Milestone #1: Parent & Baby Dedication
New Christian parents desire to raise their children to follow Jesus Christ. When they are infants, it is difficult to imagine sitting down with them and teaching them and training them in the things of God. You are more concerned about keeping them fed, making sure they sleep, and making sure you get some sleep, too! However, parenting begins the day your son or daughter is born.
As your children grow, we want to come beside you and equip you and support you in raising your children. Therefore, the first milestone in your family’s life together is a Parent and Baby Dedication. Our church wants to celebrate with you as new parents who will be responsible for raising the next generation in the faith. We will do this by using a portion of our worship service to commission you as parents who will work hard to teach and train your children to follow Jesus.
Before this church celebration, we invite you to join us for a Parent and Baby Dedication Orientation. This will be a time for you to gather with Jeff Spry, our Pastor and Carrie Allen, our Director of Early Childhood Ministries. During this orientation our goal is to reinforce the Biblical standard that parents are called to be the primary faith influences in their children’s lives. We will discuss God’s design for parenting and how Western Avenue Baptist Church plans to support you and equip you as you disciple your children.
On a Sunday Morning, the church will celebrate with you as parents who are dedicated to raising your children to love and follow Jesus. The church will stand in solidarity with you, promising to commit themselves to partner with you and hold you accountable to your calling. We will bring you onto the platform and pray for you as a church family.
Join a Parent and Baby Dedication Orientation and sign up for a Dedication Service.
Parent & Baby Dedication Form
Milestone #2: Salvation & Baptism
Talking to your children about the Gospel can be hard. Maybe it is because you do not know what to say. Maybe it is because you do not feel qualified and you think that only pastors and ministers can talk to your children about such things. Think of the privilege that God has given you to teach your children about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Think of the joy of leading your own son or daughter to faith in Christ.
In our Avenue Kids ministry we will be discussing Jesus, faith, the Bible, sin, repentance, and salvation. As we talk about these things on Sundays and Wednesdays, we want to provide you with resources to have Gospel conversations with your children at an early age. We want you to feel equipped to answer your children’s questions about Jesus, the Bible, and faith. We want you to give guidance to your children when they make professions of faith. We want you to be able to explain why people are getting dunked in water on Sunday mornings. If your child has questions about baptism, download Talking With Your Child About Baptism as a helpful guide for your conversation.
When your child has made a public profession of faith, we would love to walk them through a Baptism class. Here we will reinforce what baptism means, see firsthand where the baptism will take place, and discuss their personal testimony.
On a Sunday morning, your child will be baptized in one of the two worship services. This is a part of their public declaration of faith in Jesus Christ. Baptismal services are a time of great celebration for families and for the church.
We encourage you to celebrate this special time as a family. Plan a special “Spiritual Birthday Party,” or a special time that will be memorable for your child and for you as a family.
Contact our pastor, Dr. Jeff Spry, to talk about baptism.
Milestone #3: Entering Adolescence
Transitioning from childhood to adolescence is a big step in life. As your child prepares for the Youth Ministry, we want to provide a time that helps you and them with the transition.
In early adolescence, students begin to wrestle with identity. For this reason, we think it is important for them to understand who they are in Christ. It is important for you and your child to discuss how they belong to God and to talk about who they are in Christ. A strong sense of identity rooted in Christ and in the Scripture will help them see and understand the importance of being in community with God and others. It will also train them that all of their actions flow out of their identity in Christ.
Making the jump from Avenue Kids to the Youth Ministry is a huge time in most student’s and parent’s lives. The Sixth Grade Orientation is a great time to get introduced to the Youth Ministry at Western Avenue.
We encourage you to get away with your son or daughter for a day, a weekend, or however long you can. The purpose of this trip is to facilitate a fun weekend between a father and son or mother and daughter or whatever your family structure allows.
Connect with your child relationally around something enjoyable. Use time to talk about specific issues such as physical changes, puberty, emotions, and the importance of making decisions that honor God. Conversations are made easier on these trips if you have been laying the ground work through regular Family Worship and Faith Talks with your kids.
Contact Mark Collins, our Minister of Youth, to sign up for a Sixth Grade Orientation or ideas for a Passage Trip.
Milestone #4: First Mission Trip
At the core of following Jesus is the Great Commission. What a joy and a blessing it is to take the good news of Jesus Christ into all the world. As a church, we are dedicated to loving God and loving people. The most loving thing we can do for someone is to tell them about Jesus.
While you are training your children to live on this mission every day, we understand there will come a time when you will want to take them on their first mission trip. This might be a local, domestic, or foreign mission trip.
As you prepare for your first mission trip, please let us know. We want to be able to pray for you and commission you in a special way as you head out with your team.
This may be a local mission trip, domestic trip, foreign trip, youth mission trip, or a mission trip you take as a family. We want to help support you as you go and take your child or student with you
Contact the office for ideas, resources, and commissioning.
Milestone #5: Graduation
Directing your child through the teenage years and into adulthood is a significant milestone. Our desire is to see you guide your children into taking responsibilities associated with becoming a man or woman of God. Our goal is to encourage you and walk with you and your children as they grow from teenagers into adults.
As a church we celebrate the great accomplishment of a child graduating from High School. We also see this as a time to commission them as missionaries who are launching out into the world.
Create a memorable time for you and your child as you clearly delineated their passage from childhood into adulthood.
Contact Mark Collins, our Minister of Youth, for resources for a Passage Ceremony.