WHY: We believe God designed the family to be the primary disciple-making relationship. In other words, God gave parents the privilege of nurturing faith in the next generation. We also realize many of us now parenting, may not have been intentionally “discipled” by our own parents. Or, you may be a grandparent or guardian who wants to invest in the life of a child. That’s why the “Faith Path” was created, as a step-by-step plan to help you be intentional as you prepare for key faith milestones and foster spiritual disciplines in your child’s faith journey.
WHAT: The Faith Path strategy is intended to help you develop a clear plan to intentionally point your child toward Christ in an age appropriate manner. We hope that you are naturally exposing your child to many of these faith practices from an early age. The Faith Path recommends focusing on particular practices or preparing for certain milestones at specific ages and stages. We will provide you with free “kits” that include training, resources and ideas to help you guide your child along the path.
WHEN: You can start today regardless of your child’s age or stage of development. Don’t worry if you miss a step or if you start the process with an older child. You can always go back and emphasize earlier steps. We also encourage you to reinforce these practices as your child matures rather than view them as a one-time emphasis. You’ll find recommended resources and ideas for beginning each step in your child’s life and continuing as he or sure matures.
Here is a brief visual overview of the entire “Faith Path”:
FAITH PATH STEPS: The Faith Path suggests a focus of specific practices and milestones at certain ages. However, you know your child best and can determine the most appropriate time to emphasize each step.
(CLICK LINK TO CONNECT WITH “KIT” FOR EACH)
Parent Dedication (Recommended focus: Birth – 2 years): Make a commitment to raise your child in a Christ-centered home.
Blessing (Recommended focus: Ages 3+): Establish the practice of praying for and giving a blessing to your child on a routine basis.
Family Time (Recommended focus: Ages 4+): Establish the practice of connecting as a family while passing spiritual truths to your child.
Prepare to Lead Your Child to Christ (Age will vary: kit provided at Age 5+): Learn how to lead your child to Christ. Although it may be several years before your child expresses an interest in becoming a Christian, now is the time for you to prepare for those discussions.
Prayer (Recommended focus: Ages 6+): Teach your child about prayer and establish the practice of praying as a family.
Bible (Recommended focus: Ages 7+): Teach your child about God’s Word and establish the practice of reading and memorizing scripture as a family.
Worship (Recommended focus: Ages 8+): Establish the practice of adoring God personally, at home, at church, and as a lifestyle.
Giving & Serving (Recommended focus: Ages 9+): Establish the practice of giving and serving others for God’s glory.
Preparing for Adolescence (Recommended focus: Ages 11+): Discuss the changes and challenges of puberty with your child.
Purity (Recommended focus: Ages 13+): Prepare and challenge your child to cherish and commit to purity.
Rite of Passage (Recommended focus: Ages 16+) Celebrate and give your child a vision for the future as an emerging adult.
Launch (Recommended focus: Ages 18+) Coach your child to move toward college and/or career and adult independence.
FAITH DECISION: SALVATION & BAPTISM – (Age will vary): When your child trusts Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, create a time of celebration and guide your child deeper into saving relationship & response to Jesus. We understand the draw of “Believers’ Baptism”, but also affirm the baptism of infants as a biblical response to a home centered on Jesus together.
Have you “completed” the Faith Path above? Already launched others into their adult journeys of faith? Here’s your next step:
Your role as parent, grandparent, supporting, encouraging, loving, praying, and being a source of Christ-like welcome/hospitality will continue to be a HUGE part of developing the faith of other generations. Not only your children, but all of those who are coming after you. Want a tangible way to get involved? Ask another family if you might become part of the “Sticky Faith Web” for their student!!!