Faith Markers at Eastbrook Church give us, as a community, a means for recognizing and celebrating the spiritual development of our children. We know that children develop from infancy into young adults in predictable patterns. These patterns are God’s design and are inherent in humans. As a church community we need to recognize and respect the developmental stages of our children as we work to bring them to maturity in Christ.
The parents, together with the Eastbrook Church community and Sunday School teachers have the task of nurturing kids to maturity in Christ. A part of this task is making time to focus on the child’s cognitive and spiritual development and to challenge and encourage them in new steps of growth. As they take these steps we can mark the milestones of a child’s walk and celebrate them. As they grow older the choice to move forward in their Christian walk becomes more and more their own.
At Eastbrook our Faith Markers are specific points in a child’s life when they enter into a new phase of faith or develop to a new level in their faith. Each faith marker requires the cooperative effort of home and church and each faith marker incorporates some teaching time and some celebration time.
2 Timothy 3:15
Child Dedication is the first step in the process of raising children to be God-followers. Christian parents, living in the faith community promise before God to live life as kingdom people; praying, worshiping, reading scripture, and serving God. They promise to raise their children so that there is never a time they didn’t know the Lord. Child Dedications take place in the worship service 3 times a year, generally the third weekends of February, June, and October. A class is offered on Sunday the week before the dedication is held.
Child Dedication Registration Form
As children grow from infancy into preschool we celebrate their ability to participate in the church community as learners. Children who will turn by September 1 of each year are invited to a special event that introduces them to Sunday School. Sunday School is a place where children make friends with other children who are learning to love Jesus. Here they begin to feel how good it is to be in community with God’s people as they read bible stories, pray, and do activities to encourage a love for God. The special event is for the child and the parent and is held the Saturday before the first Sunday School class in Fall.
Children at about 4 years of age have an acute awareness of death and may even think about death many times a day. Their sensitivity to this topic makes this a good time to take about eternal life. Observant parents can look for opportunity to talk with their children about eternal life, especially during this stage of development. A special event is held in late spring for children and their parents that presents eternal life to the children and helps them to draw closer to the living God.
By 2nd grade, most kids grasp the differences between the spiritual world and the physical world. Because we want them to understand the reality of the spiritual world and to grow stronger in their faith, we encourage kids to deepen their friendship with God through prayer. Psalm 145:18 says, “The Lord is close to everyone who prays to Him, to all who truly pray to Him.”
For this reason, our 2nd graders work through a special unit on prayer throughout the month of January during second service Sunday School. This unit culminates with a special Prayer Retreat and celebration on Saturday, January 28, and the kids will have the opportunity to recite the Lord’s Prayer in weekend worship services.
Most children by the age of 10, unless they have a special need, are reading for comprehension. This means they can read the bible by themselves and in so doing listen to God. Learning to intentionally spend time with God alone is a milestone to celebrate. For 4th graders a six week unit on the value of God’s word is offered during Sunday School. During part of the class time, students spend time alone with God reading his word and reflecting on the meaning. Teachers guide students through this process building confidence in their ability to listen to God. The students also learn the scripture passage Psalm 119:9-18. They recite this passage one weekend in early spring during the worship services. A celebration of their growing ability to have God time is celebrated during that same weekend with a dessert reception after the Saturday service.
At twelve years of age students wrestle with many questions about faith. They begin to move from blindly accepting their parents’ faith to taking ownership of their faith. In the book of Luke, we read about Jesus, at twelve, sitting in the temple listening and asking questions. Asking questions is an important step in owning one’s faith. 6th graders are encouraged to ask tough questions and to investigate who God is as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In Sunday School Class at this grade students are taught Christian basics, which includes a deeper look at who God is. They are then taught about Communion and Baptism as a Christian responses to who God is. A part of their preparation for Communion and Baptism they are asked to write about who God is in their lives and share this testimony with others. Students who have made a commitment to follow Jesus and want to participate in Communion and Baptism are then given this opportunity the first weeks of June.
Church: 5353 N Green Bay Ave. | Milwaukee, WI 53209Office: 5385 N Green Bay Ave. | Milwaukee, WI 53209
414.228.5220 | (f) 414.228.5235