There are three important and interdependent steps that make up the Mile Marker process:
We believe that real, lasting spiritual growth begins at home. While children only have, on average, 40 hours a year to interact with the church, parents have approximately 3,000 hours to talk, play, and prioritize with their kids. Establishing a God-given rhythm, whether at home or driving to school, going to bed or getting up, can help your child take their next step in their faith journey with Jesus.
We have learned that parents are desperate for three things: 1) Relationships with other parents facing similar challenges, 2) Wisdom from those who have traveled the same road, 3) and a plan for the next parenting season. SMC offers Parenting Summits periodically throughout the year to help families slow down and explore their next Mile Marker(s).
One of the benefits of marking the miles of a child’s faith journey is being able to stop and celebrate! Family/Church celebrations are memorable experiences that can serve as a faith anchor for the whole family. Each Mile Marker has its own event(s) where the family and the church join together to affirm, encourage and rejoice over the next step in a child/young adult's faith journey.
Click on the links below to read more about each individual mile marker:
Mile Marker 1: Child Dedication/Baptism
- The Mile Marker where parents present themselves and their baby to God. It is designed to prepare new parents as they embrace their role as the primary spiritual leader in their child’s life. It will also walk parents through what the ceremony of child dedication or baptism is all about and why it matters in the life of their family.
- Ages: Birth-5
- Summit: child dedication, parent as a spiritual leader, preparing for the faith journey.
- Celebration: Child Dedication Ceremony during Sunday services.
Mile Marker 2: My First Bible
- The Mile Marker where families learn to establish "rhythm" and "roots." It teaches parents how to build a rhythm for their family devotional time in the preschool/elementary years. It also focuses on how to help families grow deep roots in scripture that will become the foundation for the family as the child grows.
- Ages: Current or rising Kindergartners (and their families)
- Summit: Rhythm and Roots Parenting
- Celebration: Bible FX, an interactive family experience designed to get your child excited about the Bible.
Mile Marker 3: Sex & Media
- The Mile Marker when parents have “the talk” with their kids about sex and media choices. This summit is designed to help parents feel confident and equipped to discuss sexual topics with their kids. It also gives practical guidance on media choices in the home and how to keep their kids safe in a highly connected world.
- Ages: Parents only of 5th-6th Grade students
- Summit: Topics on preparing for adolescence include talking to my child about sex, media & teen culture.
- Celebration: Family purity commitment
Mile Marker 4: Faith Commitment
- The Mile Marker where a child chooses to follow Christ. This summit precedes baptism and is designed to help parents fully understand the gospel and lead their child to faith. It also helps parents know when their child is ready to make a faith commitment and be baptized.
- Ages: Parents of Ages 7 and up
- Summit: How to lead your child to Christ, Is my child ready?, God's plan of salvation, Baptism & Communion.
- Celebration: Lake Baptism, the last Sunday in August.
Mile Marker 5: Mission Trip
- The Mile Marker when a teenager embraces the mission of SMC to make Jesus famous around the world. It is designed to help teens and parents embrace The Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20) and introduces them to the work God is doing around the world. It also answers many of the questions about upcoming trips.
- Ages: Parents and teens together, 8th-12th grade
- Summit: Global Missions, The Great Commission, The value of short term mission trips.
- Celebration: Mission trip blessing.
Mile Marker 6: High School Graduation
- The Mile Marker when a teenager launches from High School. It is designed to assist parents and their teens in preparing for the next season in two areas:
- 1. The College Application Process: There are six core components that are essential in the College Application Process. We will address each of these individually and give helpful hints on how to stand out in the competitive market of the admissions process
- 2. Faith after High School: Many students find it challenging to keep their walk with Christ vibrant after High School. How do I create and discover a new faith community? How do I discover God’s will for my life? What about the unique challenges that college life will bring?
- Ages: Parents of High School Students (10th-12th grade)
- Summit: Preparing for college, faith after High School
- Celebration: The blessing for Seniors, every May.
At SMC we believe that the Family & the Church works best together to make Jesus famous and help the next generation become more like Him. We invite you to see SMC as a faith partner, a resource, and your child’s (second) biggest fan. Your next step might be to consider the next Mile Marker your child is approaching, and look for the next Parenting Summit & Celebration to get started!
Upcoming Mile Marker events