Home » Pastor Peter » What are Your Non-Negotiables?

In our family and as parents, Ashley and I say that we come down pretty hard on three things for our kids. That they are (and remain):

Healthy. Safe. Clean.

That’s it.

If all else fails, these principles serve as a last resort for picking our battles and whether or not we want to get parentally crucified—which can happen multiple times in a single day with a 3 and 5 year old. For the most part, it works. Even though some days, it feels like we only get about one out of three.

This summer, we have been brainstorming and reading and dreaming as a Faith Formation team about what our principles are. What we go to the mat for. What our non-negotiables are.

Life and faith are all about those kinds of principles, what we are willing to stand for, and what isn’t worth the battle. And as families grow and change that can be a moving target.

Monty, Julie, and I have found some really great online resources (, taken a field trip to another local church experimenting with Children, Youth & Family (CYF) ministry, went to a conference on Cross-gen Worship, and have had lots of conversations with our families.

We really like these principles, from author and Milestones Ministry consultant, Rev. Dr. David Anderson:

The Five Principles of Faith Formation (David W. Anderson)

1. Faith if formed by the power of the Holy Spirit through personal, trusted relationships—often in our own homes.

2. The church is a living partnership between the ministry of the congregation and the ministry of the home.

3. Where Christ is present in faith, the home is church, too.

4. Faith is caught more than it is taught.

5. If we want Christian children and youth, we need Christian adults who practice faith with them.

These are our non-negotiables, what we think is worth planting our flag in for Lifelong Faith Formation.

As you play and dream this summer, think about what your families’ faithful non-negotiables are. Think about what you are willing to fight for and what needs to change in order to make that happen.

Healthy. Safe. Clean.

It’s a pretty good start. What else would you add?

Happy Summer,

Pastor Peter

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