Four Keys for Practicing Faith

Four Key Faith Practices for Living One’s Baptism

The common thread that nurtures faith formation within one’s life journey are the Four Key Faith Practices. These essential faith practices articulate a foundational spirituality that shapes the work of congregations and the lives of Christians. Faith is formed through relationships, and those relationships engage in fundamental Christian practices. These basic faith practices are evident in Scripture, church history, and modern research. It is through such practices that faith is transmitted between the generations and over time.

  1. Caring Conversations: These conversation starters provide meaningful reflection on biblical texts and our daily lives. It helps you bond with others on the journey of faith. It also helps you in the important task of talking about your Christian faith.
  2. Devotions: Being devoted to God’s word serves as the foundation for practicing the
    presence of God and blessing you with faith, hope, and love. Having a special time of day to do devotions increases the regularity of this important practice in your life.
  3. Service: Christ tells us to serve others. By living the faith in love, we learn the value and joy of the Christian faith. Serving others reminds us of the breadth of the Kingdom of God and that our faith is personal but not private. Faith motivates us to serve the world in love.
  4. Rituals and Traditions: Symbolic actions grounded in the Christian tradition throughout the year provide a beautiful and holistic way of experiencing the grace of God. As you practice rituals and traditions, continue to use the ones that fill you with peace, passion, meaning, and hope.

What is the background history of the Four Keys for practicing faith?

  • davidanderson_tnThe concept of the Four Keys comes out of the doctoral work from 1987-1990 of the Rev. Dr. David Anderson. He first wrote publicly about the Four Keys in 1997 inThe Educator, a Lutheran World Federation journal. The article was titled, “Vital Connections in Learning: Home and Congregation in Partnership.” The article not only mentions the Four Keys but also lays out the substance of what would later be called the Five Principles of faith formation. Both the Four Keys and the Five Principles have been written about and used substantively in three of his books:

From the Great Omission to Vibrant Faith (2011)

Vibrant Faith in the Congregation: The Role of the Home in Renewing the Church (2009)

Frogs Without Legs Cant Hear: Nurturing Disciples in Home and Congregation (2003, co-authored with the Rev. Dr. Paul Hill)

  • Much of David Anderson’s work the past 25 years has been with The Youth & Family Institute, renamed Vibrant Faith Ministries, and most recently Milestones Ministry. The Four Keys have became a staple item in his ministry as part of books, articles, and coaching and training events.
  • The Four Keys is at the heart of Milestones Ministry and used in both Taking Faith Home bulletin inserts and Cards as well as each Milestones Module and Moment.
  • David Anderson has never been possessive of the Four Keys, just delighted that the contribution of the Four Keys has served so many congregations and homes.

We are blessed and honored to have David Anderson on our team at Milestones Ministry.