For several years I've been talking about Grandparenting Ministry; not necessarily ministry serving grandparents, but ministry which engages, equips and encourages grandparents to pass on a heritage of faith. Cavin Harper describes this ministry as a; "Future Generations Ministry", because it is about future generations and helping them remember all God does, so they are able to faithfully and obediently follow Him.
While it is likely none of us would say a ministry which engaged grandparents to pass on a heritage of faith was a "bad" thing, few churches actually engage this group of people in their church. They typically have a "senior saints" ministry which provides opportunities for the older generation to fellowship, but typically offers anything else. We in the church, sadly, have followed the mind-set in our culture, described by Cavin Harper as one which contributes to an unbiblical and distorted view of grandparents - all they do is fill the grandchildren with sugar and send them home, so the grandparents are able to take trips or retire to a community where they may relax and enjoy life.
We do not see this in the Bible. God's Word tells us grandparents have a very important, and essential, role in passing on a heritage of faith to their grandchildren. God has a purpose for grandparents, and since the average age of a first-time grandparent is 47, the church can not afford to continue to ignore this group of people in it's community.
I have been talking about what a Grandparenting Ministry; a Future Generations Ministry looks like for some time, and will continue to do so. It impacts both the children in our ministries and our ministries in a very positive way when we in the Children's Ministry decide to be intentional about engaging, equipping ad encouraging grandparents to pass on a heritage of faith to their grandchildren.
What do you think? Do you have a Grandparenting Ministry at your church? Are you interested in starting a Grandparenting Ministry at your church?