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Engagement #5

We celebrate milestones in the lives of young people


Throughout the historical life of Israel, at times when the people of God have an encounter with God, they pause to build an altar to honor God’s movement in their lives. For instance, after Jacob has a life-altering experience of wrestling with God and receiving a new name, Jacob/Israel builds an altar in remembrance of what God has done in his life. Similarly, in many of Paul’s letters he refers to his faith life as a race. On every track, there are mile-markers (or milestones) that allow the runner to know how far along they are in their journey. The runner can pace him or herself, change speed based on remaining distance, and push on toward the end goal. Along the sidelines at mile markers, crowds of people gather to cheer on the runners as they race, providing energy and support to the runners. Combining these ideas—Israel’s use of altars as memory markers and Paul’s language of running the race—our community developed what we call “faith milestones.” These milestones act as a concrete map of hoped-for faith development that fuels parents’ and the church community’s involvement in the lives of kids. (Steve Johnson, “Sticky Faith” )


Effective and comprehensive pastoral ministry with young people recognizes that milestones in the lives of young people are to be celebrated.

Suggested Implementation

Methods for Evaluation

Within the same calendar year as you attempt to address this concern, delegate individuals, both young and old, to ask: