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One Home at a Time

Jennifer Hooks

In the din of confusion surrounding the question of effective family ministry, Brian Haynes has quietly found the way. Take a step on the path.

"When my 7-year-old decided to trust Jesus with her life," one earnest mother speaks up, "it was such a great--but everyday--event!"

Her unusual words give one pause: It seems odd to equate a child's salvation with the everyday. But as this mom continues, her words make sense: "Her decision was magnificent in our eyes--but it came during an ordinary conversation sitting at the dinner table. My husband was simply talking with her, and their conversation progressed so naturally because we'd already been doing daily talks, like taking a walk when it's raining and talking about God's creation or his creativeness. So I think it's great that this amazing event in her life came in the package of an ordinary conversation--which came from so many other ordinary conversations. Her decision wasn't a surprise to us. We knew what we were looking for. The Legacy Milestones gave us a guide."

Take a stroll through the rooms and hallways of Kingsland Baptist Church in Katy, Texas, and you'll quickly see evidence of the Legacy Milestones this excited mom is talking about. The Milestones are literally everywhere...inscribed in stone along the walls, woven into the carpet pattern, embedded in the church's mission statement, and carved into the hearts and minds of the congregation members. It's true--stop and ask just about any random churchgoer to explain the Milestones, and you'll get an earful. You'll hear about a model of family ministry that's remarkably effective. Come, look, and listen!

The Departure

For so many churches, the question of effective family ministry has been vexing: What really works? How do churches effectively connect with and equip parents? What does it take to create a sustainable family ministry that stands the test of time?

Churches everywhere have struggled with these questions, striving to follow the mandates of Deuteronomy 6, focusing on making parents their children's primary faith influencers, and working to create dynamic children's ministries that inspire love for God and a yearning for his Word. And yet so many churches have grown frustrated and confused after seasons of trial and error. There are a lot of great ideas out there about family minis-try...but few that actually stand the test of time, culture, and sustainability.

Kingsland, however, believes it's found the answer, an answer that's a true departure from the call for more programs and ministry overhauls so many churches have attempted. And they seem to be onto something. Kingsland's ministry to families is thriving, growing…and enduring. And best of all, parents are thrilled, in lock-step partnership with the ministry, shepherding their children and growing in faith right alongside their kids.

As associate pastor overseeing spiritual formation at Kingsland, Brian Haynes developed the Legacy Milestones with singular purpose: "The basic idea is to create a common path that integrates church and home for the process we call spiritual formation," explains Haynes, who earned a Doctor of Ministry for his work in family ministry and discipleship. "The milestone strategy is simple, easy, user-friendly. What we've really tried to do is just sync up church and home, so that what Mom and Dad are saying at home, how they're leading and training at home, is simply echoed at church. It's a very simple path of seven milestones that we use to chart spiritual development."

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