Home of Wheaton Bible Church's Quarterly Magazine
by Vance Frusher
“Do you know who we invited to our baptism?” The two sisters were very excited as they greeted me. “We invited our aunt, our teacher, our neighbor, our grandma, and some friends from school. Altogether we’ve invited 53 people!”
“We hope they’ll all be there so they can hear about how Jesus saved us!” one of the sisters added. “We want to tell the whole world about Him!”
Recently the girls and their parents completed training at home using the materials we provide to families in preparation for children’s baptism. And, just as any parent, grandparent, or guardian would desire, as a result of what they learned, the girls understand the significance of what it means to be baptized—and their enthusiasm about taking this step shines on their faces!
This is the kind of excitement we are privileged to see in children and students who are taking key steps, like baptism, in their faith journeys. Watching that happen time and time again inspired those of us on the Children’s and Student Ministry teams to find ways to engage all our families in actively pursuing important steps of faith as our children are spiritually ready.
As we started mapping out the key steps, it became clear that each event was, in reality, a spiritual milestone in the life of a child, and for that reason, we are pleased to introduce what we call our Milestone Ministry.
We have identified a total of nine milestones—key moments in the lives of children that will serve as “landmarks” as they move along in their personal faith journeys. Each of these milestones is designed to engage not just the child but also the parents. It is our prayer that these events will be celebrated both within our families and within our church body in ways that will reflect the significance of the milestone and the age/stage of the child.
Our Milestone Ministry is a long-term investment in the lives of our children, and it is another manifestation of the central force that drives our mission: to make disciples. In fact, the success of this ministry will ultimately be seen in the next generation, as today’s children and students become parents themselves and lead their own children on this same spiritual journey—beginning the process all over again. This is the flesh-and-blood, real-life translation of “making disciples who make disciples.”
Our vision for the Milestone Ministry is that families would be equipped to raise up disciples in their homes who will then go forward and make disciples in the world around them—in a cycle that, we pray, will be repeated until Christ’s return.