Rituals in Your Church

Kara Powell | Aug 12, 2011

The more I interact with Rick Lawrence from Group magazine, the more my respect for him grows. At a recent Association of Youth Ministry Educators Conference, Rick gave out copies of a book called Shift by Brian Haynes. The strategy in the book is to identify seven milestones that every person growing in relationship with Christ experiences and celebrates. These milestones are:

  1. The birth of a baby
  2. Faith commitment
  3. Preparing for adolescence
  4. Commitment to purity
  5. Passage to adulthood
  6. High school graduation
  7. Life in Christ (i.e., prayer, Scripture, obedience)

In between these milestones, the church and the family works to develop specific and age-appropriate core competencies. These competencies are reinforced in both informal and formal ways by the family. The formal reinforcement happens through Faith Talks, which are times set aside on a regular basis for the family to talk about Scripture.

Brian Haynes church, which is the model for the book, also hosts parent conferences, parent seminars, and family celebrations in order to equip parents.

This is a very interesting model. I know another church in southern California that identifies a ritual every year and creates an intergenerational celebration or commemoration of that ritual one that not only involves the parents but also involves the overall church.

Regardless of the model, I am becoming a fan of these milestones or rituals. My church growing up had few of them, but my own church is now starting to talk about which core competencies we want our children and teenagers to know at what stages of life, and how we can have family and intergenerational celebrations of those skills.

Any other ways that youre incorporating milestones or rituals? Wed love to hear

Kara Powell

Dr. Kara Powell is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI), a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary, and Fuller's Chief of Leadership Formation. Named by Christianity Today as one of “50 Women You Should Know,” Kara serves as a Youth and Family Strategist for Orange, and also speaks regularly at parenting and leadership conferences. Kara is the author or coauthor of a number of books, including Growing Young, Growing With, The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family, Sticky Faith Curriculum, Can I Ask That?, Deep Justice Journeys, Deep Justice in a Broken World, Deep Ministry in a Shallow World, and the Good Sex Youth Ministry Curriculum. Kara lives with her husband Dave and their three children, Nathan, Krista, and Jessica, in Southern California.


More from this author

More From Us

Hello, WELCOME TO FYI
Join the community

Sign up for our email today and choose from one of our popular free downloads sent straight to your inbox. Plus, you’ll be the first to know about our sales, offers, and new releases.

Join the community

Sign up for our email today and choose from one of our popular free downloads. Plus, you’ll be the first to know about our sales, offers, and new releases.