Our church is still very new to the whole milestone concept. We are planning on adding some milestone traditions in the future in the areas of dedications and baptisms. Right now one of the ways we best partner with parents is by being very intentional during school transitions.
What I love about the milestone model is it seeks to connect parents/kids/church during times when parents are most open to advice, direction and guidance. One of the those windows for a family is when their kids enter Kindergarten and when they enter Jr. High.
When kids are heading into Kindergarten and Jr. High they are going though lots of transitions so we try to work with the parents on transitioning them at church. We talk with the parents of the kids affected and give them our recommendation but ultimately let them know that they are the parents and know their kids better than us. Most kids transition fine but for those kids who are struggling at school and may not be as mature as their classmates it really helps them stay connected. Before we stared doing this we had a huge drop off rate of kids entering and lots of kids leaving kids ministry and not going to Youth group. After moving to this policy we saw our retention rate reach 70%-80%.
The fact that we are thinking about and express concern for their kids during a very difficult time helps parents know that when we say we want to partner with them we mean business.