In 2009, Brian Haynes came out with his book, Shift, which outlined for ministry leaders a strategy for capitalizing on certain milestones in life to partner with parents in passing faith to their children. In fact, I was part of a blog tour in October 2009 for the book. If you haven’t checked out Shift and are curious, you can check out my review of Shift here. You can also pick up some Shift resources here.
Well, Brian has come out with a complementary book entitled Legacy Path. Legacy Path is written for parents and outlines Biblical principles pointing to the importance of parents passing on faith to their children, the necessity of parents cultivating their own faith, and strategies for passing on faith that are connected to certain life milestones.
Legacy Path is an easy read. I completed it in a couple of hours. It’s brevity makes it a book that would be easy for busy parents to pick up and get through. Don’t be fooled, though, by it’s length. Legacy Path is packed with solid material that is hugely practical. Brian gives parents strategies they can use or adapt to intentionally pass on the baton of faith to their children. I recommend this book for new and veteran parents alike. I also recommend that churches consider Legacy Path as a resource they can provide to families.
I was given the opportunity to ask Brian a few questions about Legacy Path and the Legacy Milestones. Following is my interview with Brian:
Kidmin and Culture (KAC): What do you say to a parent who reads Legacy Path and says, “Our family life is so busy, I just don’t see doing something like this as realistic. Does that make me a bad parent? What are some baby steps I can do to pass on faith to my child?”
Brian: “Most parents feel like their life is really busy, making it a struggle to prioritize the faith training of their child. That does not make them a bad parent. It does mean that, if they are Christ-followers, they should wrestle with how to rearrange life to have time to be intentional in the faith development of their children as they sit at home, walk along the road, lie down, and get up.
“That being said there are some great ways to ease into being intentional spiritual parents. Just praying with your kids before bed is a great way for them to hear your heart for God and for them as your children. Reading one verse in the morning, in the car on the way to wherever, or at night before bed is an easy way to bring the Scripture home. A great simple step is to go to church together consistently for worship, Bible Study, and community.”
KAC: There are some families who are already passing on the faith in their own way. Do those families need to readjust what they are doing to conform to what is outlined in Legacy Path? Are there other ways to pass on faith that are different than those in Legacy Path?
Brian: “The Legacy Path is a plan based on biblical principles. There are many plans out there that are great and will work very well. If a family already has a plan that is working I would say stick with that. If anything in my book helps, adds to, or allows you to tweak your plan, then by all means go for it. I don’t have the only plan . . . just a plan. I heard someone say once, “If I have a plan and you don’t have a plan then I like my plan better than your plan.” If you have a plan, work it. But if you don’t have a plan, I think The Legacy Path is a relatively simple way to train our children with intentionality. ”
KAC: While the principles you lay out in this book are meant for all types of families, it seems that much of what is written is targeted at more traditional families with a father who works and a mother who stays at home with the kids. How can these principles apply to non-traditional families?
Brian: “I am writing from the perspective of a biblical worldview to an audience of Christ-followers in all stages of their faith. On the subject of faith training, it’s easy for ministry leaders to sometimes get hung up on differences between traditional and non-traditional families. But these principles are not necessarily limited to only work for a family with a husband, wife, 2.2 kids, and a dog. The truth is the principles will work in any family with an adult committed to Christ. That’s the key.
“Every family has unique issues and obstacles to overcome. Biblical principles super-cede all of those obstacles. That does not mean it is easy for a single mom or dad to go it alone at home. It doesn’t mean a blended family won’t have issues. It doesn’t mean a traditional family will have it easy. Truthfully, faith training our children from any perspective is a struggle, but a battle worth fighting. I have seen these principles work in any family where an adult is committed to Christ and willing to make an effort.”
KAC: How do the strategies in Legacy Path translate across ethnocultural lines?
Brian: “I think the building blocks of the strategy apply across ethnocultural lines. A faith talk can happen in any culture. God moments happen in any culture. Milestones happen in any culture. Many of the illustrations and ideas I give likely have a suburban to urban middle-class flare because that’s my experience. Adaptability is the key here. Families can decide how they will practice the principles of The Legacy Path. Houston is an increasingly diverse city. Even just in our city I see the milestones play out different ways in different families based on cultural and socio-economic realities. One example of this is the use of the Quinceanera as the rite of passage ceremony for girls. With such a large Latin population in our city, we see Christians from that culture adapt Milestone 5 in a way that fits their culture. Since parents are the primary faith trainers, they have the responsibility and freedom to adapt the strategies in ways that make sense for their particular culture. ”
KAC: What is the biggest take-away from Legacy Path?
Brian: “The biggest take-away is that every parent is a primary faith trainer and is building a legacy whether they intend to or not. The only difference is whether it’s positive or negative. We can be intentional about building a legacy of faith, but the path to legacy is filled with sacrifice. ”
KAC: What is your vision for this book? How do you see it impacting families and culture?
Brian: “My prayer for the book is two fold. First, that parents would find this to be a simple road map to help them know where to step next in the journey of spiritual parenting. I also hope that ministry leaders who have adopted a form of milestones in their church after reading my first book, SHIFT, will now have a simple tool to hand to parents to help them understand their role as intentional faith trainers. The book is written so that ministry leaders can lead small groups of parents through the book. There are discussion questions at the end of each chapter to springboard conversation. I pray that God uses this to bring glory to His name throughout the generations.“
You can find Legacy Path at online retailers like Amazon. You can also check out other stops on the Legacy Path book blog tour here. If you are interested in finding out more about the Legacy Milestones, you can check out the Legacy Milestones website as well as follow Brian Haynes on his blog.[Disclaimer: I received a complimentary electronic copy of Legacy Path for review purposes. This did not bias my review either positively or negatively. The interview questions were my own and not provided to me by the author, publisher or anyone else.]