “They
don’t make decisions about marriage differently than anyone else on
the face of the planet, they don’t make decisions about faith
differently, and they don’t seek God about the issues in their
lives. I see that the church has majored on events and programming,
and we then communicate that discipleship takes place inside
certain buildings, on certain days of the week. And so it becomes a
compartment of kids’ lives. What I want to do is get back into the
home and equip Mom and Dad or grandparents to pour into their kids
on a regular basis. In practice, the church somehow forgot that
along the way.”

“The great hope for our culture and the families and people living
in it is, of course, Jesus Christ,” says Haynes. “As pastors,
ministers, and Christian leaders, we believe this at our core.
Sadly, though, we’ve forgotten one thing. Jesus never said, ‘Bring
your kids to the church so the professionals can lead them
spiritually.’ The plan from the beginning has been for the church
and family to work together for the spiritual formation of the next
generation.”

Guiding Factors-Senior pastor Alex
Kennedy enthusiastically embraces the milestone strategy and the
goal behind it. He believes that the strategy is effective because
it’s simple, clear, positive, and a core value of the church.

“Our goal is to say to people walking the path: ‘We as a church are
going to do everything we can to equip you, resource you, help
you–we’re going to walk this path together.’ ” says Kennedy. “When
parents think, Hmm, the children’s ministry seems to be laying a
foundation for the youth, and the youth ministry seems to be laying
the foundation for the adults, then all of a sudden there’s a
light-bulb moment: We’re all in this together. When you can connect
all the dots in a simple format, good things happen. Life’s busy
and life is crazy. And so rather than being another weight on a
family, we want to be part of the solution that says, ‘We’re going
to keep this simple, but don’t miss the beauty of the simplicity.
It can change a life.’ “

     

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