We believe that God has uniquely designed the church and home to work together to see the Next Generation grow in spiritual maturity. God has intentionally and specifically created parents to be their children's primary disciplers. Our prayer and hope for the next generation is that they will live radically transformed lives shaped by the gospel and rooted in a firm faith in Jesus.

Equipping the generations means that as you and I grow, we lead the next generation spiritually. Leading begins at home with family. If the church and family are to work together to equip the generations, we need a common path to walk on. We call this path Next Generation Milestones.

Everything we do as a church is designed to help people mature spiritually. Everything you do as a parent - from leading Faith Talks, capturing God Moments, and celebrating Milestones - helps your children on their journey of following Jesus.

Plan Your Path

As you get started, determine what Milestones your children are heading toward in their spiritual development.

Many of the Milestones are tied to a celebration. Some of these celebrations occur at the church such as Family Dedication (Milestone 1). Other celebrations are done just with your family, like the road trip (Milestone 3). Celebrate Milestones when they are reached and feel free to be creative and add your own family's twist to the celebrations. Then move forward to the next Milestone.

Finally, make it a priority to set intentional time each week to invest in your children. We call these intentional times throughout the week "Faith Talks". Faith Talks will look different for each family in the content used, time spent, and frequency throughout the week.

Check out the resources available to you at the Family Resource Center at First Baptist Mansfield for Milestones and Faith Talks.

Family Dedication

Understanding your role as the primary disciple-maker for your family while developing healthy routines and spiritual rhythms.

The first step on the Next Generation pathway is Family Dedication. This ceremony normally occurs, but is not limited to, parents who have children between birth and four years of age.

Resources and learning opportunities are provided for parents desiring to dedicate themselves and their child(ren) to the Lord. We recognize this milestone as an important starting place for many families in the context of the local church. During the Family Dedication, First Baptist Mansfield commits to partner with parents in the faith development of their children.

Faith Foundation

Guiding your child to know, love, and worship Jesus for the rest of their lives.

An important milestone in the life of every person is salvation and baptism, what we call our Faith Foundation. While the day of salvation is unique in every believer, we find that a decision point is often reached between the ages of 6 and 12 for the child growing up in a Christian home and in the context of a local church

Throughout Milestones #1 and #2, we partner with and equip parents to lead their kids toward a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, which leads towards salvation. Within these milestones, we also strive to help equip parents to teach their children about the importance of worship. We were created to worship God and our greatest joy comes from honoring and worshipping God through our words and actions. Additionally, a Bible is presented to children as they transition into the corporate worship service.

To make this milestone memorable and special, families can include a Spiritual Birthday which focuses on the child's date of salvation and a family celebration at, and following, the child's baptism event. Parents are encouraged to invite family, friends, and those who spiritually influence the child.

Preparing for Adolescence

Preparing your child to embrace their identity in Christ as a teenager.

It is so important to help children prepare spiritually, emotionally, and physically for adolescence. These 'bridging' years from childhood to adolescence require many significant and intentional conversations around identity, spiritual disciplines, and owning one's Biblical worldview. 

Our prayer is that you would be equipped as parents to prepare your children to enter the teen years and be unafraid of these intentional conversations.

To celebrate the third milestone, we encourage parents to take their preteen on an overnight or weekend road trip to spend intentional time reinforcing important conversations from the last two years.

Pure Life

Leading your teenager to live a lifetime of Biblical purity

During Junior High, it becomes glaringly obvious that we must address 'SEX' from a biblical perspective.  Our student ministry partners with parents by teaching students the importance of accountability, healthy friendships, and biblical standards for purity. At the same time, we think it is much more important for students to learn these principles from their parents. We coach parents to focus on these issues in faith talks and intentional conversations before, and throughout the middle school years.

Our desire through Pure Life is to equip you as a parent, to prepare your teenagers to navigate through their early adolescent years.

Rite of Passage

Equipping your teen biblically to become the man or woman that God intends, as they root their identity in Jesus.

The passing of a teenager into adulthood is a significant event. Biblically, we must equip our children to become men and women of God. Age 16 is a significant time of freedom in our culture. Rite of Passage is not about keys to the car; instead, it is about becoming a man or woman of God. We teach parents to host a very special "Rite of Passage" ceremony as the student enters his or her 16th year of life.

Within this Milestone, we will equip parents to disciple their freshmen and sophomore students for adulthood. Issues such as spiritual gifts, the roles of men and women, spiritual disciplines, service in the church, dealing with failure, and other Biblical issues will be explored both in your family devotion and on the church campus.

Launching Out

Helping your teenager take ownership of their faith as they live for, abide in, and serve Jesus for the rest of their life.

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. Issues such as basic apologetics, dating and marriage, determining the will of God, life skills for living away from home, and other biblical issues should be explored in family devotions and will be discussed through church ministries.

These important years of discipleship are crucial as they help to shape the faith of our children as they move toward independence. Our prayer is that every student that attends First Baptist Mansfield will learn what it means to love and follow Jesus throughout their childhood, into adulthood, for all of life.