Rituals in Your Church
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:
- The birth of a baby
- Faith commitment
- Preparing for adolescence
- Commitment to purity
- Passage to adulthood
- High school graduation
- 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
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