Sunday, July 24, 2016

Why Grandparenting Ministry Matters

I've been writing quite a bit about Grandparenting Ministry. You may see these posts and wonder why I'm writing about grandparenting on a Children's Ministry blog. The reason is because when a Children's Ministry is a strong supporter of Grandparenting Ministry in their church, the children, families, Children's Ministry and entire church benefit.

One time when my grandsons were at my house and we were getting ready for bedtime, Josiah, Caleb, Poppa and I talked about what it means when the Bible says, "Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path." A few days later when the boys were here, we had a big thunder storm pass through and our power went out. Since it was bedtime, this meant it was quite dark here in the house without any power. We used a flashlight to see where we were going.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Grandparent on Purpose - 4 Roles of a Grandparent!

A year ago I heard Tim Kimmel speak about grandparenting on purpose, and today I want to share with you what this means, and looks like. Please think about this in regards to the grandparents in your church, and then think about what you do as a Children's Ministry, to help engage, equip and encourage these grandparents to be intentional in passing on a heritage of faith to their grandchildren.

Tim said grandparents need to employ a "gracious grandparenting" plan . . . which basically means we treat our grandchildren with the same grace God lavishes upon us! When we mess up, God gives us His grace and forgives us - He does not hold it over our heads nor brow-beat us. God gives us grace and grandparents need to do the same!

He said there are four roles for a grandparent . . . 

Friday, July 22, 2016

Let's Talk Grandparenting Ministry - The Role of Grandparents

I've been talking about Grandparenting Ministry and how our churches need to engage, equip and encourage grandparents to pass on a heritage of faith to their grandchildren. Today I want to share something Steve and Valerie Bell shared with us at the Legacy Coalition meeting I attended last year.  They said when it comes to raising children, parents focus on peace. They want to get through the day in as peaceful a way possible - a peaceful day is a good day. Parents need to provide a peaceful setting for their home; a peaceful place for children to grow up. Peace is the bottom part of a "triangle" - and gives a firm base or foundation for their family.

The "middle" part of the triangle is, "principle". Parents need to provide principles, standards for their children as they grow up, so they know right from wrong. Also an important role for parents.

Grandparents, however; have a different role. Grandparents need to provide, "personhood". They do this by helping to give grandchildren a solid view of who they are, because however grandparents feel about and see their grandchildren is the way their grandchildren will feel about and see themselves. This part is at the top of the triangle.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Let's Talk Grandparenting Ministry - the Single Grandmother

As I mentioned yesterday, last year I had the wonderful opportunity to hear a number of people talk about Grandparenting Ministry and what it might look like in a church. Cathy Jacobs, from Pass the Legacy, spoke about the challenge facing the single grandmother; and today I'm delighted to share with you some of what she had to say.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Let's Talk Grandparenting Ministry - What About the Grandpas?

Children's Ministry may not be the area where you initially think about also focusing upon Grandparenting Ministry, but what might this look like in your church? A couple days ago I shared what Linda Ransom-Jacobs had to say about the divorce and grandparenting; today I want to talk about the role of the grandpas.

Ken Canfield spoke at a meeting I attended about the, "Grandfather Factor" and shared about the three events in men's lives which transforms their lives. He said these three events are . . . 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Notice & Engage Grandparents in Your Children's Ministry

I am a member of the largest church in Grand Rapids, MI. Each Summer, my church plans and holds a special event for the families in our church; a time for us to come together as a church and as families. This year the church rented John Ball Zoo, so from 6pm to 9pm thousands of people ate together (hot dogs were provided), enjoyed music in the band shell and enjoyed seeing the many animals in the zoo.

I noticed something as families ate together, and walked through the zoo - many, many of these families included grandparents who were enjoying the opportunity to experience the zoo with their grandchildren. I was one such grandparent, because my grandsons were at this event with me.

As I thought about this, I was reminded of an important truth. When it comes to people who love the children in our Children's Ministries, grandparents are often at the top of the list. This is important for us to keep in mind, because not only do grandparents love their grandchildren, but they also care very much about the ministry of their church to their grandchildren. 

So, as you finish the details for the start of the new school year of ministry to and with the children in your church, keep in mind the grandparents. Think about how you might engage them in the Children's Ministry, because they are some of the people who care the most about the children. Consider the following ideas . . . 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Let's Talk Grandparenting Ministry - What About Families With Divorce?

When you think about Children's Ministry, grandparents and Grandparenting Ministry, you may picture both grandpas and grandmas. While in many families they do have two sets of grandparents - both grandpas and grandmas, there are families in your church with single grandparents; most often single grandmas. 

At the Legacy Coalition meeting I attended last year, we were blessed to hear both Linda Ransom Jacobs (DC4K) and Cathy Jacobs (Pass the Legacy) speak to us about how divorce and single grandmothers impact your Grandparenting Ministry. They had very valuable information for pastors and church leaders, so today, I want to share with you some of what Linda had to say.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Are Your Volunteers "Invisible"? Make them "Visible" - Check these posts on CM Buzz!

Make Your Children’s Ministry Volunteers Visible! Children\s Ministry Youth
In addition to writing About the Children's Department, I was one of the writers for CM Buzz. A couple years ago I wrote about invisible and visible volunteers. You can still find these posts - just follow these links . . . Make Your Children's Ministry Volunteers "Visible"! and . . . 'Are your children’s ministry volunteers "invisible”

"Catchy" titles? Well, in these posts, I ask, in the eyes of the rest of your church, are your volunteers invisible? Do the people in your church know who they are? In far too many churches the Children’s Ministry volunteers are 'invisible'. People do not know who they are or what they do.' I then shared some of the problems we experience when our volunteers are 'invisible' and a few ideas of ways to help your Children’s Ministry volunteers be 'visible'!" 

What do you do to make your Children's Ministry volunteers "visible"?

Friday, July 15, 2016

Back-to-Sunday-School-Prayer-Event

Yesterday I wrote about planning a, "Prayer Walk" for your church to involve everyone in praying for the 2016/17 school year of children's ministry. Today I want to give you another idea for a way to begin the school year of ministry with prayer.

If you are looking for a way to start your new school year of ministry with a focus on supporting and encouraging your volunteers and under-girding your ministry with prayer from the "get-go", hold a "Back-to-Sunday-School-Prayer-Event"! The idea behind this is to provide an opportunity for parents, grandparents and volunteers to meet and talk together before, or at the beginning of, the new Sunday school year and to involve your entire church in praying for your Children's Ministry . . . and you do have time to do this as it is really simple to plan the event - all you need to do is . . . 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Plan a Prayer Walk to Start your 2016/17 School Year of Ministry!

While it may seem like Summer just began, the new school year is almost upon us. There are many things to do before the new school year begins, including -
  • Select curriculum
  • Train volunteers
  • Recruit volunteers
  • Plan and hold a back-to-school parent/grandparent meeting
  • Plan and hold a back-to-school prayer walk
There are other things to do, but these are five of the big ones - they all are important, but, today I want to focus on planning and holding a back-to-school prayer walk!

In the past my church has held a, "Prayer Walk" which gave everyone in the church the
opportunity to walk through the children's and youth areas of our church and pray for all the ministry which would take place in the coming school year. It was wonderful!

So, I want to, give you some ideas for a Prayer Walk. If you have not planned to do something similar, you still have time to plan a prayer walk of your own to help families understand what will be happening in the Children's Ministry at your church in the coming year - and most importantly, how they can pray!

A few details to cover . . .