God's strategy for reaching the next generation is the family. We desire to trust His plan. (Deuteronomy 6, Psalm 78, Ephesians 6). As a result we want to do two things:

1. We want to tweak our current programs to celebrate God's strategy. We will be careful not to neglect the kids from non-Christian families, but we will continually point people toward God's design.

2. We want to articulate a realistic plan for family discipleship. After a couple years of conversation and reading, it became apparent that most parents want to disciple their kids. However, most have not been taught how that could look in their family. At Grace, we hope every family will do three things. 1) Lead a Weekly Faith Talk. 2) Capture Discipleship Moments. 3) Understand and Celebrate Life Stages. 


A Faith Talk is when your whole family is in one place, you read something from the Bible, and you discusses how that applies to your lives. This can be done at home, in a park, in the car, or over lunch. This can involve your kids' materials from AWANA, the Sunday sermon, a DVD, or a passage that has been laid on your heart. It can be right after dinner, before nap time, during family game night, or on the way to a baseball game. Just make sure you are all there, you open the Bible, and you discuss how to apply it.

We recommend that every family do this once a week. In fact, we recommend that you find a specific time and day. If so, this will become a part of your weekly rhythm. If you would like a list of Faith Talk samples and resources click here.


A discipleship moment shows up during "normal" life.

1. Your two year old disobeys for the 50th time. Instead of simply disciplining the child, you say, "Do you know that the Bible says 'obey your parents'? My job is to protect you, but for me to do that you need to obey me. I still need to discipline you, but I wanted you to know why."

2. You're are driving in the car and your 9 year old says, "What does that man's sign say?" As you look it says, "Hungry. Need food." Instead of continuing to drive, you pull over and ask your child what they think you should do. You might have a conversation about the dangers of handing out money, but you also have a conversation about how God wants us to be generous. This takes ten extra minutes (and maybe a run through the drive through) but your child never forgets it.

3. Your teenager asks if you ever had a boyfriend (or girlfriend) when you were their age. Instead of a simple answer, you discuss some details about it. You're open with them about the pro's and con's of the situation. And, when they say, “Mom, you dated, so why can’t I?”, you ask them if they think it was a healthy decision. If neither of you have this answer, you make it a topic for your next Family Faith Talk.


Stage 1: Creating A Culture Of Discipleship (0-5 years old)

Description: This stage is all about the parents. If you build your family's rhythms, rules, and schedules around a culture of discipleship, they will think it's normal.

Core Competencies: Basic Bible Stories, the Parent is the Primary Faith Trainer

Recommended Celebration: Parent/Baby Dedication

Next Training Workshop: TBD

Stage 2: Salvation and Baptism (4-12 years old though may vary)

Description: Every parent should take seriously the call to evangelize their own Children. Somewhere during this stage, a child gains the ability to think rationally and respond to Jesus' offer of salvation.

Core Competencies: Jesus, Faith/Belief, Biblical Truth, Personal Sin, Repentance, Salvation, Baptism

Recommended Celebration: Baptism

Next Training Workshop: TBD

Stage 3: Preparing for Adolecence (7-11 years old)

Description: It is so important to help children prepare spiritually, emotionally, and physically for adolescence. This preparation should start a couple years before puberty so that the child is not left "guessing" when things start to change.

Core Competencies: Identity in Christ, Spiritual Growth, Spiritual Disciplines

Recommended Celebration: Road Trip

Next Training Workshop: TBD

Stage 4: Purity and Sexuality (11-14 years old)

Description: In Junior High, it becomes obvious that we must address "SEX" from a biblical perspective. Although there are some other things that are key to a Junior Higher's life, this is the biggest.

Core Competencies: Biblical Purity, Healthy Relationships, Identity in Christ, Biblical Sex

Recommended Celebration: Purity Ring Celebration

Next Training Workshop: TBD

Stage 5: Rite of Passage (14-17 years old)

Description: The passing of a child into adulthood is a significant event. Biblically, we must equip our children to become men and women of God. Many families choose to make 16 years old the big year for this rite of passage.

Core Competencies: Roles of Men and Women, Spiritual Gifts and Service, Understanding Doctrine

Recommended Celebration: Rite of Passage Ceremony

Next Training Workshop: TBD

Stage 6: High School Graduation (17-18 years old)

Description: Between the ages of 16 and 18, parents must help their students develop the practical and spiritual skills to leave home. This can be a very healthy time in the family journey if parents continue to keep the lines of communication open with their students.

Core Competencies: Apologetics, Dating/Marriage, God's Plan for Me, Person of Influence, Life Skills.

Recommended Celebration: Written Blessing

Next Training Workshop: TBD

Stage 7: Marriage

Description: The time when a son or daughter leaves their home and cleaves to another.

Core Competencies: The importance of being equally yoked. An understanding of what it looks like to be a godly spouse.

Recommended Celebration:  Wedding Ceremony

Next Training Workshop: TBD

Family Discipleship Resources

  • The Legacy Path by Brian Haynes

    Discover Intentional Spiritual Parenting This is our main "textbook" for our family discipleship plan. It's an easy read that explains Family Faith Talks, Discipleship Moments, and Life Stages. We hope everyone at Grace has a copy.

  • Legacy Milestones

    Bay Area First Baptist Church (League City, TX) and their Pastor, Brian Haynes, served as inspiration for our family discipleship philosophy. This is their website summarizing their milestones. They do things a little different, but it might be a good resource for you to browse.