As grandparents, God calls us to be involved in the lives of our families. In fact, it is a two-generational involvement that He is calling us to. Due to our relation and position in the family, we have a tremendous opportunity to impact our grandchildren. We challenge you to double down your efforts this coming year to use your natural involvement and potential impact to intentionally influence your grandchildren toward spiritual matters.
Kay Arthur, of Precept Ministries, is known to say “There is no retirement in a time of war.” We are waging war not only for the souls of our grandchildren but for those not yet born. May we equip our grandchildren to fight the evil one’s attacks.
Let’s think of some ways that your church and home could help equip through intentional Christian grandparenting.
Ideas for Churches:
- Launch a church ministry for grandparents – It may just take adding the focus of grandparenting to current ministries for adults.
- Start a grandparenting prayer group – Get together and pray for grandchildren of your church. It could be part of a current prayer time or be added to the beginning of another adult activity.
- Participate in grandparenting events – GRAND Monday Nights is a free weekly webinar. Click here to register. Take advantage of National Grandparents Day to celebrate, honor, and challenge your grandparents. For free downloadable resources, go to legacycoaliton.com then click on resources. Also, check out the National Grandparent Summit and Grandparenting Matters virtual, live, and DVD seminars.
- Consider hosting a grandparent shower – It’s a great way to welcome them into the world of grandparenting as well as share the importance of their biblical role within the family.
- Include grandparents in child milestone events – Starting with child dedications, include grandparents. This shows the important responsibility they have in the family. Allow grandparents to join with the parents in dedicating themselves to helping disciple the grandchild. At each subsequent milestone, find ways to involve them in the celebration.
- Offer grandparent-grandchild activity – Be creative and think of something they could do together. The focus is on fun and faith where the purposeful activities allow you to naturally share your faith legacy.
- Organize an intergenerational activity – Have an event at your church that encourages and includes all generations. This is a great way to gather families together around one activity. It could be a serving activity or one just for fun. See a great idea in Discipling Your Grandchildren, one of the books in the Legacy Coalition series.
- Continue to learn and be equipped – The Legacy Coalition website and store have great resources to encourage, equip, and help you engage more intentionally with your adult children and grandchildren. We are here to help you. Go to legacycoalition.com.
- Think outside the box – On the fifth Sundays, a church in Iowa has grandparents staff the children’s’ ministry. The grandparents and the children benefit greatly from this interaction.
Ideas for Individuals:
- Joint Bible study – Choose and purchase an age-appropriate Bible or Bible study for you and the grandchild(ren). Consider a time and place to meet, in-person or virtually, to discuss. For young grandkids, they can read the Bible story to you which has the added benefit of helping their reading skills.
- Pray – Consistently pray for each grandchild by name and need. Great resources like the Prayer Placemat are available at our store.
- Share blessings and hopes – Meet in-person or virtually on New Year’s Eve. Allow them to share the blessings of 2020 and what they are hoping for in 2021. Their hopes can become part of your prayers for them this next year.
- Communicate your love – Write a note letting your grandchildren know you desire to love them more dearly this year as you seek to follow The Heavenly Father’s example of steadfast, lavish love flowing from a heart of grace and truth.
- Traditions – Be sure to pass on the who, what, where, why, when, and how of the tradition. So what new tradition will you start this new year? Remember it has been said that traditions are the stories that families write together. What will be the family stories shared in December of 2021 and beyond – all the way from your grandchildren to those not yet born.
- Speak a blessing over each grandchild – Create a special time of great significance in the life of your grandchild. You could use Numbers 6:24-26.
- Plan an experience or adventure with a grandchild – Instead of material gifts for the grandchildren, consider giving an experience or adventure that you do together. Memories are powerful reminders of your love, care, and interest in them.
- Mealtimes, Car rides, Holidays, Anytime – Use the Let’s Talk conversation cards. They’re a great way to learn about your grandchild as they also learn about you.
- Learn and use apps like Marco Polo – Seek to connect with your grandkids in age-appropriate and interesting ways. Ask them what apps they use, whether it’s Snapchat, Marco Polo, or whatever. Have them show you how to use it and then stay connected with them.
What is at least one thing you can implement this coming year? Whether you are just starting with baby steps or ready to take giant leaps. Make a conscious choice to do something to purposefully equip yourself, other grandparents, and your grandchildren this coming year.