Monday, May 18, 2015

Equip Grandparents to Pass on a Heritage of Faith: Help Them Be People of the Word

I've been talking about how grandparents have a very essential role to play in passing on a heritage of faith to their grandchildren, so when we think about family ministry, we need to consider what we are doing to encourage and equip them to do exactly this. Their "job" is not "finished", If they have grandchildren they still have a very important "job" to do. They are part of what Deuteronomy 6 is talking about. They are part of God's plan to pass on a heritage of faith to their grandchildren. Happily, Deuteronomy 6 tells us how they can do exactly this. It begins with . . .
  • Keeping God's words, "on our hearts"! They have to know God's Words to pass them on! This means they have to spend time in God's Word - they have to be people of the Word!
How can we encourage and equip grandparents in our church to pass on a heritage of faith to their grandchildren? It begins with encouraging them to truly be people of faith. Their grandchildren will see if their faith is not real; and will want nothing to do with it. But, if they are people who spend time in God's Word and truly live it, then they will be people who can do as Deuteronomy 6 says and keep God's words; "on their hearts".

But they need to be people who do not just read God's Word - although this is definitely a big part of it, but they need to be people who keep God's Words on their hearts. The word, "keep" means; "have, or retain possession of". Generally, things we keep, or retain possession of, are things which have great value to us. God's Word must be more than just something they read out of duty or habit; it must be something they treasure. Do we encourage grandparents t truly treasure God's Word?

Passing on a heritage of faith is all about passing on something of value; something of great value and it begins with treasuring God's Word. If we want children in our ministries to be people who love, know and walk with God, having grandparents (and parents) who love God's Word; keep it, "on their hearts" and pass this love on to their grandchildren, will go a long way in helping the children love it and keep it, "on their hearts", too!

So, how do we encourage and equip grandparents? A few simple ways you can do this include . . . 
  • Reminding them to share with their grandchildren the things they discover as they spend time in God's Word. Ask your adult Sunday school teachers to include a time for sharing in their classes where grandparents (parents) can share what they are doing to pass on a love for God's Word.
  • Help them learn to pray Scripture back to God, so they can teach their grandchildren how to do the same.
  • Challenge them to get into the habit of writing Scripture which stands out to them onto sticky notes, then give them to their grandchildren, so they can put them where they will see and remember them.
  • Remind grandparents to ask their grandchildren what they are discovering from God's Word as they read it.
  • Suggest they ask their grandchildren to give them sticky notes with verses which stand out to them.
  • Challenge them to read God's Word together.
There are many more, but these are just a few ways you can encourage and equip grandparents to keep God's Words, "on their heart" and teach their grandchildren to do the same. When they do this, they will be passing on a heritage of faith!

What do you do to help the grandparents in your ministry pass on a heritage of faith to their grandchildren by being a people of the Word who keep God's Words, "on their hearts"?

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