What do we believe about nurturing faith?

I was very heartened that on a day tailor made for golf and other outdoor activities that a couple hundred administrators and church leaders sat together and discussed what they believed about the faith nurture of youth. I am speaking of the recent July CSI convention held in Michigan at Boyne Mountain and the work done on the Covenetwork Manifesto document. We sat together in table groups of 8-10 and worked on the “Whereas” and “Therefore” statements, suggesting revisions. After a time of discussion, we merged our comments and then 8 groups reported out their suggestions. Taking into account all of the suggestions made by the convention attendees and doing some wordsmithing we present the final document below:

A Covenetwork Manifesto

Covenetwork – relationships that work between home, church,
and school, term coined by Miller in The Millennium Matrix

Manifesto – public declaration of policy and aims, declaration, platform

  • We value all of our youth as image bearers of God and uniquely designed for Kingdom purposes,
  • We desire to nurture a personal faith walk with Jesus Christ in youth,
  • We affirm that Scripture mandates nurturing faith in youth,
  • We believe that youth is a critical time for faith development,
  • We recognize that current realities in culture and institutions (government, business, media, etc. and sometimes in family, school, and church) mitigate against faith development,
  • We believe that the family fosters initial faith development and that parents, church, and school each have unique and complementary roles to play in the maturation of that faith,
  • We reject the concept that the head (worldview), heart (values, beliefs, attitudes), and hands (decisions, actions, behaviors) of each child can fully develop independent of each other, and we encourage methods that engage youth in a continuous, consistent, and coherent manner,
  • We believe that the importance of the kingdom of God requires that home, church, and school work in concert on faith nurture,
  • We believe that relationships are foundational to faith nurture,
  • We believe that adults who engage with youth over extended periods of time have a significant impact on their spiritual formation,
  • We affirm that young people need the desire, ability, and opportunity to articulate what they believe,
  • We believe that faith nurture encompasses the individual and all of creation.


  • We commit to working together around the faith nurture of our youth in order to complement each other and maximize effectiveness,
  • We commit to investing time, attention, and resources toward the faith formation of youth,
  • We will strive to maintain healthy dialogue with our faith nurture partners,
  • We will seek to explore best ways to communicate, collaborate, or co-plan,
  • We will encourage the development of spiritual disciplines in our youth,
  • We commit to knowing our youth at a personal level, knowing them at a developmental level, and understanding their changing cultural context through better communication between church and school,
  • We will seek the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit for direction and leading as we nurture faith development in our youth,
  • We will provide learning experiences that will develop youth engagement in cultural redemption and reconciliation,
  • We commit to model and encourage Christian discernment and lifestyle,
  • We commit to pray faithfully for our youth.

The intention of this document is to promote dialogue between those responsible for the nurture of the faith of our youth. What are ways you could use this document in your setting to help focus on faith nurture? Please take a moment to report back how you are using this document to engage others in this dialogue – we will report this information in upcoming blog posts along with looking at parts 2 and 3 of the Covenetwork Manifesto.


1 Comment

Filed under encouraging the heart, image of God, kids/culture, Member Community Center

One response to “What do we believe about nurturing faith?

  1. Thanks for posting the Covenetwork Manifesto. One of the lines that caught my eye is “We will provide learning experiences that will develop youth engagement in cultural redemption and reconciliation.” How can we do this? What does this look like?

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