10+ Ideas for Kids’ Spiritual Milestones

Create opportunities for kids to stop and remember all that God has done for them!
5 min read

If you take the time to do a Google search for the word, “milestones” you will be inundated with a list of developmental checkoffs for children. From their first “coo” at two months old. To a high school student that should be capable of sorting fact from fiction.

And while all of these milestones have significance, as leaders and pastors we know the most important milestones to mark are those that have an eternal reward. The milestones that mark spiritual formation.

When children look back at the markers their church and parents have created for them, it becomes an opportunity to stop and remember all that God has done for them.

It is our privilege to partner with parents. Especially as they encourage their children to take these steps in their faith journeys.

Spiritual Milestones

Portrait-of-Pre-Teen-Girl-In-Her-Neighborhood
Image Credit: Laura Olivas/Moment/Getty Images

Spiritual milestones are those acts where children take a step in the process of spiritual formation. Steps children take as they are being transformed to the image of Jesus Christ.

As children grow spiritually, they will begin learning to discern God’s voice. They will desire to obey, wanting to follow the voice of the Holy Spirit.

It’s important to understand that spiritual formation in children is a process. Our role is to come alongside parents as they nurture their children’s faith. As children learn to allow the Holy Spirit to be their teacher, they will experience a deeper relationship with God and a life that overflows with God’s love and grace toward others.

What might faith development and spiritual milestones look like for children from birth and beyond?

Spiritual milestones can include but are not limited to:

  • Baby dedications or infant baptism
  • Making a personal decision to commit your life to Jesus Christ as your Savior
  • Baptism
  • Learning how to share your faith
  • Serving
  • Memorizing Scripture

Milestone Markers

Milestone markers celebrating these spiritual milestones in the life of a child becomes a perfect opportunity for ministry leaders to model the importance of spiritual growth to parents. But why markers? Why commemorate?

Throughout history, when the people of God had an encounter with God, they would build an altar to honor God’s presence in their lives.

Take Jacob for example. When he had a life-altering experience with God and God gave him a new name, Jacob—now Israel—built an altar to remember what God did in his life. “There he built an altar, and he called the place El Bethel, because it was there that God revealed himself to him when he was fleeing from his brother” (Genesis 35:7).

In 1 Samuel 7, we read about the prophet Samuel. He set up stones after Israel won a great victory against the Philistines. The stone, which he named Ebenezer, commemorated that victory, for “Thus far the LORD has helped us” (1 Samuel 7:12).

Whenever the Israelites would pass by the stone, they would remember how the LORD acted on their behalf.

Throughout history, when the people of God had an encounter with God, they would build an altar to honor God’s presence in their lives.

When children look back at their markers, it becomes an opportunity to stop and remember all that God has done for them. It brings them back to a time they felt close to God. And also reminds them of how important these faith steps were to their parents.

Tangible Reminders

mother-and-daughter-hugging
Image Credit: JGI/Tom Grill/Getty Images

Recently, I was unpacking some boxes and came across a simple certificate from the day I was dedicated to the Lord. It was so special to me. It was awesome to know my parents went to the effort of presenting me before their faith community and made a commitment to raising me in God’s ways.

I had never heard the story of that day and with both of my parents gone, the certificate was a beautiful reminder of the beginning of my faith journey. Tangible reminders serve as memories of something we might otherwise forget.

Ideas for You

Here is a list of various gifts and ideas for marking milestones:

  1. Dinner for families expecting a new baby is a great way to introduce the infant/baby rooms to expectant parents
  2. Certificates
  3. Framed blessing over the child
  4. Letter from the parents
  5. Framed life verse chosen by the parents
  6. Bibles for different stages – storybook Bibles, picture Bibles, beginners Bibles, The Action Bible, engraved full-text Bibles
  7. Devotionals and journals that can be for parents and kids to do together, or as they get older they can do independently
  8. Worship CD’s or playlists
  9. Jewelry
  10. Photographs from events – dedications, baptisms, etc.
  11. An engraved frame with the date
  12. Journals with records of what took place and when
  13. Share your story with children and encourage parents to do the same – for example, when you gave your life to Christ, when you were baptized, etc.

The Importance of Spiritual Life

In A Theology for Family Ministry by Dr. Leon Blanchette, he explains,

“Spiritual milestones serve the Christian in much the same way a scrapbook serves as a reminder of important moments in one’s life. Pictures and mementos of significant moments of life are recorded for future remembrance … There are key moments in the spiritual life of a child. These moments have the potential to change the trajectory of a child’s journey for a lifetime … As children participate in key biblical milestones, they create mementos that are placed in the spiritual scrapbook of their lives.”

Milestone markers do not need to be expensive, but they do need to be intentional. They should reflect the importance of the process of spiritual formation and encourage spiritual growth.

As we endeavor to partner with parents who desire spiritually healthy families, let us pave the way as we celebrate these milestones and plant seeds of faith that will later grow and flourish.

66 Short Bible Verses Perfect for Kids to Memorize cover

66 Short Bible Verses Perfect for Kids to Memorize

Memorized verses are the rails the Spirit’s instructions run on. How much track have we laid? Download this guide on Short Bible Verses. With 1 verse from every book, kids will learn to hide God’s Word in their hearts!
Free Guide
66 Short Bible Verses Perfect for Kids to Memorize cover

66 Short Bible Verses Perfect for Kids to Memorize

Memorized verses are the rails the Spirit’s instructions run on. How much track have we laid? Download this guide on Short Bible Verses. With 1 verse from every book, kids will learn to hide God’s Word in their hearts!
Free Guide
66 Short Bible Verses Perfect for Kids to Memorize cover

66 Short Bible Verses Perfect for Kids to Memorize

Memorized verses are the rails the Spirit’s instructions run on. How much track have we laid? Download this guide on Short Bible Verses. With 1 verse from every book, kids will learn to hide God’s Word in their hearts!
Free Guide
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  Updated on October 19, 2020

About the Author

  • Debbie has more than 30 years of experience working in children’s and family ministries. She is passionate about equipping parents to share God’s truth with their children in the natural rhythm of daily life. She is a southern California girl who transplanted to Austin, TX to be closer to her five grandchildren. She spends her free time perusing antique stores and flea markets for interior design treasures.

© 2020 David C Cook. All rights reserved.
© 2019 David C Cook. All rights reserved.
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