Blog Article

The Fourth F

Written by Deb del Villar, Director of Communications

No, this is not talking about the grade received in school. Instead, this is an “F” that should be strived for instead of avoided.

So what is this “F?” Let’s look at some other F’s first.

Most senior saint ministries gather on a weekly or at least a monthly basis. It is a wonderful time usually gathered around food, fun, and fellowship.

Food, fun, and fellowship are so necessary and life nurturing. Who doesn’t like to gather around a table of food and visit with friends and family?

Many of us are looking forward to that in the coming weeks as the holidays quickly approach. But what if we added a fourth “F” to this?

What if we added a faith focus?

Maybe your gathering already does this – that is a true blessing! Is there a way to capture this time with a spiritual growth purpose?

What could be added to help equip, encourage, or empower you to perpetuate your faith to the generations that follow?

As we look forward to the time we have left, if you are like me, I look back to those who are behind me – my kids and grandkids. My burning desire is that they would fall head over heels in love with Jesus; following Him obediently and passionately throughout their lives.

Here are some ideas to get you started on adding a faith focus to what you may already be doing. Consider adding scripture, prayer, encouragement, or teaching.

Scripture

A look into Scripture is always a great place to start. A scripture passage about grandparents could be read and discussed.

God gives us examples that we can learn from. They teach us what to do as well as what not to do.

There are also scriptures that talk about generations, legacy, and heritage that could be explored. A great first one is Deuteronomy 4:9 followed up with Psalm 78. The discussion could center on how we can practically live out what the scripture was teaching.

Prayer

Close on the heels of scripture, is prayer. In fact, prayer may be what you first want to add.

Our families need the hope that God brings. They need the unconditional love and unmerited grace that He so freely gives.

We need to pray individually and corporately for our families. Have a time of sharing prayer requests not only about health needs but relational needs.

Families are hurting and God’s Word and His power is the healing balm we so desperately need. Pray for one another. Help carry the burdens of your hurting sisters and brothers.

Encouragement

Sometimes we need encouragement as well to stay the course and finish well. Deuteronomy 4:9 starts with Watch Yourselves closely – our example speaks loudly.

This is a strong admonition to us that in order to finish our race well, we must continually and consistently be growing stronger spiritually. We have not arrived yet.

As we walk our faith journey out in front of those we love most – let us be real, vulnerable, and transparent. Our children and grandchildren will see the struggles, the failures, and the victories.

What will you do with them? Will you point to God and the fact that God is still working on us? At your gathering, have grandparents share their stories of how they are using their example to point to God.

What is God doing to strengthen a weakness in their life? How did God use a failure in their life to share a powerful truth about God? How did they celebrate a victory giving all glory to God?

Our children and grandchildren need to know we are not perfect once saved. There are no super saints just sinners saved by grace.

How can you help grandparents be equipped to share their stories with their families? Share ways to utilize their stories for God’s glory and their grandchildren’s good.

Teaching

Finally maybe you would want to add in teaching time. God calls us to be truth-tellers and grace-givers; to be His ministers of reconciliation.

While this is a balancing act, these two critical elements can be held in tension, accomplishing what God desires. Seek to include the truth of God within the grace of God.

Your pastor could share stories of reconciliation from the scriptures. Grandparents could share their own personal stories of how God worked to bring redemption, reconciliation, and restoration within their own families.

So many families need this today. May we be a source of encouragement for someone else. Think through how you can be a truth-teller while also being a grace-giver. Share examples around the table.

Consider having your youth pastor or youth leader come to share the struggles the youth are facing today.

Are you aware of the social media pull and the dangers? Do you realize the gender confusion and the implications? Do you know how to combat them?

Our church has partnered every teen with an older adult who prays for them faithfully. Do you remember what it was like to be a teen? Learn how you can better support the youth in your church. Think through practical steps you can take to enter their lives as another voice of God.

God uses intergenerational relationships for His glory. There could be a teen in your church that would love a godly grandparent in their lives. Discuss ways to be that for them!

You could also be answering a prayer of a godly grandparent that lives far away and cannot be there for that grandchild. Think through how you can support your youth ministry better. Decide on something you can start right away.

Conclusion

Many of the ideas shared can take from a few minutes to whatever time frame you desire. They can also be done through an informal time of sitting and listening or sharing over a meal around the table.

A conversation starter such as: “Has there been a time in your life where God worked to bring about redemption, reconciliation, and restoration in your family?” could be shared following the prayer over the food or handed out on a piece of paper.

Please just do something to add this fourth “F” to your gathering times. Life is short, our grandkids are growing up so fast, and the culture change is making our heads spin – be busy about The Father’s Business.

This is our greatest purpose in life!

He commanded our ancestors to teach their children so the next generation would know them even the children yet to be born and they, in turn, would tell their children. Psalm 78:5b-6

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